• Ronald Reagan and James Dean in the Not-Performances of Their Careers

    I have to say, this episode of General Electric Theater from 1954 featuring future-president Ronald Reagan and future-mysteriously-iconic-dead-guy James Dean isn't half bad. It's a little cheesy, a little over-act-y, a little did-any-teenager-ever-actually-behave-like-that-y, but entertaining…

    See what I mean? It's good. But, it's no 1965 off-Broadway, black-box theater run of Edward Albee's Zoo Story with Richard Milhous Nixon and Richard Dreyfuss. I don't know, but Nixon was somehow remarkably convincing as a sad awkward man who would feed a hamburger full of rat poison to neighbor's dog. Unfortunately — though the six-week run was extensively recorded — most of the tapes of the show have huge gaps of silence, making them effectively worthless. Too bad.

    Still, the most memorable Republican president/popular actor team-up was 1865's Our American Cousin with Abraham Lincoln and John Wilkes Booth. They only did it the one time, though. Not sure why.

    Tags: Abraham Lincoln, Republicans, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Television, Theater


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