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Archie Andrews as he appears in Archie #1 (July 2015). Art by Fiona Staples.
|First appearance||Pep Comics #22 (December 1941)|
|Created by||Bob Montana|
|Portrayed by||Christopher Rich (Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again)
K.J. Apa (Riverdale)
|Voiced by||Charles Mullen (radio; 1943-1944)
Jack Grimes (radio; 1944)
Burt Boyar (radio; 1945)
Bob Hastings (radio; 1945-1953)
Dallas McKennon (The Archie Show, Archie's TV Funnies, The U.S. of Archie)
J Michael Roncetti (The New Archies)
Andrew Rannells (Archie's Weird Mysteries, The Archies in Jugman)
|School||Riverdale High School|
|Spouse(s)||Veronica Lodge (from #600-602), Betty Cooper (from #603-605)|
|Significant other(s)||Veronica Lodge, Betty Cooper, Cheryl Blossom, Valerie Smith|
|Relatives||Fred Andrews (father)
Mary Andrews (mother)
Artie Andrews (grandfather)
Alistair Andrews (cousin)
Archie Andrews, created in 1941 by Vic Bloom and Bob Montana, is a fictional character in an American comic book series published by Archie Comics, as well as the long-running Archie Andrews radio series, a syndicated comic strip, The Archie Show, and Archie's Weird Mysteries.
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Montana attended high school in Haverhill, Massachusetts from 1936 to 1939, and his sketchbook, an illustrated diary of life in Haverhill, was the true origin of Archie Comics. After four years in the U.S. Army Signal Corps, Montana returned in 1946 to launch the Archie newspaper comic strip, which he drew until his death in 1975. Montana's daughters once made pages from this sketchbook available online. Several real-life residents of Haverhill were drawn into Montana's creation, as was revealed when film critic Gerald Peary interviewed Haverhill's cartoon character prototypes for the Boston Globe in 1980.
His friends, Skinny Linehan and Arnold Daggett, were the basis for Jughead Jones and Moose Mason respectively. School librarian Elizabeth Tuck inspired Miss Grundy and principal Earl McLeod was the model for Mr. Weatherbee. Montana knew the Boston Brahmin political family the Lodges, because he had once painted a mural for them; he combined their family name with actress Veronica Lake to create Veronica Lodge. Betty Cooper was based on Montana's girlfriend in New York. Pop Tate's Chocklit Shoppe, a soda shop where Archie's Gang hang out, was based on real-life locations frequented by Haverhill teenagers during the 1930s—Crown Confectionery and the Chocolate Shop on Merrimack Street and the Tuscarora on Winter Street.
Fictional character biography
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Archibald "Archie" Andrews (Archi Gómez in the Spanish version of the comics) debuted in Pep Comics 22 (December, 1941). Decades later, Archie is still a lovable, redheaded 16-year-old. Archie is the only child of Mary and Fred Andrews. His father works as a mid-level business executive. His earlier life is revealed in the "Little Archie" stories when he had a dog named Spotty. He lives in Riverdale, where he attends Riverdale High School.
Archie is a typical small-town teenager. Generous, well-mannered, but clumsy, he is genuinely liked by many of his friends. Archie goes crazy when he sees an attractive girl, but his two main crushes are Veronica Lodge and Betty Cooper, forming the love triangle driving the comic's plot-lines. He has the best intentions, but often comes into conflict with Veronica's father Hiram Lodge and Riverdale High's principal, Waldo Weatherbee. As the lead singer of The Archies, Archie performs with Betty and Veronica, as well as his rival Reggie, and best buddy Jughead.
Mary and Fred Andrews are of Scottish descent. Archie's paternal grandfather Andy Andrews, immigrated to the United States from Scotland and befriended Moose Mason's Russian ancestor, who had emigrated at the same time. Archie has been depicted wearing the traditional kilt of his ancestors and playing bagpipes (but not very well).
The Little Archie series, published from 1956 through the mid-1990s, chronicles the adventures of pre-teen Archie and his friends while in elementary school.
The 2010 revival of the Life with Archie series chronicles two alternate, parallel story lines in which Archie marries Betty and Veronica.
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The love triangle between Betty, Archie and Veronica became the hallmark of the Archie stories since the character was created more than 70 years ago. In Archie's debut, when he was nicknamed Chick, he was trying to impress the girl next door, Betty Cooper. Initially, Betty considered him only as an annoying neighbor. When Veronica Lodge came to Riverdale, he switched his attention to her, making Betty jealous. She began competing with Veronica for his affection.
Archie has feelings for both girls. Archie and Veronica Lodge date regularly, and he can count on Betty Cooper to lift his ego by showering him with affection. He often thinks of her only as a close friend and confidant. Betty loves Archie, but he frequently takes her for granted. Archie often borrows money from Betty to take Veronica out. Archie likes it that he can use Betty as a back-up when he does not have a date with his primary girlfriend Veronica. He dislikes it when Betty dates other boys, wanting her to stay available as his second choice. Now that Betty sporadically dates Jason Blossom and Adam Chisholm, Archie shows a tinge of jealousy. Archie is married to Betty in Archie Marries Betty: Life With Archie series.
