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|Born||Carver Dana Andrews
January 1, 1909
Near Collins, Mississippi, U.S.
|Died||December 17, 1992
Los Alamitos, California
|Spouse(s)||Janet Murray (m. 1932; her death 1935)
Mary Todd (m. 1939; his death 1992)
|Relatives||Steve Forrest (brother)|
Carver Dana Andrews (January 1, 1909 – December 17, 1992) was an American film actor and a major Hollywood star during the 1940s. He continued acting in less prestigious roles into the 1980s. The role for which he received the most praise was as war veteran Fred Derry in The Best Years of Our Lives (1946).
Andrews was born on a farmstead near Collins in southern Mississippi in Covington County, the third of thirteen children of Charles Forrest Andrews, a Baptist minister, and his wife, the former Annis Speed. The family relocated subsequently to Huntsville in Walker County, Texas, the birthplace of his younger siblings, including future Hollywood actor Steve Forrest.
Andrews attended college at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville and studied business administration in Houston. During 1931, he traveled to Los Angeles, California, to pursue opportunities as a singer. He worked in various jobs, such as working at a gas station in the nearby community of Van Nuys. To help Andrews study music at night, "The station owners stepped in ... with a deal: $50 a week for full-time study, in exchange for a five-year share of possible later earnings."
He was in Sailor's Lady (1940), developed by Goldwyn but sold to Fox. Andrews was loaned to Edward Small to appear in Kit Carson (1940), before Goldwyn used him for the first time in a Goldwyn production: William Wyler's The Westerner (1940), featuring Gary Cooper.
Fox liked Andrews and since Goldwyn did not make films very often, he agreed to share his contract with Andrews with that studio. Andrews had support parts in Fox films Tobacco Road (1941), directed by John Ford; Belle Starr (1941), with Gene Tierney, billed third; and Swamp Water (1941), directed by Jean Renoir.
His next film for Goldwyn was Ball of Fire (1941), again teaming with Cooper, where Andrews played a gangster.
Back at Fox Andrews was given his first lead, in the B Berlin Correspondent (1942). He was second lead to Tyrone Power in Crash Dive (1943) and then appeared in the 1943 film adaptation of The Ox-Bow Incident with Henry Fonda. Often cited as one of Andrews' best movies, he played a lynching victim.
Andrews went back to Goldwyn for The North Star (1943), directed by Lewis Milestone. He worked on a government propaganda film December 7th: The Movie (1943) then was used by Goldwyn again in Up in Arms (1944), supporting Danny Kaye.
Andrews' second film with William Wyler, also for Goldwyn, was his most successful: The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), which was a huge hit and became perhaps Andrews' most famous performance.
Andrews starred in the anti-communist The Iron Curtain (1948), reuniting him with Gene Tierney, then Deep Waters (1948). He made a comedy for Lewis Milestone at Enterprise Pictures, No Minor Vices (1948), then went to England for Britannia Mews (1949).
He played a brutal police officer in Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950), also with Tierney and Preminger. Around this time, alcoholism began to damage Andrews' career, and on a couple of occasions it nearly cost him his life while driving a car.
Edge of Doom (1950) for Goldwyn was a flop. He went to RKO to make Sealed Cargo (1951) which was the only film he made with his brother Steve Forrest. At Fox he was in The Frogmen (1951). Goldwyn cast him in I Want You (1951), an unsuccessful attempt to repeat the success of The Best Years of Our Lives.
From 1952 to 1954, Andrews featured 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 of the United States of America.
Andrews' film career was struggling a little: Assignment: Paris (1952) was not widely seen. He did Elephant Walk (1954) in Ceylon, a film better known for Vivien Leigh's nervous breakdown and replacement with Elizabeth Taylor. Duel in the Jungle (1954) was an adventure tale; Three Hours to Kill (1954) and Smoke Signal (1955) were Westerns; Strange Lady in Town (1955) was a Greer Garson vehicle; Comanche (1956), another Western.
By the middle 1950s, Andrews was acting almost exclusively in B-movies. However, his acting in two movies for Fritz Lang during 1956, While The City Sleeps and Beyond A Reasonable Doubt, and two for Jacques Tourneur, Night of the Demon (1957) and The Fearmakers (1958), is well regarded. Around this time he also appeared in Spring Reunion (1957), Zero Hour! (1957), and Enchanted Island (1958).
Andrews went on Broadway in Two for the Seesaw.
Andrews began appearing on television on such shows as Playhouse 90 ("Right Hand Man", "Alas, Babylon"), General Electric Theatre, The Barbara Stanwyck Show, Checkmate, The DuPont Show of the Week, The Twilight Zone ("No Time Like the Past"), The Dick Powell Theatre, Alcoa Premiere, Ben Casey, and Theatre of Stars.
During 1963, he was elected president of the Screen Actors Guild.
Andrews resumed film work with The Satan Bug (1965) and In Harm's Way (1965), playing supporting roles in both. He had the lead in Crack in the World (1965), Brainstorm (1965), Town Tamer (1965), and Berlin, Appointment for the Spies (1966). However he was increasingly in supporting roles: Bang You're Dead (1965), The Loved One (1965), Battle of the Bulge (1965), and Johnny Reno (1966).
Andrews still played leads in low-budget films like The Frozen Dead (1966), The Cobra (1967) and Hot Rods to Hell (1967). He was normally a supporting actor now though, like in The 1000 Carat Diamond (1967), No Diamonds for Ursula (1967), and The Devil's Brigade (1968).
Andrews spent the 1970s in supporting roles such as The Failing of Raymond (1971), Innocent Bystanders (1972), Airport 1975 (1974), A Shadow in the Streets (1975), The First 36 Hours of Dr. Durant (1975), Take a Hard Ride (1975), The Last Tycoon (1976), The Last Hurrah (1977), and Good Guys Wear Black (1978)
Andrews married Janet Murray on December 31, 1932. Their son, David (1933–1964), was a musician and composer who died from a cerebral hemorrhage. Murray died during 1935 of pneumonia. On November 17, 1939, Andrews married actress Mary Todd, by whom he had three children: Katharine, Stephen, and Susan. For two decades, the family lived in Toluca Lake, California.
Andrews eventually controlled his alcoholism and worked actively with the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. During 1972, he appeared in a television public service advertisement concerning the subject.
On December 17, 1992, fifteen days before his 84th birthday, Andrews died of congestive heart failure and pneumonia. His wife died in 2003 at the age of eighty-six.
|1948||Lux Radio Theatre||The Luck of the Irish|
|1952||Hallmark Playhouse||The Secret Road|
|1953||Theater of Stars||The Token|
1952 - 1954 I Was A Communist For The F.B.I..
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