Reagan biographer Anne Edwards on his transition from
sportscaster to Hollywood actor:
"In the back of his head ... he thought he would really very, very much like to try out for film, see if he could get a screen test. He came out to California to cover the training season for the Chicago Cubs. And, shockingly to him, (Warner Bros. Studio) hired him for a seven-year contract. That was the end of 'Dutch' Reagan and suddenly here was the birth of Ronald Reagan."
Former Screen Actors Guild Executive Director Jack Dales recalls how actress
Jane Wyman initiated Reagan's involvement with the labor group:
"She told us, the board, that she really had a guy that ... really
belonged on the board. And with Jane's recommendation, we took him in. I found him a very affable guy who could talk to people even when they were on opposite sides, and not ever get them upset."
Film critic and historian Joseph McBride on Reagan's World
War II duty with the Army Air Corps, producing and appearing in
military training films:
"He was based in Culver City (California) making training films, but he convinced himself that he was somehow there when the concentration camps
were liberated, for example. Even though he only saw some of the footage, he imagined himself in the scene and I guess that's part of his appeal, is that he can convince people. He's a great salesman."
McBride on Reagan's 1947 testimony before the House Un-American
Activities Committee as SAG president:
"Ronald Reagan was one of the so-called friendly witnesses who was cooperating with the committee, talking about Communism in Hollywood. However, Reagan did not name anybody, so he was taking kind of an ambiguous stand. Reagan was trying to present the Screen Actors Guild as an anti-Communist, very 100 percent American organization, so he wound up attacking some of his own members, and a lot of people in Hollywood were playing this game that if we stigmatize a few people we can protect the bigger group."
Actress Patricia Neal on the divorce of Reagan and Wyman:
"It was, you know, just terrible because he was very unhappy. He
was in an apartment by himself. ... He was heartbroken. He really
was, because he didn't want a divorce from her. But Jane wanted it."