Another First Lady at the Oscars (& President & First Daughter)

February 24, 2013 is definitely a footnote for FLOTUS history.

Tonight’s surprise appearance by incumbent First Lady Michelle Obama announcing the winner of the 2013 Best Picture of the Year Academy Award by live remote from the White House was indeed a first, technically, although….

The First Lady Michelle Obama revealed the 2013 Best Picture of the Year winner by live remote from the White House (thegrio.com)

The First Lady Michelle Obama revealed the 2013 Best Picture of the Year winner by live remote from the White House (thegrio.com)

Ronald and Nancy Reagan at the Academy Awards, early 1950s.

Ronald and Nancy Reagan at the Academy Awards, early 1950s.

On and off for a decade, from the early 1950s to the early 1960s, the future First Lady Nancy Davis Reagan, a working Hollywood actress and her husband and fellow actor, future President Ronald Reagan were in regular appearance. In fact, as the incumbent President and First Lady, Ronald and Nancy Reagan were scheduled to attend the 1981 Oscars, but the assassination attempt on his life that March prevented their returning to Los Angeles for the event.

And in 1966, the only First Daughter known to attend the Oscars, Lynda Bird Johnson made her appearance on the arm of her then-boyfriend, actor George Hamilton. It was the cherry on top of a whirlwind romance, including dates at Mardi Gras and some heavy-tanning time on an Acapulco vacation.

First Daughter Lynda Bird Johnson at the 1966 Oscars with her date, actor George Hamilton (Corbis)

First Daughter Lynda Bird Johnson at the 1966 Oscars with her date, actor George Hamilton (Corbis


Categories: Hollywood

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6 replies »

  1. Love the pic of Lynda Bird with George Hamilton! She looks so beautiful! The Johnson sisters really rocked the White House in their day. They were fun, and as much as we might have disagreed with some (not all) of their dad’s policies, they brought a touch of fun, always unexpected, that reminded us that voices from our generation sat at the dinner table with the president every night.

    • Thank you and so well expressed. I think that the “Golden Era” of First Children (FDR, Truman, Ike, JFK, LBJ, Nixon, Ford, Carter) really gave those adult children of presidents a chance to serve their parents as representatives on social issues and as political surrogates. Certainly the LBJ daughters also were expected to make not just personal compromises to their privacy along with the great privileges they were given, but also their husbands were expected to serve in the Vietnam War, and did.

    • I was out at the Johnson ranch in 2010 and toured the house – a first for me. We’d been out to the Johnson Ranch years before when Lady Bird was alive and met her – but this was the first time we’d seen the house – and the new exemplar jet they had on site. The jet had been used during the Johnson presidency but not by Lyndon Johnson. The “pièce de résistance,” however, was Luci’s sports car. It seems Lyndon Johnson bought the car for Luci shortly before she became pregnant with Patrick. Lyndon Johnson thought his daughter had his lead foot, carefree nature and was horrified at the thought of an accident so he bought her a large “boat” that she really didn’t like very much, however, she acquiesced. The sports car was purchased by a collector but then fell into disrepair. Her incredibly kind husband Ian Turpin bought the car for Luci – again – and had it restored. She’s recovering from a disease similar to Guillain-Barré and was at her house just over the wall from her parent’s place at the ranch when we were there. Ian drives the car – so it actually has current plates and tax stamps – which we all found amusing as we toured. It’s the only road-worthy vehicle on the premises that’s still in working use every single day. The President did use it – and enjoyed of course speeding up and down the roads around the property as often as he could. Some may recall the former President had a bit of a lead foot and expected local police to ignore the fact. Here they are at a Blanton Museum Gala (funderaising event?): http://blantonmuseum.org/images/bma/works_of_art/gala4.jpg. This is a poignant picture of Luci with her head on her mother’s coffin at the funeral. You can see the beauty of family ties that bind many of us: http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2007/07/14/us/15ladybird1-span.html.

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