Friday, January 1, 2010

Dana Andrews

Dana Andrews was a leading man of the 1940s and 1950s, and despite an impressive career he has never been award a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Dana Andrews was born Carver Dana Andrews on January 1, 1909 in Covington County, Mississippi. The son of Charles Forrest Andrews, a Baptist minister and Annis Speed.

Dana 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. Dana's early jobs included digging ditches, driving a school bus, picking oranges, a stock boy and pumping gas.

Dana's 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. Van Nuys was right, Dana had something special.

Andrews studied opera and also entered the Pasadena Community Playhouse, the famed theatre company and drama school. Although, the movies did not really capture on Dana Andrew's singing voice.

In 1940, Dana Andrews made his film debut in The Westerner.

Dana Andrews most memorable roles were as the gangster in the 1941 comedy Ball of Fire, playing a lynching victim in The Ox Bow Incident (1943), and a soldier returning home in The Best Years of Our Lives (1946).

Dana Andrews signature role was in the 1944 film noir Laura, playing an obsessed detective opposite Gene Tierney.

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).

Dana Andrews also appeared in State Fair (1945) The Iron Curtain (1948) Three Hours to Kill (1954) Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956) In Harm's Way (1965) The Devil's Brigade (1968) and Airport 1975 (1974).

Dana Andrews served as 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.

Dana Andrews is one of the first actors to do a public service announcement about alcoholism, having battled alcoholism himself.

Dana Andrews married Mary Todd on November 17, 1939 and they were married until his death, 53 years.

Dana Andrews died on December 17, 1992 of pneumonia complicated by by congestive heart failure.

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