Nancy Reagan: The Role Of A Lifetime
Airs Monday, February 7, 2011 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Criticized for taking a seemingly traditional role as first lady during an era focused on women’s rights, those within Ronald Reagan’s inner circle recognized Nancy Reagan as much more than the supportive and stylish spouse who redecorated the White House.
Historians have now concluded that Nancy Reagan was one of the most influential first ladies in modern times. She had far-reaching impact on personnel and policy issues. She is credited with moving President Reagan to a more moderate position toward the Soviet Union and getting her husband to publicly admit his involvement in Iran-Contra, a move that likely saved his presidency.
She was, and continues to be, a formidable and influential political adviser, skills she uses as she guards her husband’s legacy and champions stem cell research.
In an extended interview with Judy Woodruff, Nancy Reagan reflects on her childhood, her life as an actress, her marriage to Ronald Reagan, their lifelong romance and her role as his most trusted adviser in a political career that would take them from the back lots of Hollywood, to the California governor’s mansion and then to the White House.