Evidently Ronald Reagan got his start in politics a little earlier than history claims–spying on fellow actors. (UPDATE: The TIME article is dated 1985.)
American Notes Hollywood
Monday, Sep. 09, 1985 *
Ronald Reagan’s acting career hit a lull in the late 1940s. Despite parts in minor films such as The Voice of the Turtle and That Hagen Girl, he became increasingly preoccupied with his more important role during Hollywood’s “Red Scare” as head of the Screen Actors Guild. It was revealed last week that the future President played another role as well: as a secret FBI informant, code name T-10. According to an article published in the San Jose Mercury News, documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act indicate that Reagan and his first wife, Actress Jane Wyman, provided federal agents with the names of actors they believed were Communist sympathizers.
The FBI papers report that despite his work as an informant, Reagan disagreed with some of the tactics of organizations like the House Un- American Activities Committee. In one FBI interview, Reagan takes issue with a group of actors and producers attempting to fire any alleged Reds. Protests Reagan: “Do they expect us to constitute ourselves as a little FBI of our own and determine just who is a Commie and who isn’t?