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Dana Andrews Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (2) | Spouse (2) | Trivia (11) | Personal Quotes (4)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 1 January 1909Covington County, Mississippi, USA
Date of Death 17 December 1992Los Alamitos, California, USA  (pneumonia, complicated by congestive heart failure)
Birth NameCarver Dana Andrews
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (2)

President of the Screen Actors Guild from 1963 to 1965, Dana Andrews was one of the first to speak out against the degradation of the acting profession, particularly actresses doing nude scenes just to get a role. Probably the first actor to do a public service announcement about alcoholism (in 1972 for the U.S. Department of Transportation), he was a member of the National Council on Alcoholism and did public speaking tours. Quote from Bob Greene, "Chicago Tribune", November 3, 1993: "To me, Andrews . . . represented both the grand possibilities and the ultimate despair the movies can offer a man. He was a certified movie star, yet by the end of his life he enjoyed neither artistic acclaim granted a Fellini, nor the ease of getting a job taken for granted by a Phoenix." Worked with such directors as Otto Preminger, Fritz Lang, William Wyler, William A. Wellman, Jean Renoir, Elia Kazan.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: <eal7238@mailer.fsu.edu>

American leading man of the 1940s and 1950s. The son of a Baptist minister (and one of 13 children), Andrews studied business administration at Sam Houston State Teachers College in Texas, but took a bookkeeping job with Gulf Oil in 1929 prior to graduating. In 1931 he hitchhiked to California, hoping to get work as an actor. He drove a school bus, dug ditches, picked oranges, worked as a stock boy, and pumped gas while trying without luck to break into the movies. His employer at a Van Nuys gas station believed in him and agreed to invest in him, asking to be repaid if and when Andrews made it as an actor. Andrews studied opera and also entered the Pasadena Community Playhouse, the famed theatre company and drama school. He appeared in scores of plays there in the 1930s, becoming a favorite of the company. He played opposite future star Robert Preston in a play about composers Gilbert and Sullivan, and soon thereafter was offered a contract by Samuel Goldwyn. It was two years before Goldwyn and 20th Century-Fox (to whom Goldwyn had sold half of Andrews' contract) put him in a film, but the roles, though secondary, were mostly in top-quality pictures such as The Westerner (1940) and The Ox-Bow Incident (1943). A starring role in the hit Laura (1944), followed by one in The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), made him a star, but no later film quite lived up to the quality of these. Andrews slipped into a steady stream of unremarkable films in which he gave sturdy performances, until age and other interests resulted in fewer appearances. In addition, his increasing alcoholism caused him to lose the confidence of some producers. Andrews took steps to curb his addiction and in his later years was an outspoken member of the National Council on Alcoholism who decried public refusal to face the problem. He was elected president of the Screen Actors Guild in 1963. He retired from films in the 1960s and made, he said, more money from real estate than he ever did in movies. Yet he and his second wife, actress Mary Todd, lived quietly in a modest home in Studio City, California. Andrews suffered from Alzheimer's Disease in his later years and spent his final days in a nursing facility. He died of congestive heart failure and pneumonia in 1992.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Spouse (2)

Mary Todd (17 November 1939 - 1968) (divorced) (3 children)
Janet Murray (31 December 1932 - 29 October 1935) (her death) (2 children)

Trivia (11)

Trained as an opera singer, but was rarely, e.g. in The North Star (1943), allowed to use his fine singing voice in the movies. In the one musical he did make, State Fair (1945), his voice was dubbed because the studio was unaware he was a trained singer. He later explained that he didn't correct their mistake because he felt the singer dubbing him probably needed the money.
Older brother of actor Steve Forrest.
Sons: David Andrews (1934-1964) & Stephen Andrews (b. 1944). Daughters: Katharine Andrews (b. 1942) & Susan Andrews (b. 1948).
In the late 1940s, during the height of his popularity, the publicist for Fox sent a telegram to the mayor of Collins, Mississippi suggesting that the town officially change its name to Andrews in honor of its native son. The mayor wired back: "We will not change our name to Andrews. Have Andrews change his to Collins."
(1963-1965) President of Screen Actors Guild (SAG).
Mentioned in the opening song to The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) ("Science Fiction")
Suffered from Alzheimer's Disease in his last years.
He appeared with actress Gene Tierney in five films: Tobacco Road (1941), Belle Starr (1941), Laura (1944), The Iron Curtain (1948) and Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950).
Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume 3, 1991-1993, pages 22-23. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2001.
Spent the last years of his life in a nursing facility in Los Alamitos, California due to Alzheimer's Disease. Fellow actor and long-time friend Burt Lancaster was visiting Andrews when Lancaster suffered the paralyzing stroke from which he never recovered and led to his death 2 years later.
He was a supporter of liberal political causes.

Personal Quotes (4)

[after having received "permission" from Samuel Goldwyn to get married] About a week before the wedding was planned I got a call from the casting director: "Let your hair and your beard grow. You're going to be in a western". So in the society column of the Santa Monica paper there was a picture of the two of us, me with this beard, and it said, "Mr. Andrews is an actor. Note the beard."
It's not difficult for me to hide emotion [on-screen], since I've always hidden it in my personal life.
[regarding his alcoholism:] Finally, I said to myself, 'You're a miserable man. Whether or not you want to remain miserable is up to you.' So I quit.
I went through all the psychiatry thing, trying to find out why I drank. I finally ended up with the president of the American Psychiatry Association in Hartford telling me, 'I'm damned if I know why you drink.'

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