Question: I know Ronald Reagan was a movie actor, but did he ever star in a TV show of any sort before he became President? Rocky S.
Televisionary: He never starred in anything, Rocky, but he had many appearances in other capacities in the '50s, mainly working as a host or acting in dramatic presentations of one sort or another. His first professional work with wife Nancy, for example, was on Ford Theatre in 1953 (in a production called First Born).
In 1954 he hosted a TV version of A Place in the Sun on Lux Video Theatre, which was on CBS at the time before it jumped to NBC. He also acted in a CBS Medallion Theater presentation, hosted ABC's musical-variety show The Orchid Award and was featured in a CBS Star Time Playhouse production around that time.
Reagan's longest TV stint was as host of CBS's General Electric Theater, which he appeared on from 1954-62, also acting in some of the show's productions now and then. He then worked as a host of the syndicated Death Valley Days, which related based-on-real-life stories from Death Valley Calif., from 1965 to 1966. In '66, however, he left when he got a better offer: He was elected governor of California.