Usually thought of first as a Hollywood actor and then as the 40th President of the United States, if the truth be told, Ronald Reagan always gravitated more to politics than to acting. He loved both and managed to combine them in many instances, such as his six years as president of the Screen Actors Guild. It was Reagan’s time-consuming political activity which ultimately resulted in his first wife, actress Jane Wyman, filing for divorce in 1948. But when the marriage was still going strong, he and Jane lived in this Georgian Colonial Revival-style home designed by starchitect Paul Williams. When the Reagan-Wyman divorce was final in 1949, the house was deeded to Wyman, who lived there until 1954. The home is now for sale at $6.75 million.
At 6,153 square feet, the classic, five-bedroom, seven-bath house retains its original architectural layout with large rooms, high ceilings, hardwood floors and hand-crafted millwork. The impressive foyer is in Williams’ signature oval design with sweeping staircase and wrought-iron banister that continues through the second-floor overlook. The dramatic foyer with its grand chandelier, staircase curves and stunning inlaid-wood floor set the tone of glamour for the Hollywood power couple’s guests. The vast public interior spaces, private yard and brick-paved courtyard, swimming pool, cabana with fireplace, firepit and terraces make entertaining comfortable and enjoyable. Views from the windows are lush with mature landscaping. The reception hall includes a sunroom and the spacious family room has both a fireplace and a bar. The master suite takes up one whole side of the second floor along with three additional ensuite bedrooms. The home is also known as the Shuwarger House – named after Marrie Shuwarger, a Russian-born dressmaker who was the home’s original owner.
Jane Wyman was only 21 and married to her second husband when she noticed the 27-year-old Reagan in his starring role as Dan Crawford in Brother Rat in 1938. Jane soon divorced husband #2 and married Reagan in 1940; the newlyweds then bought the Shuwarger House. But instead of wedded bliss, almost from the start the relationship started going downhill until their divorce after nine years of marriage. After their divorce, Reagan and Wyman continued their acting careers both veering into television, Reagan as the host of General Electric Theater on CBS and Wyman as the star of the hit CBS prime time soap opera Falcons Crest. Reagan was elected as the governor of California in 1966 and U.S. president in 1980.
Designed by architect Paul Williams in 1938, the Shuwarger House was the epitome of Old Hollywood glamor and a perfect home for two of Hollywood’s favorite actors. Very much as it was when Reagan and Wyman lived there with its elegant decor in place, the home is now for sale. Priced at $6.75 million, the listing agents are Brent Watson and Marco Salari of Coldwell Banker, Los Angeles.
Photo credit: Coldwell Banker