Reba had her first movie role in 1990, along with Kevin Bacon, playing Heather Gummer in the comedy horror, Tremors. In the movie, they had to fight giant worm-like creatures living beneath the ground. She even put the filming first, before her honeymoon with Narvel. Reba enjoyed the filming very much, but her co-star didn’t feel the same.
Kevin Bacon was already an established actor at the time and he felt that this was the worst film in his entire acting career. However, this did not bother Reba, because for her, this was a dream come true. Bacon’s attitude didn’t stop her from starring in more movies.
It was after Reba’s fifth album release, titled “Unlimited,” that she got her first Billboard number one in 1983. She was not really happy recording with Mercury because the type of music she had was controlled. The company forced her to have a country-pop style of music ballads, which she didn’t like. This was the reason why she left Mercury.
Reba signed a contract with MCA Nashville Records the following year, which released her seventh album, “Just a Little Love.” Still, she was not fully happy nor satisfied with it. So, Reba went to Jimmy Bowen, the president of MCA, who allowed her to have anything she liked. With her freedom and full creative control, Reba gathered her previously released singles and repackaged them together in one album she released called “My Kind of Country.” Two songs from the album made it to the number one spot. Reba received positive reviews from critics.
Her Unique Music Videos
In the 80s and 90s, almost all of Reba’s music videos were different from other artists of the time. She was not only singing, but she would portray a character, making her music videos more like movies. Critics described them as "mini movies." Her music videos were so unique and compelling that they won her four awards and twenty-seven nominations throughout her career.
The effort Reba put into her music videos propelled her career in acting. She wanted to have at least one movie, but it turned out that she got more than what she wished for. Her acting career was as successful as her music career, and directors loved her as much as the audiences did.
Reba and her first husband, Charlie Battles, shared a ranch in Oklahoma. They were a happy couple until Reba got so caught up with her career, that it compromised their marriage. Charlie wanted Reba to spend more time at home with him. He dreamed of them working on the ranch together, but the nature of Reba’s career took her out of the house and onto the world’s stage to perform. As time went by, the conflict grew, which was the reason their marriage failed.
In 1987, Reba finally divorced Charlie and she moved to Nashville and focused on her career. It wasn’t easy for Reba, but it felt like she was finally free. She had always felt like a little girl who was taking orders from Charlie and doing what he said.
A Terrible Tragedy
While things were starting to go perfectly for Reba, tragedy struck in 1991. She was on tour at the time and eight of her band members died in a plane crash. They were flying early in the morning and the charter jet plane crashed into the side of Otay Mountain, in San Diego. The night before the accident, Reba had done a private performance for the IBM executives.
The aircraft crashed because of poor visibility, but the location was not marked as an area where flying is prohibited. Reba and her husband Narvel were staying at a hotel at the time, and they were told of the tragic news right away. The accident was so devastating for Reba because they were like family to her. They had been playing music together for many years. She wanted nothing, but to be back home in Nashville immediately.