At 83 years old, Dana Andrews has this physical status:
Carver Dana Andrews (January 1, 1909 to December 17, 1992) was an American film actor and a major Hollywood celebrity in the 1940s.
He continued to act in less prominent roles into the 1980s.
He is best known for his contributions as a police detective-lieutenant in Laura (1944) and as war veteran Fred Derry in The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), the former being the role for which he received the most critical praise.
Andrews was born on a farmstead near Collins, Mississippi, the third of Charles Forrest Andrews, a Baptist minister, and his wife Annis (née Speed). The family then moved to Huntsville, Texas, where his younger siblings, including fellow Hollywood actor Steve Forrest (born William Forrest Andrews), were born.
Andrews studied business administration in Houston at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville. He went to Los Angeles in 1931 to look for fame as a singer. He worked at a gas station in Van Nuys, a nearby neighborhood. "The station owners stepped in" to help the struggling Andrews study music at night, in exchange for a five-year share of future earnings," which he began repaying after signing with Goldwyn.
Andrews was seen in the film Oh Evening Star and Samuel Goldwyn, but the young actor wanted to work on a contract but felt he needed time to develop experience. Andrews stayed at the Pasadena Playhouse, appearing in over 20 productions and proposing second wife Mary Todd. Goldwyn was sold by a month after 18 months with 20th Century Fox, where he was brought to his first B film; his first appearance was in Lucky Cisco Kid (1940). He appeared in Sailor's Lady (1940), which was developed by Goldwyn, but Fox removed him from the series.
Andrews was loaned to Edward Small, who appeared in Kit Carson (1940), before Goldwyn used him for the first time in a Goldwyn production: William Wyler's The Westerner (1940), starring Gary Cooper.
Andrews appeared in Fox films Tobacco Road (1941), directed by John Ford; Belle Starr (1941), directed by Randolph Scott and Gene Tierney; and Swamp Water (1941), starring Walter Brennan and Walter Huston and directed by Jean Renoir.
Howard Hawks' comedy Ball of Fire (1941), again working with Cooper, with Andrews as the villain, a gangster.
Andrews was given his first lead in the B-picture war film Berlin Correspondent (1942). He was second lead to Tyrone Power in Crash Dive (1943) and then appeared in Henry Fonda's 1943 film adaptation in which he appeared as one of his finest in which he appeared as a lynching survivor.
Andrews then returned to Goldwyn for The North Star (1943), directed by Lewis Milestone. He appeared in Up in Arms (1944), supporting Danny Kaye, and appeared in a government propaganda film on December 7th.
Andrews was reunited with Milestone at Fox (1944), then Henry Hathaway's Wing and a Prayer (1944) was in the wings and a Prayer (1944).
In Laura (1944), produced by Fox and directed by Otto Preminger, one of his most popular roles was as a detective infatuated with a suspected murder victim played by Gene Tierney. He co-starred with Jeanne Crain in the film musical State Fair (1945), a huge hit, and he was reunited with PremingerChanging the film noir Fallen Angel (1945). Andrews made another war movie with Milestone, A Walk in the Sun (1945), but Walter Wanger was loaned to Walter Wanger for a western, Canyon Passage (1946), directed by Jacques Tourneur and co-featuring Susan Hayward.
The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), Andrew Wyler's second film, also for Goldwyn, was his best known: The Best Years of Our Lives (1946). Both a huge and critical success. The underlying documentary about American society's difficulties in re-integrating military veterans after World War II stymied Gone with the Wind (1939) in the United States and Britain, which was released. The film debuted at number 37 on AFI's Top 100 Years...100 Movies in 2007.
Andrews appeared in Boomerang!(1947), directed by Elia Kazan, Night Song (1947), at RKO; and Daisy Kenyon (1947) for Preminger. He was voted the 23rd most popular actor in the United States in 1947.
