Dana Andrews

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Dana Andrews
CarverA.jpg
BornCarver Dana Andrews
(1909-01-01)January 1, 1909
Covington County, Mississippi, U.S.
DiedDecember 17, 1992(1992-12-17) (aged 83)
Los Alamitos, California, U.S.
OccupationActor
Years active1940–85
Spouse(s)Janet Murray (m. 1932–35); her death; two children
Mary Todd (m. 1939–92); his death; three children
ChildrenDavid Andrews (1933-1964)
Katharine Andrews (b. 1942)
Stephen Andrews (b. 1944)
Susan Andrews (b. 1948)
 
Jump to: navigation, search
For the American singer and musician, see Dana Andrews (musician).
Dana Andrews
CarverA.jpg
BornCarver Dana Andrews
(1909-01-01)January 1, 1909
Covington County, Mississippi, U.S.
DiedDecember 17, 1992(1992-12-17) (aged 83)
Los Alamitos, California, U.S.
OccupationActor
Years active1940–85
Spouse(s)Janet Murray (m. 1932–35); her death; two children
Mary Todd (m. 1939–92); his death; three children
ChildrenDavid Andrews (1933-1964)
Katharine Andrews (b. 1942)
Stephen Andrews (b. 1944)
Susan Andrews (b. 1948)

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).

Early life[edit]

He was born Carver Dana Andrews on a farmstead outside Collins, Covington County, Mississippi, one of thirteen children of Charles Forrest Andrews, a Baptist minister, and his wife Annis (née Speed).[1] The family subsequently moved to Huntsville, Texas, where his younger siblings (including the late 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. Reportedly, an employer paid for his studies in opera and also at the Pasadena Playhouse, a theater and acting school.[dubious ][citation needed]

Career[edit]

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. 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.[2]

He played a crooked 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 1952–54, 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. Between 1969 and 1970,[3] he appeared in a leading role as college president Tom Boswell on the NBC daytime soap opera Bright Promise. 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.

Personal life[edit]

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. He spent his final years living at the John Douglas French Center for Alzheimer's Disease in Los Alamitos, California.[4]

Andrews eventually brought his alcoholism under control. In 1972, he appeared in a television public service advertisement on the subject.[4] In the early 1980s, after former movie star Ronald Reagan had become president, Andrews told a magazine interviewer that Reagan's disciplined attitude toward alcohol (which Andrews had witnessed first-hand) was a big factor in his success.[citation needed]

Death[edit]

In the last years of his life, Andrews suffered from Alzheimer's disease. In 1992, at the age of 83, he died of congestive heart failure and pneumonia.

Select filmography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ By RICHARD SEVEROPublished: December 19, 1992 (1992-12-19). "Dana Andrews' obituary in ''New York Times''". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-12-10. 
  2. ^ Richard L. Coe. "Bing's Lucky Number: Pa Crosby Dons 4th B.O. Crown". The Washington Post, January 3, 1948.
  3. ^ Schemering, Christopher (1987). The Soap Opera Encyclopedia. New York: Ballentine. p. 48. ISBN 978-0-345-35344-3. 
  4. ^ a b Severo, Richard (December 19, 1992). "Dana Andrews, Film Actor of 40s, Is Dead at 83". The New York Times. 

External links[edit]