Modern Screen magazine, Sept 1944  cont'd

But even if Dana gets so grand and glamorous at long last that they have to escort him through the streets with an armed guard, he'll stay the same easy going, unaffected, down-to-earth guy he is today and always has been -- and this through one of the toughest campaigns to make Hollywood yell "Uncle" on record.

Maybe the reason Dana never got the glamour treatment in Hollywood is because he looks like no popular portrait of a movie god -- but like the guy next door or somebody's big brother. Not that he isn't plenty handsome, with a strong, chiseled face, thick wavy brown hair and friendly brown eyes. He's tall and strong, with he-man muscles and about the most honest grin in Hollywood.

He's the kind of guy you'd sure like to have around when the going got tough. But he's not a bit elegant - and whenever he tries to be, he flops like a fish out of water.

For instance, up until a few weeks ago Dana had only two suits to his name. He owned enough sports and lounging rags to keep the sun and rain out, but for show, the two ancient ready-made numbers were his wardrobe. He hadn't had any use for fancy duds on the sets, because for the past five years they've had Dana in some kind of costume or other every time he ran up against a camera. Fact is, in his past 10 pictures, he's been in a uniform. Then along comes "Laura," his big break, which called for a smooth, modern set-up.

In Hollywood, gal stars get all the wardrobe breaks. Studios hire the greatest designers in the world to dram up creations for the movie queens, and it's all on the house. But mere males have to pony up with their own clothes - a "suitable wardrobe" as contracts call it.

So Dana decided it was about time for him to get his shape draped in Park Avenue style. He went by himself to a tailor's, picked out swatches of fancy English woolens and ordered a half-dozen suits. He was pretty proud of himself when he showed up for the wardrobe tests, until he saw the dismayed frowns on everybody's faces. They hated to tell him, they said, but those suits! They just wouldn't do. In fact, they were terrible! Whoever picked them out--whoever in the world tailored them!
Dana didn't dare tell them they were his idea of sartorial splendor. He just junked the whole lot in the dark recesses of his closet. Then he ordered a couple approved by the studio wardrobe expert. Now Dana has a dozen suits in all, and it'll take him 20 years to wear them out.

Dana Andrews has stepped out to Hollywood's glitter gulches exactly four times in the past two years. On one of them, a visiting friend who wanted to see the movie stars dining and wining, practically forced Dana into Romanoff's for dinner. That time, Dana managed to forget his wallet so his guest had to pay the check. Another time he took in a night spot where, by some rare freak of fate, the headwaiter actually recognized him.

A mob of people were standing in line for tables, but the waiter bowed to Dana and his party, winked, and said, "Your table is waiting, Mr. Andrews." Since Dana had no table reservation, he knew he was getting the Hollywood treatment, and it made him so mad he walked out of the place!

"Just because I have a job that ballyhoos me is no reason to think I'm superior to anyone else," he growls. He has a complex that way, and has never looked on Hollywood or the acting racket as anything out of this world by even a few feet. He hitchhiked to Hollywood in quest of a career, and slaved and starved for half a dozen years before he even got his number tens inside a studio gate. He pumped gas, picked figs, hoisted pipe, herded a bus, dug ditches, shoveled cement, slept in attic rooms and felt the chilly California winter fogs through the seat of his pants -- all the things a movie-struck guy crashing Hollywood does -- only Dana was never movie struck in a ga-ga way. Not from the moment he made up his mind to be a Hollywood actor as a youngster back in Texas, did he harbor any phony illusions about himself or the thing he wanted to do.

Dana enjoys his 3 squares a day,
with emphasis on meats and salads.





Dana's 2-A status is strictly a family-occupation deferment though he's itching to get in.

And now that he's clicked at long last, there's nary a delusion of grandeur hanging around -- maybe because of what he's been through, and maybe because Dana Andrews is the kind of right guy that he is.

It was back in his home town of Huntsville, Texas, around 1929 that Carver Dana Andrews had the time and opportunity to bend a keen and critical eye on movie actors and uncover their tricks. He was just about winding up high school then, and he had a part-time job at the only movie palace in Huntsville, a house that got caught short when talkies came in and couldn't afford the expensive doo-dads to show the new talkie pictures the public was yapping for. They did the next best thing, which was run phonograph records on the side to hop up the silents. It was Dana's job to key the records to the thrillers. That meant he had to sit through every performance of every show and be quick on his needle and platter work.

Dana noticed that the first time he saw the movies, all the actors seemed to emote and stride around like gods and goddesses strictly from Olympus. The next time -- not so dazzling. After about ten or twelve performances of the same epic, the Hollywood boys and girls had no secrets or tricks from Dana Andrews. "Nuts," he told himself, "that acting stuff is easy. I can do that, and I think I will." From that minute on he was never troubled with stars in his eyes -- just a goal.      continue



home  |  articles menu