Actress Piper Laurie has a new book out, a memoir called Learning to Live Out Loud, which documents a long and successful career including Oscar nominations for The Hustler, Carrie, and Children of a Lesser God.
In her emotional look back, Laurie also opens up about her relationship with Ronald Reagan, not yet a Cold War titan, with whom she starred in the 1950 film Louisa, when she was eighteen and Reagan, who was playing her father in the movie, was thirty-nine. The picture the actress paints of her liaison with the future president isn't very flattering. Laurie writes that Reagan was courtly in his ministrations, but that he took her to his place for burgers on their first date.
The boudoir stuff is even worse. Laurie claims that Reagan was an unsatisfactory lover who bragged about his endurance in bed, who "made sure I was aware of the length of time he had been 'ardent.' It was 40 minutes." And writing about that first petal-dropping burger "date," the seventy-nine-year-old pulls no punches, describing how Reagan morphed into a "show-off" who made love "without grace." And after being informed of his inability to satisfy, the man who would star in Bedtime for Bonzo the following year responded:
"There's something wrong with you. You should have had many orgasms by now — after all this time. You've got to see a doctor."
Piper does point out that the caddish-in-retrospect Reagan was at least no longer married to first wife Jane Wyman at the time, and hadn't yet begun dating future wife and noted drug-opponent Nancy Davis. It looks like official Reagan biographer Edmund Morris is going to have to go back and do some revisions.