|Carver Dana Andrews was born in Mississippi on New Year's Day 1909, the third of nine kids. The family eventually settled in Huntsville, Texas, where Dana went to high school and college. He had an early interest in dramatics and after college, quit a promising job as an accountant and hitchhiked to Los Angeles to break into the movies (much to the horror of his Baptist minister father).
It was a long time before Dana'd get a chance to act in films, so in the meantime he had a lot of odd jobs, studied opera (he had a very fine singing voice), and got valuable acting experience at the Pasadena Playhouse.
He was married twice - his first wife, Janet Murray, tragically died of pneumonia when they'd been married only three years (1932-35). She left him a son, David.
His second marriage, to Mary Todd, came about the same time he got a small part in his first movie, "The Westerner" (1940). Increasingly larger roles followed for the next 4 years. It was "Laura" that clinched Dana's stardom and he would work steadily as a leading man in dramas, films noir, and Westerns for the next decade or more. He and Mary also raised three more children - a son Stephen, and two daughters, Kathy and Susan. The marriage would last the rest of Dana's life.
During the 50s and 60s his career suffered seriously due to his alcoholism. However, he eventually prevailed and in the 70s became one of the first celebrities to speak publicly about the dangers of the disease.
Dana continued to make movies and did a lot of TV as well. He also had a successful real estate business, which he always said was more lucrative than his movie career.
Toward the end of his life he was a victim of Alzheimer's and died of pneumonia on December 17, 1992.
(for more biographical info, 1940s fan-magazine-style, check out the Movie Magazines section of this site)
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