The Truth About Doris Day And Ronald Reagan’s Relationship

In her 1975 autobiography, “Doris Day: Her Own Story,” actress Doris Day revealed that she dated President Ronald Reagan back in the 1950s when he was an actor (via People magazine). They may have seemed like an unlikely Hollywood pair, but they actually worked on several movies together. Their first film project together was 1951’s “Storm Warning,” which also starred famed dancer Ginger Rogers. The story takes place in the South and follows the murder of a journalist by members of the Ku Klux Klan. Day played the wife of one of the killers and Reagan played a prosecutor looking to apprehend the murderers (via Turner Classic Movies).

Day and Reagan next appeared in 1952’s “The Winning Team.” In this sports drama, Reagan played real-life baseball player Grover Cleveland Alexander with Day appearing as his wife Aimee (via Turner Classic Movies). There’s some debate when the two became an item off-screen, however. According to People magazine, Reagan and Day dated for a time during the making of “The Winning Team.” But the Washington Examiner reported Day and Reagan got involved during the filming of “Storm Warning.” Whatever the case, Day explained in her book that she met Reagan through some mutual friends. “Ronnie had recently been divorced from Jane Wyman, and he lived alone in an apartment high above Sunset Strip” (via the Washington Examiner).

Ronald Reagan found someone else to be his First Lady

While their romance proved to be short-lived, Day really liked two things about Reagan. She wrote that she appreciated “how much he liked to dance and how he liked to talk” (via the Washington Examiner). Day may have had some inkling of Reagan’s political future, once saying that “he had what I would call a political personality–engaging, strong and very voluble” (via People magazine).

Day went on to marry Martin Melcher in 1951, who proved to be perhaps the worst of her four husbands. Melcher was not only her third husband but also her manager. After his death, Day learned that Melcher had frittered away her money and left her in financial straits. Reagan, on the other hand, wed Nancy Davis in 1952, and the couple remained together until Reagan’s death in 2004 (via Britannica).

A longtime animal-rights activist, Day reached out to her old boyfriend Reagan in 1971 while he was governor of California. She wanted to discuss the poor condition of the animal shelters in Los Angeles, according to ABC News. After Reagan wasn’t able to take the call, Day said “You tell him it’s his co-star from ‘The Winning Team.’ I was married to him when he was only Grover Cleveland Alexander, the baseball player, and he’d better call me back.”

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