Sunday, March 6, 2016 11:14 pm
Nancy Reagan, the former actress and wife of actor-turned former US President, Ronald Reagan earned the accolades of the Hollywood glitterati and politicians today, after her death at the ripe age of 94 was announced.
President Barack Obama and his wife, Michele led politicians in celebrating a woman, they said redefined the role of US First ladies.
“Nancy Reagan once wrote that nothing could prepare you for living in the White House,” the Obamas wrote in a joint statement on Sunday.
“She was right, of course. But we had a head start, because we were fortunate to benefit from her proud example, and her warm and generous advice.”
Former first lady Barbara Bush said she and her husband, former President George H. W. Bush, who was vice president under Reagan, took comfort in knowing Nancy Reagan would be reunited with her husband, the late president.
The Hollywood glitterati weighed in on social media, many of them grieving the passing of an icon they remembered having grown up in the Reagan era.
“I sat near #Nancy Reagan once and felt like a teenager seeing one of my idols. She was a BOSS,” wrote actress Elizabeth Banks of “The Hunger Games” fame.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, who like Ronald Reagan rode his Hollywood fame to the governor’s office in California, said on Twitter that Nancy Reagan was “one of my heroes.”
Republican candidates for the 2016 presidential nomination, from businessman Donald Trump to U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, also conveyed their sympathies.
Nancy Reagan will be buried next to her husband at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. The public would have a chance to pay their respects prior to the funeral service, with details to come shortly.
Nancy Davis was a Hollywood actress during the 1940s and 1950s and married Reagan, a prominent film actor, in 1952. She then served as first lady of California during her husband’s stint as California governor from 1967 to 1975 before moving into the White House after his decisive victory over incumbent Democratic President Jimmy Carter in 1980.
Her most publicized project as first lady was the “Just Say No” anti-drug campaign. After her husband developed Alzheimer’s disease, she became an advocate for discovering a cure.
She was diminutive and publicly soft-spoken, but Nancy Reagan’s strong will, high-tone tastes and clout with her husband made her a controversial figure during his presidency.
The cause of death was congestive heart failure, said a spokeswoman for the Reagan presidential library. She died at her Los Angeles home.
“She is once again with the man she loved,” her stepson Michael Reagan wrote on Twitter.
Reagan became one of the most influential first ladies in U.S. history during her Republican husband’s presidency from 1981 to 1989.
Her husband, who affectionately called her “Mommy” while she called him “Ronnie,” died in 2004 after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s, the progressive brain disorder that destroys memory.