Andrews appeared in The Iron Curtain (1948), reuniting him with Gene Tierney and then Deep Waters (1948). At Enterprise Pictures, No Minor Vices (1948), Lewis Milestone performed a comedy for Lewis Milestone (1948), then travelled to England for Britannia Mews (1949). In Sword in the Desert (1949), Andrews was in Sword in the Desert (1949), and then Goldwyn in My Foolish Heart (1949) with Susan Hayward. In the film noir Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950), he appeared as a fast-fisted police officer, as well as Tierney and Preminger. Alcoholism began to harm Andrews' career around this time, and on two occasions it almost cost him his life behind the wheel.
Edge of Doom (1950), Goldwyn's second film noir, was a flop. Andrews was then loaned to RKO to make Sealed Cargo (1951), in which his brother Steve Forrest has an uncredited role. "I'd have given my eye teeth to have worked with him," Forrest wrote in a "Word of Mouth" review for Turner Classic Movies.) Andrews appeared in The Frogmen (1951), then Goldwyn in I Want You (1951), an overwrought effort to repeat the success of The Best Years of Our Lives during the Cold War period Korean war.
Andrews appeared in the BBC series I Was a Communist for the FBI from 1952 to 1954, telling the story of Matt Cvetic, an FBI informant who smuggled the Communist Party of the United States of America.
In the 1950s, Andrews' film career waned. Assignment: Was not widely seen in Paris (1952). In Ceylon, he made Elephant Walk (1954), a film better known for Vivien Leigh's nervous breakdown and replacement by Elizabeth Taylor. Duel in the Jungle (1954) was an adventure story, Three Hours to Kill (1954) and Smoke Signal (1955) were Westerns, Strange Lady in Town (1955) was another Western.
Andrews was almost exclusively in B-movies by the mid-1950s. However, Fritz Lang's appearance in two late-cycle film noirs, Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, Curse of the Demon (1957), and a noir, The Fearmakers (1958), for Jacques Tourneur are all well-regarded. He appeared in Spring Reunion (1957), Zero Hour (1957) around this period. (1957) and Enchanted Island (1958).
In 1952, Andrews toured with his wife, Mary Todd, in The Glass Menagerie, and on 1958, he replaced Henry Fonda (his former co-star in The Oxbow Incident and Daisy Kenyon) on Broadway in Two.
Andrews began appearing on television on programs including Playhouse 90 ("Right Hand Man"), "Alas, Babylon"), The Barbara Stanwyck Show, The DuPont Show of the Week," "No Time Like the Past"), The Dick Powell Theatre, Alcoa Premiere, Ben Casey, and Theatre of Stars.
Andrews continued to produce films such as The Crowded Sky (1960) and Madison Avenue (1961). He went to Broadway for The Captains and the Kings, which had a brief appearance in 1962.
He was elected president of the Screen Actors Guild in 1963.
Andrews returned to film in 1965 with support roles in The Satan Bug and In Harm's Way. Although he was in lead roles in films including Crack in the World (1965), Brainstorm (1965), and Town Tamer (1965), he was increasingly cast in supporting roles: Berlin, Appointment for the Spies (1965), Battle of the Bulge (1965), and Johnny Reno (1966). He appeared in Low-bud Short Films like The Frozen Dead (1966), The Cobra (1967) and Hot Rods to Hell (1967), but by the late 1960s, he had transformed into a character actor, as in The Ten Million Dollar Grab (1967), No Diamonds for Ursula (1967).
Andrews returned to television to play college president Tom Boswell on NBC's daytime soap opera Bright Promise from September 29, 1969, until March 1971.
Andrews spent the 1970s in supporting roles in Hollywood films, including "The Failing of Raymond (1971), Innocent Bystanders (1972), A Shadow in the Streets (1975), The Last Hurrah (1976), and Good Guys Wear Black (1978).
He has appeared on television in shows such as Ironside, Get Christie Love!, Ellery Queen, The American Girls, The American Girls, The Hardy Boys, and The Love Boat.
Andrews became involved in the real estate market during the 1970s, according to one newspaper reporter, who said, "a hotel that draws in $200,000 a year."
Born Again (1978), Ike: The War Years (1979), The Pilot (1980), and Prince Jack (1985).