Keith Andes

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Keith Andes
Keith Andes in Split Second trailer.jpg
Andes in Split Second (1953)
John Charles Andes

(1920-07-12)July 12, 1920
DiedNovember 11, 2005(2005-11-11) (aged 85)
Cause of deathSuicide by asphyxiation
Alma materOxford University
Temple University
OccupationActor, singer
Years active1932–1980
Jean Alice Cotton (m. 1946–1961)
(divorced) 2 children
Shelah Hackett (divorced)
ChildrenMark Andes
Matt Andes (b. 1949) musician
Military career
Allegiance United States
Service/branchSeal of the United States Marine Corps.svg United States Marine Corps
Years of service1939–1945
RankUSMC-E5.svg Sergeant
Battles/warsWorld war II

Keith Andes (born John Charles Andes, July 12, 1920 – November 11, 2005) was an American film, radio, musical theater, stage and television actor.

Early life[edit]

The son of Mr. and Mrs. William G. Andes,[1] Andes was born in Ocean City, New Jersey. By the age of 12, he was featured on the radio.[2]

The family moved to Upper Darby, near Philadelphia. Andes found work on radio singing and acting throughout his years at Upper Darby High School.

He attended Oxford University and graduated from Temple University in Philadelphia,[1] where he was a member of Sigma Pi fraternity,[3] in 1943 with a bachelor's degree in education. While at Temple he did not participate in the university's theater program, but spent his time working as a disc jockey for radio stations KYW, WFIL, and WIP.[3]

He began his Broadway career while serving in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II.[4]



His first screen role was a minor part in the film Winged Victory (1944). In 1947, he had a small but important role in the movie The Farmer's Daughter, the film that won Loretta Young her Best Actress Oscar. Andes, Lex Barker and James Arness played the title character's powerfully built and highly protective brothers.

In 1952, he appeared as Marilyn Monroe's sweetheart and Barbara Stanwyck's brother in the cult film Clash by Night (directed by Fritz Lang and co-written by Clifford Odets). He co-starred with Angela Lansbury in the 1954 film noir A Life at Stake after appearing in 1952 with Robert Newton in Blackbeard the Pirate. In 1958, Andes starred as crusading former Louisiana State Police Superintendent Francis Grevemberg in the film Damn Citizen. His co-stars were Margaret Hayes as Dorothy Maguire Grevemberg and Gene Evans as police Major Al Arthur. In 1970, he appeared as Chief of Staff of the United States Army, General George C. Marshall, in the film Tora, Tora, Tora .


An episode of Playhouse 90 brought Andes to television on August 22, 1957. He played a teacher in "Homeword Borne."[5]

On television, from 1959 to 1960, Andes portrayed Frank Dawson in the syndicated police drama, This Man Dawson,[6] the story of a former United States Marine Corps colonel who is hired to halt police corruption in a large, unnamed city. William Conrad did the series narration.

In 1963, Andes was cast with Victor Buono and Arch Johnson in the episode "Firebug" of the CBS anthology series, GE True, hosted by Jack Webb. In the storyline, Buono portrays Charles Colvin, a barber in Los Angeles, California, who is by night a pyromaniac. The United States Forest Service works to find Colvin before he can set more fires.[7]

Later in 1963, Andes was cast as the lawyer-husband on the 1963 Desilu CBS sitcom, Glynis, starring Glynis Johns as his wife,[8] a mystery writer and amateur sleuth. The next year, he guest-starred in Mickey Rooney's short-lived Mickey sitcom on ABC.

Andes starred as the manager of a radio station in the serial Paradise Bay, which debuted September 27, 1965.[9]

In his nearly five decades as an actor, Andes appeared in episodes of Cannon, Death Valley Days, Daniel Boone, I Spy, The Andy Griffith Show,The Rifleman, Perry Mason (in the episodes "The Case of the Skeleton's Closet" and "The Case of the Illicit Illusion"), The Outer Limits (in the episode "Expanding Human"), and Star Trek (in the episode "The Apple"). His work included voice acting in the animated Birdman and the Galaxy Trio (1967) as Birdman.[10] Late in his career, he appeared in films such as ...And Justice for All and Tora! Tora! Tora! (about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor). He also appeared as Prime Minister Darius in the Buck Rogers in the 25th Century episode "Buck's Duel to the Death".


