Writer Wayne Federman, who is compiling materials for the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library centennial celebration of the late president’s film andtelevision career, made a rare find when he unearthed a live TV drama from Dec. 12, 1954,starring Reagan and actor James Dean, reports The Atlantic.
It’s an excellent quality kinescope from the anthology drama series “General Electric Theater.” This entry is called “The Dark, Dark Hours,” and in the show, Dean played a teenaged criminal seeking medical care for a friend and forcing a doctor — Reagan — to comply by threatening the doctor’s family.
Reagan, who by this time had had a long movie career, was also the host of the series. Dean’s big movies, “East of Eden,” “Rebel Without a Cause” and “Giant,” had yet to be released.
Less than a year after this show aired, Dean was killed in an auto crash, on Sept. 30, 1955.
Below is a 6-minute excerpt from the show: