Actor. Born Carver Dana Andrews, he signed a contract with Samuel Goldwyn and nine years after arriving in Los Angeles was offered his first movie role in William Wyler’s The Westerner (1940), starring Gary Cooper. He was also memorable as the gangster in the 1941 comedy Ball of Fire. In the 1943 movie adaptation of The Ox-Bow Incident with Henry Fonda, often cited as one of his best films, he played a lynching victim. Andrews’ two signature roles came as an obsessed detective in Laura (1944) opposite Gene Tierney, and as a U.S. Army Air Force officer returning home from the war in the Oscar-winning 1946 film The Best Years of Our Lives. He played a crooked cop in Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950), also with Gene Tierney. Around this time, alcoholism began to derail Andrews’ career, and on a couple of occasions it nearly cost him his life on the highway. By the middle 1950s, Andrews was acting almost exclusively in B-movies. A handful of films Andrews starred in during the late ’50s, however, contain memorable work. Two movies for Fritz Lang in 1956, While the City Sleeps and Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, and two for Jacques Tourneur, Night of the Demon (1957) and The Fearmakers (1958), are well regarded. From 1952 to 1954, Andrews starred in the radio series I Was a Communist for the FBI about the experiences of Matt Cvetic, an FBI informer who infiltrated into the Communist Party. In 1963, he was elected president of the Screen Actors Guild. Between 1969 and 1970, he appeared in a leading role as college president Tom Boswell on the NBC daytime soap opera Bright Promise. In 1960 he and Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. starred in The Crowded Sky; Zimbalist played the part of a military jet pilot who crashes into a large passenger airliner that Andrews is flying. Coincidentally, fifteen years later, Andrews and Zimbalist appeared in Airport 1975 in which Andrews plays a businessman pilot who has a heart attack and crashes his plane into a 747 that Zimbalist is flying.
- January, 01, 1909
- Covington County, Mississippi
- December, 17, 1992
- Orange County, California
- Cremated. Ashes given to family or friend.