Archie considers Veronica Lodge to be his girlfriend, but as beautiful, stylish, and wealthy as she is, Veronica can easily manipulate him, and although he sometimes realizes it, he cannot do anything about it. He keeps running back to her, but she is rarely devoted to him. Archie is always fighting for her affection with his rival, Reggie Mantle, and occasionally other boys. Veronica keeps Archie guessing, never letting him take her for granted, which makes him prefer Veronica over Betty. Archie has no problem chasing other girls when Veronica is not around, and despite Veronica's warnings he always dates Betty when Veronica is out of town. Archie is married to Veronica in Archie Marries Veronica: Life With Archie series, but then he wakes up from a horrible nightmare and realizes he's in love with Betty.
A third love interest is the wealthy red-haired girl named Cheryl Blossom. At first, she was deemed too sexual and a bit promiscuous and she was taken out of the series, but due to her popularity, she was brought back again in Love Showdown, a four-part mini-series in which Archie attempts to make the final decision between Betty and Veronica. Despite the efforts of both, he surprisingly chose Cheryl Blossom. However, he returned to being torn between Betty and Veronica, with Cheryl remaining only an occasional third option. At the same time, Archie also dates many other girls, including Ginger Lopez, occasionally.
On May 15, 2009, Archie Comics announced that Archie would finally pick one of the girls to marry. According to the Archie Blog, the miniseries would run in Archie issues 600-606 (August 2009-February 2010). However, Archie Comics publicly revealed this to be a dream sequence  to show two possible futures: one where Archie marries Veronica (issues 600-602), and the other Betty (603-605). In both, he has twins: a boy also named Archie who looks like him, and a girl named after and resembling whichever girl he married. Issue 606 was an epilogue to Archie Marries Veronica/Archie Marries Betty that returns to the comics' old format.
In Archie # 608 (May 2010), Archie began a relationship with Valerie Smith, making her Archie's first black girlfriend. The Archies and Josie and the Pussycats were touring together. While rehearsing, Archie and Valerie secretly fell in love as they co-wrote the song "More Than Words" that described their feelings. Issue #609 revealed that this relationship had seeped into common knowledge by the end of the tour. Archie and Valerie were forced apart when the Pussycats were touring Europe without the Archies, but hoped to keep their relationship going. In the comic Archie Marries Valerie, Valerie is expecting a baby with Archie, whom they name Star.
Jughead Jones has been Archie's best friend ever since childhood. When Jughead first came to Riverdale, he was in a bad mood and tended to dismiss Archie. However, Archie, of good heart, tried to cheer up Jughead and the two have been inseparable ever since. Jughead wears a trademark "clubhouse beanie" (a Depression-era style of makeshift hatwear, crafted from an inverted fedora with a scallop-cut brim, and decorated with assorted pinbacks) and an inscrutable, closed-eyelid expression. Often Jughead has to help Archie out from a tricky situation. Jughead usually knows when Archie's ideas will not work, but is powerless to avoid getting involved.
Reggie Mantle is Archie's constant romantic and athletic rival. Each often makes attempts to separate the other from Veronica, occasionally exhibiting physical violence, and both have won their fair share of scrapes with each other. Reggie takes every opportunity to play practical jokes on Archie and make cynical wisecracks. However, Reggie is often shown as a companion to and of Archie despite his arrogance and competitive nature, and they are often seen together practicing athletics or pursuing dates.
Archie's other friends include Dilton Doiley, the local genius who gets Archie into and out of trouble through his experiments and inventions; Moose Mason, the dim-witted but likable star athlete of Riverdale High who is often Archie's teammate; Chuck Clayton, another of Archie's teammates who was originally shy and reclusive but came out of his shell when Archie befriended him; Moose and Chuck's girlfriends Midge Klump and Nancy Woods, two of the very few attractive girls Archie does not fall for; and Ethel Muggs, a girl with a major crush on Jughead, who often wins his heart with the use of fresh-baked cookies.
Outside of dating, Archie largely enjoys sports. He plays baseball, basketball, and football for the Riverdale High teams. Though often not as good an athlete as Moose Mason, Chuck Clayton or Reggie Mantle, he proves a valuable member of the school team. Coaches Kleats and Clayton value him for both his athletic abilities and his team spirit. However, Archie's athletic abilities vary from story to story, due to his frequent clumsiness. He also has a tendency to pay more attention to cheerleaders than to his playing. For this reason, Coach Kleats often tries to avoid resorting to use Archie in a game.
Automobiles are one of Archie's hobbies, and he is passionate about his car. For decades, he was shown driving a 1916 Ford Model T jalopy called "Betsy". In Archie double digest #192, it is said to be a Model A. In a story during which Archie tried to have his jalopy insured, he described it as being a "Ford, Chevy, Plymouth, Pierce-Arrow, Packard, DeSoto, Hudson ..." explaining that his jalopy was "a collection of replacement parts from several junkyards", some of which dated back to 1926.
