Dana Andrews Biography

(Best Known for His Role as ‘Fred Derry’ in the Film ‘The Best Years of Our Lives’)

Birthday: January 1, 1909 (Capricorn)

Born In: Collins, Mississippi, United States

Carver Dana Andrews was an American actor known for his roles in films like ‘Laura’ and ‘The Best Years of Our Lives’. Born in southern Mississippi, in Covington County, he was the son of a Baptist minister and his wife. He studied at Sam Houston State University. Singing was his first passion and he tried to become a singer before pursuing acting. After much struggle, he landed an important role in the western film ‘Lucky Cisco Kid’, which was directed by H Bruce Humberstone. He played his first lead role in the movie ‘Berlin Correspondent’, after which he gained attention for several other movies like ‘Crash Dive’, and ‘The Ox-Bow Incident’. As a young man, he achieved immense success and became a superstar during the 1940s. However, he suffered from alcoholism during the latter part of his life and this addiction led to his decline. Eventually, he controlled his addiction and later worked actively with the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. He suffered from Alzheimer’s disease during the last years of his life.
Quick Facts

Also Known As: Carver Dana Andrews

Died At Age: 83


Spouse/Ex-: Mary Todd (m. 1939), Janet Murray (m. 1932 – her death. 1935)

father: Charles Forrest Andrews

mother: Annis Andrews

siblings: Steve Forrest

Actors American Men

Height: 5'10" (178 cm), 5'10" Males

Died on: December 17, 1992

place of death: Los Alamitos, California, United States

: Cerebral Hemorrhage

Notable Alumni: Sam Houston State University

Cause of Death: Congestive Heart Failure

Diseases & Disabilities: Alzheimer's

U.S. State: Mississippi

More Facts

education: Sam Houston State University

Childhood & Early Life
Carver Dana Andrews was born on 1st January 1909 in a farmstead near Collins in southern Mississippi in Covington County. He was the third of thirteen children of Charles Forrest Andrews, a Baptist minister, and his wife, whose name was Annis Speed. The family eventually relocated to Huntsville in Walker County.
Andrews graduated from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, after which he studied business administration in Houston. He later traveled to Los Angeles, California, to pursue a career as a singer. He worked various jobs during this time, including a stint at a gas station.
Continue Reading Below
Recommended Lists:
In 1940, Dana Andrews landed a role in the western film ‘Lucky Cisco Kid’, where he played a supporting role. The film was directed by H Bruce Humberstone.
After appearing in films such as ‘Sailor’s Lady’, ‘Tobacco Road’ and ‘Kit Carson’, he played his first lead role in the movie ‘Berlin Correspondent’ in 1942. Directed by Eugene Forde, the film was about an American radio correspondent reporting from within Nazi Germany.
His popularity reached new heights after his work in the 1944 American film ‘Laura’. Directed by Otto Preminger, the film is based on the 1943 novel of the same name, written by Vera Caspary. The film was named by the American Film Institute as one of the ten best mystery films. It won several awards and nominations, including an Oscar.
Andrews also received appreciation for his role in the 1946 film ‘The Best Years of Our Lives’, which was directed by William Wyler. The film was about three United States servicemen returning to civilian life after the Second World War. The film did well commercially, earning over $23 million on a budget of around $2 million.
Andrews appeared in many films over the years, including ‘Boomerang’ (1947), ‘Night Song’ (1947), ‘No Minor Vices’ (1948), ‘Sealed Cargo’ (1951), ‘Assignment: Paris’ (1952), ‘Duel in the Jungle’ (1954) and ‘Strange Lady in Town’ (1955).
From 1952 to 1954, he also starred in the radio series ‘I Was a Communist for the FBI’, which was about Matt Cvetic, an FBI informant, who infiltrated the Communist Party of the United States of America.
He was also active on television. His small screen shows include ‘General Electric Theatre’, ‘The Barbara Stanwyck Show’, and ‘The Twilight Zone’.
Some of Andrews’ films in the 1960s and 1970s were ‘The Frozen Dead’ (1966), ‘The Cobra’ (1967), ‘Hot Rods to Hell’ (1967), ‘Innocent Bystanders’ (1972), ‘The Last Tycoon’ (1976) and ‘Good Guys Wear Black’ (1978).
During the last years of his life, Andrews also became involved in real estate business. He was reported to own a hotel. The final roles of Andrews’ life came in the movies ‘Born Again’ (1978), ‘The War Years’ (1979) and ‘The Pilot’ (1980).
Major Works
The 1946 drama film ‘The Best Years of Our Lives’, is without a doubt one of Dana Andrews’ most popular works. Directed by William Wyler, the film also starred actors such as Myrna Loy, Fredric March, Teresa Wright and Harold Russell. The film won nine Academy Awards, including the one for Best Picture.
Another well-known work in Andrews’ career is the 1972 spy thriller ‘Innocent Bystanders’. Directed by Peter Collinson, the film starred actors like Stanley Baker, Geraldine Chaplin, Donald Pleasence, Sue Lloyd and Derren Nesbitt. The film revolves around an aging British secret agent, who is tasked with returning a Russian scientist who is a defector.
The last film of his career is ‘Prince Jack,’ a 1985 film directed by Bert Lovitt. The film is about some of the inner workings of the Kennedy administration. Other actors in the film were Robert H Hogan, James F Kelly, and Kenneth Mars.
Family & Personal Life
Dana Andrews was married twice. His first wife was Janet Murray, whom he married on 31st December 1932. Unfortunately, she passed away in 1935. They had one son named David, who became a musician and a composer.
Four years after his first wife’s death, he married actress Mary Todd. They had three children named Katharine, Stephen and Susan.
He passed away on 17th December 1992, just a few days before his 84th birthday. He was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease during the last years of his life.

See the events in life of Dana Andrews in Chronological Order

How To Cite

Article Title
- Dana Andrews Biography
- Editors, TheFamousPeople.com
- TheFamousPeople.com

People Also Viewed

Macaulay Culkin Biography
Macaulay Culkin
Timothée Chalamet Biography
Timothée Chalamet
Alan Ritchson Biography
Alan Ritchson
Bruce Willis Biography
Bruce Willis
Sylvester Stallone Biography
Sylvester Stallone
Dwayne Johnson Biography
Dwayne Johnson
Leonardo DiCaprio Biography
Leonardo DiCaprio
Katt Williams Biography
Katt Williams