Dana Andrews


01 Jan 1909


Covington County, Mississippi, USA


Carver Dana Andrews


American leading man of the 1940s and 1950s, Dana Andrews, was born Carver Dana Andrews on a farm by Collins, Covington County, Mississippi. He was the son of Annis (Speed) and Charles Forrest Andrews, a Baptist minister. He was one of thirteen children, including actor Steve Forrest.

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. During his career, he had worked with with such directors as Otto Preminger, Fritz Lang, William Wyler, William A. Wellman, Jean Renoir, and Elia Kazan.

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 probably the first actor to do a public service announcement about alcoholism (in 1972 for the U.S. Department of Transportation), and did public speaking tours. 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.

Andrews was elected president of the Screen Actors Guild in 1963, serving until 1965. 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.

A quote from Bob Greene in "Chicago Tribune", November 3, 1993, read, "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."

Actor ( 116 credits )

A History of Horror with Mark Gatiss (2010)  Dr. John Holden (uncredited) (1 episode, 2010)
Clandestine (2009) Spy - Commercial (archive footage)
100 Years of Horror (1996)  Himself - Star - 'Curse of the Demon' / ... (2 episode
Preminger: Anatomy of a Filmmaker (1991) Actor - 'Laura' (archive footage) (uncredited)
American Masters (1985)  Himself (archive footage) (1 episode, 2001)
Prince Jack (1984) The Cardinal
Falcon Crest (1981)  Elliot McKay (2 episodes, 1982-1983)
The Pilot (1980) Randolph Evers
A Tree, a Rock, a Cloud (1978)
Black Tigers (1978) Edgar Harolds
Born Again (1978) Tom Phillips
The American Girls (1978)  Phillips (1 episode, 1978)
The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries (1977)  Townley (1 episode, 1978)
The Love Boat (1977)  Mr. Paul Gerber (1 episode, 1982)
The Last Tycoon (1976) Red Ridingwood
Take a Hard Ride (1975) Morgan
Good Morning America (1975)  Himself (1 episode, 1981)
Ellery Queen (1975)  Lewis Marshall (1 episode, 1976)
Airport 1975 (1974) Scott Freeman
Innocent Bystanders (1972) Blake
This Is Your Life (1971)  Himself (1 episode, 1973)
Mantrap (1971)  Himself (1 episode, 1971)
Night Gallery (1969)  Paul Koch (segment "The Different Ones") (1 episode, 1
The David Frost Show (1969)  Himself (1 episode, 1972)
Bright Promise (1969)  Thomas Boswell (1969-1970)
The Devil's Brigade (1968) Brig. Gen. Walter Naylor
The Name of the Game (1968)  Marvin Taylor (1 episode, 1970)
The Cobra (1967) Capt. Kelly
No Diamonds for Ursula (1967) Il gioielliere
The Ten Million Dollar Grab (1967) George Kimmins
Hot Rods to Hell (1967) Tom Phillips
Ironside (1967)  Courtenay Eliot (1 episode, 1974)
The Frozen Dead (1966) Dr. Norberg
Johnny Reno (1966) Johnny Reno
Family Affair (1966)  Harv Mullen (1 episode, 1969)
Battle of the Bulge (1965) Col. Pritchard
The Loved One (1965) Gen. Buck Brinkman
Town Tamer (1965) Tom Rosser
Brainstorm (1965) Cort Benson
Crack in the World (1965) Dr. Stephen Sorenson
The Satan Bug (1965) Gen. Williams
In Harm's Way (1965) Admiral 'Blackjack' Broderick
Spy in Your Eye (1965) Col. Lancaster
Cinema (1964)  Himself (1 episode, 1972)
Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre (1963)  Douglas Vinson (1 episode, 1964)
