Modern Screen magazine, September 1944
One night recently, after a swank Hollywood premiere, a big, handsome, pleasant-looking fellow and his pretty blonde wife stood on the forecourt curb of Grauman's Chinese theater waiting for their car to be brought around. They listened to the loudspeaker drone out the names of Hollywood's exalted big shots -- "Mr. Zanuck's car-- Mr. Goldwyn -- Mr. Mayer -- Mr. Cary Grant -- Mr. Gary Cooper -- Miss Greer Garson, please--" and on and on.
He had given the starter his name long before -- "Dana Andrews." Then he waited and waited expecting every next name to be his. But the minutes ticked by and nothing happened. Everybody got his car -- everybody but Dana Andrews. Dana waited almost an hour, then he nabbed the starter. "Hey, how about my automobile? I was here before all these other people."
"Yeah, I know," said the starter. "But look, buddy, this shindig is strictly for movie stars, not ordinary guys like you. Why don't you just go out to the lot like a good guy and get it yourself?"
So Dana went out to the parking lot and got it himself. He never told the starter that he was one of the stars of the picture.
Things like that are always happening to Dana Andrews. Hundreds of people still send him letters addressed "Miss Dana Andrews," not even sure if he's male or female. Movie columnists tag him a "newcomer." When he walks around Hollywood, not even the tourists give him a glance. And in the out-country, despite the recent hits he's bunched like Murderer's Row on the NY Yankees, Dana might as well be Joe the Jerk from Albuquerque.
Down in Georgia, where Dana was on location making "Swamp Water," he roamed around every night with a local taxi-driver to pick up the Georgia cracker drawl he had to use in the picture. He was there a couple of months, but the cabbie never did catch on who his famous fare was. He thought Dana was a carpenter on the crew. And in a small Indiana town where Dana toured on a War Bond Rally, a local master-of-ceremonies introduced him like this:
"Now we've got an actor who says he has been in Hollywood pictures. I don't mean he's a has-been -- he says he's still in 'em. I never heard of him myself, but anyway, here's Dana Andrews."
Before the next rally, Dana took the local yokel aside. "Look," he said, "as long as I'm here to sell War Bonds, why don't you introduce me as somebody special? Give me a little build-up whether you've heard of me or not!"
The emcee said sure. And Dana told him some of the pictures he'd made. So the next time Dana came on, he gave him this send-off:
"Now folks, I want you to meet Dana Andrews, the Hollywood star. He played in "The Ox-Bow Incident" that ran here in town the other night. Personally, I didn't like the picture, but that doesn't mean Dana Andrews isn't any good. I can't remember which part he played anyway!"
Dana likes to tell stories like that about himself because he's got a funny-bone built for a moose, and he thinks it's a wonderful joke that a gent like himself could hang around Hollywood for seven or eight years, make 16 pictures, operate under a double-deal contract for two of the mightiest producers in Hollywood, Sam Goldwyn and Darryl Zanuck, and still remain almost as unidentified out in the great wide world as the Unknown Soldier.
Of course, that sad situation is bound to be remedied sooner or later, and probably sooner. Because right now Dana is sprinting back and forth between "Wing and a Prayer" and "Laura", his first two super-special leads at 20th Century Fox. And there's Goldwyn's "Those Endearing Young Charms" coming up. He's the Number One fair-haired boy in Zanuckland, and smart Samuel Goldwyn, his other boss, is not one to let a treasure like Dana hang around twiddling his thumbs. continue
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