On Broadway, Andes was in Kiss Me, Kate and starred opposite Lucille Ball in the musical Wildcat[11] in 1960, and later appeared on her 1960s sitcom, The Lucy Show. He later toured as Cervantes/Quixote in Man of La Mancha.

In 1947, Andes received a Theater World Award for his debut performance in The Chocolate Soldier.[12]


On November 30, 1946, Andes married Jean A. Cotton, a nurse, in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania.[1] The couple divorced in 1961.[13]

His two sons, Mark Andes (a musician in such bands as Spirit, Jo Jo Gunne, and Heart) and Matt Andes (also a member of Spirit and Jo Jo Gunne), survived him.[2]


On November 11, 2005, Andes was found dead at the age of 85 at his home in Newhall, Santa Clarita, California. He had been suffering from bladder cancer and other ailments and committed suicide[14] by asphyxiation, according to a report from the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office.[2] His remains were donated to medical science.


Year Title Role Notes
1944 Winged Victory Flyer Uncredited
1947 The Farmer's Daughter Sven Holstrom
1949 Project X Steve Monahan
1952 Clash by Night Joe Doyle
1952 Blackbeard the Pirate Robert Maynard
1953 Split Second Laryy Fleming
1954 A Life at Stake Edward Shaw
1955 The Second Greatest Sex Rev. Peter Maxwell
1956 Away All Boats Doctor Bell
1956 Back from Eternity Joe Brooks
1956 Pillars of the Sky Capt. Tom Gaxton
1957 Interlude Dr. Morley Dwyer
1957 The Girl Most Likely Neil Patterson, Jr.
1958 Damn Citizen Col. Francis C. Grevemberg
1959 Model for Murder David Martens
1959 Surrender - Hell! Col. Donald D. Blackburn
1961 Sea Hunt Todd Webster Season 4, Episode 37
1964 The Tattooed Police Narrator Voice
1967 Star Trek Akuta Episode: The Apple
1970 Hell's Bloody Devils Joe Brimante
1970 Tora! Tora! Tora! General George C. Marshall
1979 ...And Justice for All Marvin Bates


  1. ^ a b c "Jean A. Cotton Bride of Stage, Screen Actor". The Daily Messenger. New York, Canandaigua. December 2, 1946. p. 3. Retrieved June 14, 2016 – via open access publication – free to read
  2. ^ a b c "Andes, leading man to Marilyn Monroe, dies at 85". USA Today. Associated Press. November 27, 2005. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
  3. ^ a b Warburton, Albert F. (Winter 1961). "Behind the make-up of This Man Keith" (PDF). The Emerald of Sigma Pi. Vol. 47 no. 4. pp. 178–179.
  4. ^ "United States World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946". National Archives and Records Administration.
  5. ^ "'Homeward Borne' On 'Playhouse 90' Aug. 22". Altoona Tribune. August 17, 1957. p. 14. Retrieved April 20, 2015 – via open access publication – free to read
  6. ^ Erickson, Hal (1989). Syndicated Television: The First Forty Years, 1947-1987. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 0-7864-1198-8. Pp. 45-46.
  7. ^ "GE True". Classic Television Archive. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
  8. ^ Grant, Hank (September 25, 1963). "Andes Stars in 'Glynis'". The Decatur Herald. Illinois, Decatur. p. 15. Retrieved June 14, 2016 – via open access publication – free to read
  9. ^ "TV Highlights". The San Bernardino County Sun. September 27, 1965. p. 19. Retrieved April 20, 2015 – via open access publication – free to read
  10. ^ Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7. P. 109.
  11. ^ "(Keith Andes search)". Playbill Vault. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
  12. ^ "Theatre World Award Recipients". Theatre World Awards. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
  13. ^ "Actor Keith Andes Given Custody of Teenage Sons". Valley News. California, Van Nuys. August 16, 1964. p. 20. Retrieved June 14, 2016 – via open access publication – free to read
  14. ^ "Keith Andes". The Indiana Gazette. Pennsylvania, Indiana. Associated Press. January 9, 1986. p. 28. Retrieved June 14, 2016 – via open access publication – free to read

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