Modern Screen magazine, January 1945 cont'd
The next one was tougher. Dana was being backed financially by some men who had faith in his ability. They were staking him to his training at the Playhouse.
So they went on being engaged and waiting for something to break. And break it did, at last. Sam Goldwyn signed Dana to a contract. Dana flew to tell Mary.
Reluctantly, Dana went off to tell Mary. Usually she was calm about things, but not about this. She was furious.
"Yeah, but Mary, I don't get to see Mr. Goldwyn. I mean, he signed me to a contract and all, but that doesn't mean he comes around inviting me to his house for dinner."
But it wasn't as simple as that. Dana tried and found that Mr. Goldwyn was always in New York, or Washington, or in conference. So he thrust his chin out and adopted a policy of passive resistance. When the studio dreamed up romances for him, he just smiled pleasantly and forgot to show up for the dates. When he was invited out without Mary, he politely declined. Mr. Goldwyn's rep called him and said irritably, "Are you still going around with that girl? I notice they don't seem to be able to link you up with anyone else."
It went - touchingly, Dana thought - into the happy marriages combined with high box office ratings of various male stars. It was undoubtedly a honey of a speech.
Just then all hell broke loose outside the window. There was the scream of a fire siren, followed by shouts, general commotion and shrieking of engine wheels. Two large fire trucks arrived, disgorging firemen
Finally Dana saw Mr. Goldwyn again by accident, this time in the projection room. And suddenly, Dana got mad.
So, just like that, everything was settled. Dana could hardly believe it, after all the months of waiting. He felt like he was drifting around in a balloon. He came down to earth in a hurry though, when he got his father's letter. Dana's father was a minister, and strict. He had always considered the stage and motion pictures inventions of the devil and had preached against them for years. When Dana was a kid, he used to get a whipping every Wednesday night. Wednesday was prayer meeting night, and was Dana at prayer meeting? He was not! He was sitting in a "two for a quarter" movie house down the block, chewing gum and watching with utter absorption whatever was happening on the screen.
Dana's father had been pretty bitter over Dana's becoming an actor. And when he heard his son was going to marry an actress, you should see the letter that Dana got.
Of course, everything was eventually straightened out. Mary wrote to Dana's father and got a very courtly letter in return, which said he could see he had been entirely wrong about her, and he was delighted that Dana was getting such a sweet wife.
all or nothing.....
The day of the wedding the local society columnist ran a large picture of Mary and Dana with the caption, "Mary Todd gives up career to marry actor." And that was just what Mary was going to do. They had talked it over seriously. Mary was a darn good actress. She might quite possibly have a real future ahead of her in that field. She could get more out of a comedy role than any girl and the Playhouse, and in a lot of ways, she hated to give it up.
"But being married to you will be enough, Dana," she said positively. "We both want a family, and there's David, and your career is going to be terribly important from now on. I don't want to be just half a wife."
So the wedding came off on schedule, and Dana was the handsomest groom in history. They had two heavenly days together, and then he had to leave for Tucson, on location for "The Westerner." It was his first part for Goldwyn, and he was pretty excited.
Mary, meanwhile, was busy as a whole hive of bees. A lot of people had told her what a big eater Dana was, and she was going to be prepared. The first morning after he got back, they had bacon. Mary put a large griddle on the stove, and conscientiously fried one pound of bacon. She wanted to make sure Dana had enough!
On the whole though they lived in a state of idyllic happiness. Dana developed an acute interest in gardens. He'd never raised so much as a sunflower before, but now suddenly he was absorbed in seed catalogues and books on perennials.
Dana was using the garden as a sort of safety valve. Because for 7 months he didn't work in pictures at all. After "The Westerner," he made "Sailor's Lady" and "Cisco Kid." But after that, nothing. For 7 long months.
Then came "Two Men and a Girl." Dana had the second lead in that. He was all set now, everyone said. He'd be a star any day. Oh sure, but still nothing happened. More gardening. Then "Kit Carson." "This'll do it," his agent said, rubbing his hands gleefully. "They'll be fighting over you for romantic leads now, kid."
So did Dana's name go up in lights? It did not. He set his square jaw determinedly and worked harder than ever on his next picture, "Swamp Water." Then he got a nice gangster part in "Ball of Fire." Finally, along came "The Ox-Bow Incident" and Dana clicked in a way he never had before. You know how good he was in "Up in Arms" and "The Purple Heart." Dana was going places, and no one could stop him.
Meanwhile he and Mary built a new house.
something new will be added....
"It's really all right," Dana said in complete satisfaction, a month or so after they'd moved in. "David is nuts over that room of his, and our quarters are wonderful, and -- well, the whole thing is right, that's all."
So the Andrews family eventually acquired a daughter, Kathy, who was undoubtedly the most beautiful baby ever born. David was so excited he could hardly stand it, and went around boasting to everyone about his baby sister. But when Mary came back from the hospital with Kathy, there was still no nursery. Dana took David aside and put matters up to him. He could either move out of his room and sleep downstairs, or they'd put the baby's crib in his room with him.
The stork is flapping his wings over the Andrews menage again, and David is hoping for another sister. Dana and Mary will be happy with either a boy or a girl--Mary is convinced she's the luckiest wife in the world and when you look at Dana, you agree with her. A guy that's solid and dependable, yet terribly exciting. And it gives you a pleasant sort of hunch that maybe somewhere in the world is another guy like Dana -- for you!
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