|This article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2014)|
Andrews (left) and Dick Van Dyke (1973)
October 9, 1914|
Griffin, Georgia, U.S.
|Died||March 8, 1985
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Cause of death
|Other names||Ed Andrews
|Alma mater||University of Virginia|
|Spouse(s)||Emily Andrews (m. 1955–85)|
Edward Andrews (October 9, 1914 – March 8, 1985) was an American stage, film and television actor. Andrews was one of the most recognizable character actors on television and films during the 1950s into the 1980s. His stark white hair, imposing build and horn-rimmed glasses added to the type of roles he received, as he was often cast as an ornery boss, a cagey businessman, or a strict disciplinarian of some type. In Italy, Andrews was dubbed with the voice of Italian actor Carlo Romano.
Life and career
He was born in Griffin, Georgia, the son of an Episcopal minister, and grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Cleveland, Ohio, and Wheeling, West Virginia. As a child, he attended Pittsburgh's Nixon Theatre and would nab a balcony seat so as to catch a good view of the 'headliners'. At the age of twelve, he did a walk-on in a stock theatre production which featured James Gleason and he was 'hooked' on an acting career.
He attended the University of Virginia, and at age 21, made his stage debut in 1935, progressing to Broadway the same year. During this period, Andrews starred in the short-lived but very well received military drama So Proudly We Hail in the lead role opposite Richard Cromwell. In 1936, Andrews debuted in the film Rushin' Art. However, it was not until 1955 that he appeared in his second film. He was cast as the subversive and corrupt character of Rhett Tanner, head of a knock-them-off political machine, in The Phenix City Story.
While Andrews' film acting career began in earnest in his forties, he was consistently typecast as a grandfatherly type, and thus he is most strongly associated with these roles in later films. Among his roles are those that are soft and friendly though Andrews was equally adept at portraying sleazy businessman types or sinister bureaucrats and officials.
Well-known films in which Andrews acted include Send Me No Flowers, with Doris Day and Rock Hudson, Advise and Consent, The Young Savages, Elmer Gantry, in which he was memorable as George F. Babbitt, The Absent-Minded Professor and Son of Flubber, in both of which he played the Defense Secretary, and Avanti!, in which he was a very convincing agent of the State Department. Among his other film credits are: Summertime (1955) with Katharine Hepburn; Tension at Table Rock (1956); The Harder They Fall (1956) with Humphrey Bogart; Tea and Sympathy (1956); Three Brave Men (1957); The Young Doctors (1961); The Thrill of It All (1963); Youngblood Hawke (1964); Good Neighbor Sam (1964); The Glass Bottom Boat (1966); The Trouble with Girls (1969) with Elvis Presley; Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970) as Admiral Harold R. Stark; How to Frame a Figg (1971); Charley and the Angel (1973); and The Seniors (1978). In 1984, he played the character of Howard Baker in John Hughes' Sixteen Candles. He also appeared in Gremlins, filmed later the same year, which would be his final film.
He also guested on many television series including: Mama, Thriller, Goodyear Television Playhouse, Hands of Mystery, The United States Steel Hour, Justice, Cheyenne, The Twilight Zone (in the episodes "Third From the Sun", and "You Drive"), The Eleventh Hour, Route 66, Naked City, Gunsmoke, Rawhide, Bonanza, Alias Smith and Jones, The Wild Wild West, Ironside, The F.B.I., The Beverly Hillbillies, Mr. Novak, Sanford and Son, One Day at a Time, Love American Style, Ellery Queen, The Invaders, Bewitched, Hawaii Five-O, Charlie's Angels, The Rookies, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Storefront Lawyers, Sergeant Bilko, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island and The Bob Newhart Show.
Andrews was a regular on the ABC series, Broadside (1964–1965) as Commander Roger Adrian. He had previously filmed the pilot for the popular series Hazel in the role of George Baxter. His was the only role re-cast when the show went to series; he was replaced by actor Don DeFore. The other cast members (star Shirley Booth, Whitney Blake, and Bobby Buntrock) stayed with the show.
He also had the lead role as Harry Flood in the short lived NBC series Supertrain (1979), at the time, the most expensive series ever aired in the United States. Nine episodes were made, including a 2-hour pilot episode, airing between February 7 to May 5, 1979. The premise was a nuclear-powered bullet train that was equipped with amenities more appropriate to a cruise ship. Much like its contemporary The Love Boat, the plots concerned the passengers' social lives, usually with multiple intertwining storylines. Most of the cast of a given episode were guest stars. The production was elaborate, with huge sets and a high-tech model train for outside shots. It received poor reviews and low ratings. Despite attempts to salvage the show by reworking the cast, it went off air after only three months. NBC, which had produced the show itself, with help from Dark Shadows producer Dan Curtis, was unable to recoup its losses. Combined with the U.S. boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics the following season, which cost NBC millions in ad revenue, the series nearly bankrupted the network. For these reasons, Supertrain has been called one of the greatest television flops.
Andrews played the character of Charley in the 1966 dramatization of Death of a Salesman, and constantly acted throughout the 1970s as Elton Dykstra on The Intruders, Ernest W. Stanley on The Man Who Came to Dinner, Mayor Chrisholm alongside Don Knotts in the 1971 film How to Frame a Figg, and Mayor Massey on The Whiz Kid and the Mystery at Riverton. In 1968, he played a safecracker in a 4-part episode of I Dream of Jeannie and later, in early 1969, he was a drug-dealing mortician on Mod Squad. In 1982, he guest starred as Jack Tripper's (John Ritter) grandfather in an episode of ABC's Three's Company. His final film appearances were in the 1984 films Gremlins and Sixteen Candles.
Andrews married Emily Barnes in 1955. They had two daughters, Abigail and Tabitha, and a son, Edward III.
On March 8, 1985, Andrews suffered a heart attack at his home in Pacific Palisades. He was transported to Santa Monica Hospital where he died later that day. A memorial service for Andrews was held at the St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Pacific Palisades on March 11.
- "Veteran Character Actor Edward Andrews Dies At 70". apnewsarchive.com. March 9, 1985. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
- "Edward Andrews, film veteran, succumbs to heart attack at 70". Reading Eagle. March 10, 1985. pp. D–14. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
- McGraw, Carol (March 10, 1985). "Edward Andrews, Veteran Character Actor, Dead at 70". latimes.com. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
- Edward Andrews at the Internet Movie Database
- Edward Andrews at the Internet Broadway Database
- Edward Andrews at AllMovie
- Edward Andrews at Find a Grave