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Dana Andrews – MovieActors.com

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Andrews in THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES.

About Dana Andrews (1909 – 1992)

Dana Andrews was born on January 1st, 1909, in Covington County, Mississippi. On December 17, 1992, Dana Andrews passed away in Los Alamitos, California, from pneumonia, complicated by congestive heart failure.

Carver Dana Andrews is Dana Andrews' birth name. He was one of 13 children of Annis nee Speed and Charles Forrest Andrews, a Baptist Minister.

The Andrews family moved to Huntsville, Texaas where Dana and his siblings grew up. Dana went to Sam Houston State University, where he studied business. In 1931, he decided he would hitch hike to California, and try to get into acting. One of the many jobs he did, was working at a gas station. The owner had so much faith in Dana that he paid for Dana's further education in music and drama, with the stipulation that Dana would repay him when Dana made it big.

Dana studied opera and enrolled at the Pasadena Community Playhouse; a well-known theatre company and drama school. During the 1930s, Dana was in many plays, and became a popular actor with the theatre company! A play about the composers Gilbert and Sullivan is how Dana Andrews caught the eye of and was offered a contract by Samuel Goldwyn.

During the 1940s', Dana Andrews became a popular movie star, and was in demand for roles in many films. His climb to fame started in 1940, when he was cast in the film, THE WESTERNER, starring Gary Cooper. In 1941, he portrayed a gangster, in the comedy, BALL OF FIRE. In 1943, he was well remembered for playing the role of the lynching victim, in the drama, THE OX-BOW INCIDENT, that starred Henry Fonda.

However, the role that really launched Dana Andrews' career was that of the police detective in the hit movie, LAURA, in 1944. This film was followed by the mega-hit, THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES;(1946), a film that won seven Academy Award Oscars; including: Best Director, Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor.

Dana Andrews was also a trained opera singer, though he never used his singing voice in the movies. In 1945, he was in a musical, STATE FAIR, but was dubbed by another singer, because the studio didn't know he was a trained singer. Dana wanted to give this singer a chance to make some money.

In 1952, when his contract had ended, he founded his own company, Lawrence Productions.

Dana Andrews had a well-known drinking problem, probably because he didn't show his emotions. As his alcoholism grew worse, producers often had reservations about casting him, though he still got lots of roles in "B" MOVIES. After years of struggle, Andrews worked to end his addiction and became an outspoken member of the National Council on 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."

Despite his issues, Dana and Mary kept their marriage intact. They were married in 1939.

Andrews was cast in two of Fritz Lang's 1956 films: WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS, and BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT. Dana Andrews also was in two of Jacque Tourner films:NIGHT OF THE DEMON;(1957) and THE FEARMAKERS;(1958).

Dana Andrews has played a captain in three airborne disaster dramas: ZERO HOUR! in 1957, THE CROWDED SKY in 1960 and in AIRPORT '75 in 1974.

From 1963 to 1965, Dana Andrews was the President of the Screen Actors Guild.

In 1965, Dana Andrews was in eight projects Tthat really interested him: IN HARM'S WAY, THE SATAN BUG, BRAINSTORM, BERLIN, APPOINTMENT FOR THE SPIES, CRACK IN THE WORLD, BATTLE OF THE BULGE, and THE LOVED ONE.

During the 1960s', Dana cut back on his films though, and went into real estate, making a lot of money. By 1982, he retired, having made all the money he wanted to, and just did projects that interested him. But, he never flaunted his weatlh, though, as he and Mary chose to live in a modest home in Studio City.

Dana Andrews experienced several tragic losses in his life. Dana married his first wife, Janet Murray, on New Year's Eve of 1932. She died of pneumonia in 1935. Their son, David;(1933) grew up to be a pianist, organist, composer, and radio announcer, but died in his prime at 31 from a cerebral hemorrhage.

Dana did have three children with his 2nd wife, Mary: Katharine, Stephen and Susan. When Dana died, he had three grandchildren as well.

Dana Andrews's notable movie credits include...

PRINCE JACK (1985)
THE PILOT (1981)
BORN AGAIN (1978)
THE LAST TYCOON (1976)
HOT RODS TO HELL (1967)
BRAINSTORM (1965)
ENCHANTED ISLAND (1958)
COMANCHE (1956)
THE IRON CURTAIN (1948)
BOOMERANG! (1947)
FALLEN ANGEL (1945)
LUCKY CISCO KID (1940)


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Andrews with his co-stars in THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES (1946).

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Dana Andrews in LAURA (1944).

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Dana Andrews in FALLEN ANGEL (1945).

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Andrews in WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS.


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