Archie's jalopy was destroyed permanently in issue #238 of Life With Archie, which was published in 1983. In the newer comics, he drives a mid-1960s Ford Mustang, which is more contemporary in appearance, but still unreliable and prone to breakdowns. Archie Digest 239, published in October 2007, included a new story in which Mr. Lodge owned an antique car that had a strong resemblance to Archie's jalopy. The story featured Archie's grandfather who, as a teenager, looked and dressed like Archie from the 1940s. It turned out that he owned the same jalopy that Mr. Lodge now owned.
The Archies is a garage band containing Archie (lead vocals and lead guitar), Reggie (bassist or guitarist), Veronica (vocals and keyboards), Betty (vocals and tambourine), and Jughead (drums). Archie founded the group himself. Although not as famous as Josie and The Pussycats, the band plays numerous gigs and has some notoriety. In the Little Archies series, the band just starts to form, although Archie, Betty, Jughead, Reggie, and Veronica start to play different kind of songs.
Death of Archie
72 years after the character's first appearance in Dec 1941, in April 2014, Archie Comics decided that the adult Archie would be killed in the July 2014 issue (#36) of Life with Archie, while the teenage Archie would continue in the other Archie comic series titles. In the issue, Archie dies when he is shot in the stomach while saving his friend, Senator Kevin Keller. The story is written so as to terminate both storylines, without committing to which girl Archie married, and contains several flashbacks to the Little Archie days. The final issue (#37) is set one year after Archie's death, as all his friends memorialize him. The story ends with Jughead, owner of the Choklit Shop, serving a sundae to three children who resemble Little Archie, Betty, and Veronica.
In other media
Montana's characters were heard on radio in the early 1940s. Archie Andrews began on the NBC Blue Network on May 31, 1943, switched to Mutual in 1944, and then continued on NBC radio from 1945 until September 5, 1953. The program's original announcer was Kenneth Banghart, later succeeded by Bob Shepard (during the 1947-48 season, when Swift and Company sponsored the program) and Dick Dudley. Archie was first played by Charles Mullen (1943-1944), Jack Grimes (1944) and Burt Boyar (1945), with Bob Hastings (1945-1953) as the title character during the NBC years. Jughead was portrayed by Hal Stone, Cameron Andrews and later by Arnold Stang. Stone later wrote about his radio career in his autobiography, Relax... Archie! Re-laxx! (Bygone Days Press, 2003). During the NBC run, Rosemary Rice portrayed Betty, Gloria Mann portrayed Veronica, Alice Yourman portrayed Archie's mother, Mary Andrews and Arthur "Art" Kohl was Archie's father, Fred Andrews.
- Archie Andrews appeared in The Archie Show, a 1968 cartoon series produced by Filmation. He also appeared in the various spin-offs produced in the same format. He was voiced by Dallas McKennon.
- Archie Andrews appeared in The New Archies, a 1987 re-imagining of Archie and the gang. Archie was portrayed as a pre-teen in junior high. He was voiced by J. Michael Roncetti.
- Archie Andrews appeared in Archie's Weird Mysteries voiced by Andrew Rannells. This version is a reporter for the local school newspaper.
There was a short-lived syndicated show in the 1970s, called Archie's TV Funnies. It featured other comic strip characters, such as Broom Hilda and Smokey Stover. Archie introduced each educational short, like the importance of bathing lesson from Nancy and Sluggo. A second syndicated show had Archie and the gang as themselves in different historical eras. The goal was to teach history.
- On 6 May 1990, NBC telecast Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again, a TV movie (and subsequent comic book) depicting the characters as adults 15 years after their high school graduation. Christopher Rich portrayed Archie Andrews.
- Archie is set to appear in Riverdale, a drama series for The CW with KJ Apa starring as the character.
- Archie Andrews appeared in The Archies in Jugman, voiced by Andrew Rannells. The film was released direct-to-video and takes place after Archie's Weird Mysteries.
- Archie appears as a character in the mobile game Crossy Road.
- Comic, Archie. "Archie Blog". Archie-blogs.archiecomics.com. Retrieved 2010-08-16.
- "Media Discover Archie/Veronica Marriage an Imaginary Story". Comics Worth Reading. Retrieved 2010-08-16.
- Life With Archie #238, The Grand Comics Database Project
- Archived October 12, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- Ethan Sacks (April 8, 2014). "Archie slated to die in pages of comic book". NY Daily News.
- "For fans of Archie, comic book character's sacrifice to save gay friend makes an impact". The Gazette, July 14, 2014.
- Siegel, Lucas (November 5, 2015). "Riverdale Casting Breakdown Reveals Major Changes for Archie Andrews and Friends". ComicBook.com.
- Andreeva, Nellie (February 24, 2016). "‘Riverdale’ Finds Its Archie & Josie: KJ Apa To Topline CW Pilot". Deadline.
- Haverhill cartoonist Bob Montana
- Archie:To Riverdale and Back Again at the Internet Movie Database
- Archie trivia (Archived 2009-10-25)
- Interview with Michael Silberkleit by Rik Offenberger
- Vanity Fair: "American Idol" by Jim Windolf" (December 20, 2006)
- Gallery of Archie covers #1-200
- Archie Universe
- Archie at Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on April 4, 2012.
- Archie as Pureheart the Powerful at Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on April 9, 2012.