In 1938, Jane Wyman co-starred with Ronald Reagan in Brother Rat (1938), and its sequel Brother Rat and a Baby (1940). They were engaged at the Chicago Theatre, and married on January 26, 1940, at the Wee Kirk o’ the Heather Church, Glendale, California.
Wyman and Reagan had three children. She, who was a registered Republican, stated that their break-up was due to a difference in politics (Ronald Reagan was still a Democrat at the time). She filed for divorce in 1948; the divorce was finalized in 1949.
In 1981, Ronald Reagan became the first divorcé to assume the nation’s highest office. This made Wyman the first former wife of a United States president who was still living at the time to have her former husband become president. Although she remained silent during Reagan’s political career, she told a newspaper interviewer in 1968 that this was not because she was bitter, or because she did not agree with him politically:
“I’ve always been a registered Republican. But it’s bad taste to talk about former husbands and former wives, that’s all. Also, I don’t know a damn thing about politics.”
In spite of her divorce and according to her former personal assistant, she still voted for her former husband in the 1980 and 1984 presidential elections.
These beautiful photos that captured Ronald Reagan and Jane Wyman on their wedding day on January 26, 1940.