Dana Andrews (January 1, 1909 - December 17, 1992) was an American actor. He was born in Covington County, Mississippi as one of 13 children. His father was a Baptist minister. Soon his family moved to Kentucky, and later to Texas, where they settled in Huntsville. After school, Andrews studied business administration in Houston.
In 1931, Andrews felt that his interest was acting, and went to California to seek his opportunity in cinema. There he did all kind of jobs to earn his living. One of his employers believed in him and paid for his studies in opera and also at the Pasadena Playhouse, a prestigious theater and acting school. Andrews started to play on this stage and finally signed a contract with Samuel Goldwyn. It was, however, or another two years that he was offered his first role in a movie, which was in William Wyler's The Westerner, starring Gary Cooper, in which he played a supporting character.
Only a few years later, when he had appeared in several films, his leading roles in the 1944 film Laura, with Gene Tierney and in 1946 in The Best Years Of Our Lives, co-starring Frederic March and Myrna Loy, made him a star. But his popularity was short-lived. With a few exceptions, like Elephant Walk, starring Elizabeth Taylor and Peter Finch, after the 40's and mid 50's he had little success.
In 1963 Andrews became president of the Screen Actors Guild. A few years later he left acting being aware that he would not be offered enough roles to continue his career. He began working in an own business. He dedicated also during several years to fight against alcoholism, of which he had suffered himself in the first years of success as an actor.
Andrews was married twice. He married his first wife Janet Murray in 1932 and lost her only three years later when she died. His second wife was actress Mary Todd,who he wed in 1939. From his first marriage he had a son who died while Andrews was still alive. From his second marriage he had a son and two daughters. During the last years of his life, Andrews suffered from Alzheimer's disease. He died in 1992 in Los Alamitos, California from a heart failure and its complications.