Madison Avenue (1961) Clint Lorimer
Ben Casey (1961)  Dr. Ernest Farrow (1 episode, 1964)
The Dick Powell Theatre (1961)  Nat Keough / ... (2 episodes, 1962-1963)
Alcoa Premiere (1961)  Adam Stark / ... (2 episodes, 1962-1963)
The DuPont Show of the Week (1961)  Commander Jason Vanning / ... (2 episodes, 1962)
The Mike Douglas Show (1961)  Himself (1 episode, 1971)
The Crowded Sky (1960) Dick Barnett
Checkmate (1960)  Judge Leland McIntyre (1 episode, 1962)
The Barbara Stanwyck Show (1960)  Clint Evans (1 episode, 1961)
Here's Hollywood (1960)  Himself (1 episode, 1961)
The Story on Page One (1959) Det. Lt. Mark McPherson (voice) (archive footage)
Twilight Zone (1959)  Paul Driscoll (1 episode, 1963)
Enchanted Island (1958) Abner 'Ab' Bedford
The Fearmakers (1958) Alan Eaton
Zero Hour! (1957) Lt. Ted Stryker
Spring Reunion (1957) Fred Davis
Curse of the Demon (1957) Dr. John Holden
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956) Tom Garrett
While the City Sleeps (1956) Edward Mobley
Screen Snapshots: Hollywood Goes a Fishin' (1956) Dana Andrews
Comanche (1956) Jim Read
Playhouse 90 (1956)  Leo Bass / ... (2 episodes, 1958-1960)
To Tell the Truth (1956)  Himself - Guest Panelist (1 episode, 1960)
Strange Lady in Town (1955) Dr. Rourke O'Brien
Smoke Signal (1955) Brett Halliday
Three Hours to Kill (1954) Jim Guthrie
Duel in the Jungle (1954) Scott Walters
Elephant Walk (1954) Dick Carver
General Electric Theater (1953)  Carl Anderson (1 episode, 1960)
Person to Person (1953)  Himself (1 episode, 1960)
Assignment: Paris (1952) Jimmy Race
I've Got a Secret (1952)  Himself - Celebrity Contestant (1 episode, 1960)
I Want You (1951) Martin Greer
The Frogmen (1951) Jake Flannigan
Sealed Cargo (1951) Pat Bannon
Edge of Doom (1950) Father Thomas Roth
Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950) Det. Mark Dixon
What's My Line? (1950)  Himself - Guest Panelist (4 episodes, 1958-1962)
My Foolish Heart (1949) Walt Dreiser
The Art Director (1949) Himself - edited from 'Laura' (archive footage) (uncred
Sword in the Desert (1949) Mike Dillon
The Forbidden Street (1949) Henry Lambert / Gilbert Lauderdale
No Minor Vices (1948) Perry Ashwell
Deep Waters (1948) Hod Stillwell
The Iron Curtain (1948) Igor Gouzenko
The Ed Sullivan Show (1948)  Himself (2 episodes, 1952-1958)
Daisy Kenyon (1947) Dan O'Mara
Night Song (1947) Dan Evans
Boomerang! (1947) State's Atty. Henry L. Harvey
The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) Fred Derry
Canyon Passage (1946) Logan Stuart
A Walk in the Sun (1945) Sgt. Bill Tyne
Fallen Angel (1945) Eric Stanton
State Fair (1945) Pat Gilbert
Wing and a Prayer (1944) Lt. Cmdr. Edward Moulton
The Purple Heart (1944) Capt. Harvey Ross
Up in Arms (1944) Joe
Laura (1944) Det. Lt. Mark McPherson
December 7th: The Movie (1943) Ghost of US sailor killed at Pearl Harbor
The North Star (1943) Kolya Simonov
The Ox-Bow Incident (1943) Donald Martin
Crash Dive (1943) Lt. Cmdr. Dewey Connors
Berlin Correspondent (1942) Bill Roberts
Ball of Fire (1941) Joe Lilac
Swamp Water (1941) Ben
Belle Starr (1941) Maj. Thomas Crail
Tobacco Road (1941) Capt. Tim Harmon
The Westerner (1940) Hod Johnson
Kit Carson (1940) Captain John C. Fremont
Sailor's Lady (1940) Scrappy Wilson
Lucky Cisco Kid (1940) Sergeant Dunn