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|Born||Carver Dana Andrews
January 1, 1909
Covington County, Mississippi, U.S.
|Died||December 17, 1992
Los Alamitos, California, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Janet Murray (m. 1932–35); her death; one child
Mary Todd (m. 1939–92); his death; three children
|Children||David Andrews (1933-1964)
Katharine Andrews (b. 1942)
Stephen Andrews (b. 1944)
Susan Andrews (b. 1948)
Steve Forrest (actor), brother
Dana Andrews (January 1, 1909 – December 17, 1992) was an American film actor. He was one of Hollywood's major stars of the 1940s, and continued acting, though generally in less prestigious roles, into the 1980s. One of his best-known roles, and the one for which he received the most praise, was as war veteran Fred Derry in The Best Years of Our Lives (1946).
He was born Carver Dana Andrews on a farmstead outside Collins, Covington County, Mississippi, the third of thirteen children of Charles Forrest Andrews, a Baptist minister, and his wife Annis (née Speed). The family subsequently moved to Huntsville, Texas, where his younger siblings (including actor Steve Forrest) were born.
He attended college at Sam Houston State University and also studied business administration in Houston, Texas. In 1931, he traveled to Los Angeles, California, seeking opportunities as a singer. He worked at various jobs, including pumping gas in Van Nuys. To help Andrews study music at night, "The station owners stepped in ... with a deal: $50 a week for full-time study, in exchange for a five-year share of possible later earnings."
Andrews signed a contract with Samuel Goldwyn and nine years after arriving in Los Angeles was offered his first movie role in William Wyler's The Westerner (1940), starring Gary Cooper. He was also memorable as the gangster in the 1941 comedy Ball of Fire, again teaming with Gary Cooper. In the 1943 movie adaptation of The Ox-Bow Incident with Henry Fonda, often cited as one of his best films, he played a lynching victim. His signature roles came as an obsessed detective in Laura (1944) opposite Gene Tierney, and as a U.S. Army Air Force officer returning home from the war in the Oscar-winning 1946 film The Best Years of Our Lives. Both films became classics. In 1945, he co-starred with Jeanne Crain in the musical State Fair. In 1947, he was voted the 23rd most popular star in the U.S.
He played a brutal cop in Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950), also with Gene Tierney. Around this time, alcoholism began to derail Andrews' career, and on a couple of occasions it nearly cost him his life on the highway. By the middle 1950s, Andrews was acting almost exclusively in B-movies. A handful of films he starred in during the late 1950s, however, contain memorable work. Two movies for Fritz Lang in 1956, While the City Sleeps and Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, and two for Jacques Tourneur, Night of the Demon (1957) and The Fearmakers (1958), are well regarded.
From 1952 to 1954, Andrews starred in the radio series I Was a Communist for the FBI about the experiences of Matt Cvetic, an FBI informer who infiltrated the Communist Party. In 1963, he was elected president of the Screen Actors Guild. Andrews later appeared in a leading role as college president Tom Boswell on the NBC daytime soap opera Bright Promise from its premiere on September 29, 1969 until March 1971. In 1960 he and Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. starred in The Crowded Sky. Fifteen years later, Andrews and Zimbalist appeared in Airport 1975, Andrews playing a businessman pilot who has a heart attack and crashes his plane into a 747 that Zimbalist is flying.
In the 1970s, Andrews was active in real estate, telling a newspaper reporter, "I have one hotel that brings me in $200,000 a year."
Andrews married Janet Murray on New Year's Eve, 1932. Their son David (1933–1964) was a musician and composer who died from a cerebral hemorrhage. Janet Andrews died in 1935 of pneumonia. On November 17, 1939, he married actress Mary Todd, by whom he had three children, Katharine, Stephen and Susan. For two decades the family lived in Toluca Lake.
Andrews eventually brought his alcoholism under control and worked actively with the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. In 1972, he appeared in a television public service advertisement on the subject.
He spent his final years living at the John Douglas French Center for Alzheimer's Disease in Los Alamitos, California.
In the last years of his life, Andrews suffered from Alzheimer's disease. In 1992, two weeks before his 84th birthday, he died of congestive heart failure and pneumonia. This is especially poignant in that Mr. Andrews had a photographic memory with instant recall. As a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, Carson commented on these remarkable mental gifts after Andrews recited verbatim his lines from a scene in the 1940s movie that Johnny mentioned as being one of his favorite WWII movies. This led into a discussion of Andrews remembering every line of dialogue from all of his movies, how he only had to read a script once to remember it permanently, and how these abilities made him popular with directors whenever there were script re-writes during filming.
