When Did Ronald Reagan Star in His First Movie?

Ronald Reagan, the 40th president of the United States, was known for many things throughout his life. Before he entered politics, however, Reagan was an accomplished actor in Hollywood. Many people wonder when Ronald Reagan starred in his first movie, and the answer may surprise you.

The Early Years of Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan was born on February 6th, 1911 in Tampico, Illinois. He grew up in a middle-class family and attended Eureka College in Illinois.

After college, he moved to Iowa where he worked as a radio broadcaster. It wasn’t until 1937 that he made his way to Hollywood to pursue acting.

Reagan’s First Movie Role

Ronald Reagan’s first movie role was in the film “Love Is on the Air” which premiered on June 20th, 1937. In the film, Reagan played the lead role of Andy McCaine, a radio broadcaster who is falsely accused of being involved in a bank robbery. The film was directed by Nick Grinde and produced by Warner Bros.

Reagan’s Early Acting Career

After his debut role in “Love Is on the Air,” Reagan went on to star in many more films throughout the late 1930s and early 1940s. Some of his notable roles during this time include:

  • “Brother Rat” (1938)
  • “Dark Victory” (1939)
  • “Knute Rockne, All American” (1940)
  • “Kings Row” (1942)

Reagan’s Breakthrough Role

It wasn’t until the late 1940s that Ronald Reagan landed his breakthrough role as George Gipp in “Knute Rockne, All American.” In the film, Reagan played a college football player who tragically died young. The role earned him critical acclaim and helped propel his career to new heights.


Ronald Reagan starred in his first movie, “Love Is on the Air,” in 1937. From there, he went on to have a successful acting career before eventually entering politics and becoming the president of the United States. While Reagan is remembered for many things, his early years in Hollywood are an important part of his legacy.