Hollywood Enigma: Dana Andrews (Hollywood Legends Series)

By Carl Rollyson

Dana Andrews (1909–1992) labored with exceptional administrators similar to John Ford, Lewis Milestone, Otto Preminger, Fritz Lang, William Wyler, William A. Wellman, Mervyn Le Roy, Jean Renoir, and Elia Kazan. He performed romantic leads along the nice beauties of the trendy monitor, together with Joan Crawford, Elizabeth Taylor, Greer Garson, Merle Oberon, Linda Darnell, Susan Hayward, Maureen O’Hara, and most crucial of all, Gene Tierney, with whom he did 5 movies. Retrospectives of his paintings usually elicit excessive compliment for an underrated actor, a grasp of the minimalist kind. His snapshot personified the “male masks” of the Nineteen Forties in vintage movies equivalent to Laura, Fallen Angel, and Where the Sidewalk Ends, during which he performed the “masculine excellent of steely impassivity.” No accomplished dialogue of movie noir can forget his performances. He used to be an “actor’s actor.”

Here eventually is the whole tale of a very good actor, his tricky fight to beat alcoholism whereas having fun with the accolades of his contemporaries, a profitable time period as president of the display Actors Guild, and the affection of friends and family that by no means abandoned him. according to diaries, letters, domestic video clips, and different records, this biography explores the secret of a bad boy from Texas who made his Hollywood dream come precise while he sought a existence except the limelight and the backbiting of contemporaries jockeying for prizes and status. referred to as “one of nature's noblemen” by means of his fellow actor Norman Lloyd, Dana Andrews emerges from Hollywood Enigma as an admirable American good fortune tale, scuffling with his internal demons and eventually winning.

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Mary Todd, Dana Andrews . . . convey the younger characters to life,” a reviewer wrote within the Pasadena celebrity information (January thirteen, 1937). Mary have been on the Playhouse in view that 1935. yet she had continuously enjoyed the degree and knew even more approximately it than Dana did. She cared approximately actors and their roles. “It was once ‘John Barrymore in . . . ,’” her daughter Kathy remembered. within the Todd apartment attic in Santa Monica, Mary tacked up photos of her favorites, making the distance right into a type of museum, jam-packed with costumes, hats and helmets, fencing apparatus, and souvenirs from her journeys in another country along with her mom and dad. As undefined, she loved Ruth Chatterton (1892–1961), an impressive degree actress who effectively made the transition from the silents to the talkies, starring in Dodsworth the 12 months Mary and Dana met. Chatterton got here for dinner years later in Weston, Connecticut, whilst Dana was once acting in for the Seesaw. Mary begun her freshman 12 months at UCLA, yet confident her mom and dad of her dedication to performing. prior to assembly Dana, Mary had played in Pasadena Playhouse productions as Helen within the Trojan girls and as Emma Woodhouse in Emma. within the latter function, she had acquired extraordinary experiences in a creation that moved from the Playbox Theatre to the most level in February 1937. She was once, each person spotted, a talented comedienne. and she or he additionally played good in critical drama. “Mary Todd is gorgeous as Hermione [in The Winter’s Tale]; within the early scenes she reads 88 Pa s a d e n a ( 1 nine three 6 – three eight ) her traces with readability and feeling; within the ultimate tableau she shines with a nonetheless internal radiance that takes where of all forgiving words,” wrote the Pasadena superstar information critic on November 23, 1937. Mary and Dana seemed jointly in First woman, within which a president’s granddaughter schemes to place her husband, the secretary of nation, into the White condominium. A collaboration among George S. Kaufman and Washington columnist Katharine Dayton, the play opened at the Pasadena Playhouse major degree on January 18, 1938. Emmy (Mary) is “a delicate and fluffy younger lady, very younger, naive,” traveling Washington, D. C. , for the 1st time and discovering it “awful confusin’” simply because not anyone potential what they are saying or maybe is aware what they say. Keane (Dana) is a “boy Senator . . . sturdy having a look, Western, and doesn’t recognize a thing,” which makes him an exceptional presidential prospect during this farcical play approximately nationwide politics. He ultimately turns into engaged to Emmy. After rehearsals Dana and Mary joined the forged at Sheetz’s drugstore for sodas, or on the Waldorf for espresso and sandwiches. in keeping with an account Dana gave Ida Zeitlin, Mary started to blot out his curiosity in different women—but there has been an issue. She had won weight because her functionality in Emma: again within the safeguard of his personal room, he’d seek advice from himself. “Andrews, this can’t be taking place to you. You’re loopy for those who imagine you could fall in love with a fats lady. ” “Who says I’m in love together with her. ” “Then give up putting round. There’s no legislation that says you want to visit the Waldorf. ” “I’ll by no means step foot within the joint back.

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