- The Westerner (film debut, 1940)
- Lucky Cisco Kid (1940)
- Sailor's Lady (1940)
- Kit Carson (1940)
- Tobacco Road (1941)
- Belle Starr (1941)
- Ball of Fire (1941)
- Swamp Water (1941)
- Berlin Correspondent (1942)
- Crash Dive (1943)
- The Ox-Bow Incident (1943)
- The North Star (1943)
- December 7th (1943)
- Up in Arms (1944)
- The Purple Heart (1944)
- Wing and a Prayer (1944)
- Laura (1944)
- State Fair (1945)
- Fallen Angel (1945)
- A Walk in the Sun (1945)
- Canyon Passage (1946)
- The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
- Daisy Kenyon (1947)
- Boomerang (1947)
- Night Song (1948)
- The Iron Curtain (1948)
- No Minor Vices (1948)
- Deep Waters (1948)
- My Foolish Heart (1949)
- Sword in the Desert (1949)
- The Forbidden Street (1949)
- Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950)
- Edge of Doom (1950)
- Sealed Cargo (1951)
- The Frogmen (1951)
- Assignment – Paris! (1952)
- Three Hours to Kill (1954)
- Elephant Walk (1954)
- Duel in the Jungle (1954)
- Strange Lady in Town (1955)
- Smoke Signal (1955)
- While the City Sleeps (1956)
- Comanche (1956)
- Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956)
- Zero Hour! (1957)
- Night of the Demon (1957)
- The Fearmakers (1958)
- Enchanted Island (1958)
- The Crowded Sky (1960)
- Madison Avenue (1962)
- The Twilight Zone: "No Time Like the Past" (1963)
- Town Tamer (1965)
- In Harm's Way (1965)
- The Satan Bug (1965)
- Brainstorm (1965)
- Berlin, Appointment for the Spies (1965)
- Crack in the World (1965)
- Battle of the Bulge (1965)
- The Loved One (1965)
- The Frozen Dead (1966)
- Johnny Reno (1966)
- The Cobra (1967)
- Hot Rods to Hell (1967)
- The Devil's Brigade (1968)
- Night Gallery: "The Different Ones" (1971)
- Innocent Bystanders (1972)
- Airport 1975 (1974)
- Take a Hard Ride (1975)
- The Last Tycoon (1976)
- Good Guys Wear Black (1978)
- Born Again (1978)
- The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries: "Assault on the Tower" (1978)
- The Pilot (1980)
- Falcon Crest (TV series, 2 episodes) (1982/1983)
- Prince Jack (1985)
|1948||Lux Radio Theatre||The Luck of the Irish|
|1952||Hallmark Playhouse||The Secret Road|
|1953||Theater of Stars||The Token|
- "Dana Andrews". Find a Grave. June 12, 2002.
- Severo, Richard (December 19, 1992). "Dana Andrews, Film Actor of 40's, Is Dead at 83". The New York Times. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
- Coons, Robbin (September 27, 1940). "Hollywood Sights And Sounds". Big Spring Daily Herald. p. 7. Retrieved June 15, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Coons, Robbin (August 8, 1941). "Dana Andrews Has Makings Of Stardom". Big Spring Daily Herald. p. 2. Retrieved June 15, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Bass, Milton R. (August 16, 1977). "the lively world". The Berkshire Eagle. p. 6. Retrieved June 14, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Coe, Richard L. (January 3, 1948). "Bing's Lucky Number: Pa Crosby Dons 4th B.O. Crown". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 2, 2015. (subscription required (. ))
- Scott, Vernon (May 6, 1971). "Ann Jeffreys Happy in 'Bright Promise'". Schenectady Gazette. United Press International. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
- "Those Were the Days". Nostalgia Digest 39 (1): 32–41. Winter 2013.
- Kirby, Walter (November 30, 1952). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". Decatur Daily Review. p. 48. Retrieved June 14, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Kirby, Walter (March 15, 1953). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". Decatur Daily Review. p. 46. Retrieved June 25, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dana Andrews.|
- Dana Andrews on I Was a Communist for the FBI radio program
- Dana Andrews at the Internet Movie Database
- Dana Andrews at the Internet Broadway Database
- Dana Andrews at AllMusic
- Dana Andrews at the TCM Movie Database
- Photographs and literature