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Milam County, Texas

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Dana Andrews

Forest Grove History
by Bill McDaniel

One of the interesting stories I found was that Rev. Charles F. Andrews, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Rockdale, held several funerals in the Forest Grove Cemetery. He held funerals for Jack Ware Currey and W. D. Young. Now what is so interesting about this?

Rev. Andrews had a small son called “Hoddy” Andrews. He used to play under the parsonage when a child. When Hoddy grew up, we came to know him as “Dana Andrews,” [1] one of the most popular actors in Hollywood. He visited Rockdale in the early 1930s and went under the parsonage and found a money wrench, marbles and a jack-knife he had left under the house years before. They had stayed there undisturbed all those years.

SOURCE: The Legacy, January-February 1998 [the newsletter of the Milam County Genealogical Society (MCGS), c/o Lucy Hill Patterson Memorial Library, 201 Ackerman St., Rockdale, TX 76567]


Full name Carver Dana Andrews, born 1 Jan 1909 in Collins, Covington Co., MS - died 17 Dec 1992 in Los Alamitos, Orange Co., CA. He was cremated. Attended Sam Houston State University, was an accountant with Gulf Oil Co. and, made his stage debut in 1935 at the Pasadena Playhouse in California.

Biography of Dana Andrews
Harry Brand, Director of Publicity
20th Century – Fox
Hollywood, CA
17 April 1946

Dana Andrews, whose screen contract is shared by Samuel Goldwyn and 20th Century-Fox, is another graduate of the Pasadena Community Playhouse.

A Mississippian by birth, a Texan by residence and an actor by inclination, Andrews has gained the hard way every advance he has made.

It was seven years after he hitch-hiked to California from Texas for the purpose of getting into pictures that he finally made the grade. During his early years in California he worked in a gas station, and as an oil salesman.

Andrews was born Carver Dana Andrews, in Collins, Mississippi, January 1st. His father, Charles Forrest Andrews, who died early in 1940, was a minister, and the Andrews family moved from one town to another as Reverend Andrews responded to his successive calls. Andrews’ mother’s maiden name was Anice Speed.

Shortly after Dana’s birth the family moved to Louisville, Kentucky, then to Waelder, Texas, next to San Antonio, then Uvalde, John N. Garner’s home town, and finally Huntsville.

Dana attended grade school in Uvalde, and high school in Uvalde and Huntsville. He graduated from San Houston College in Huntsville.

In high school Dana went in for dramatics, debating and football. In college he starred in psychology, law and English.

First he decided he’d like to be a playwright but later elected to become a singer, either in opera or concert work.

During 1928 and 1929 Andrews saved $1,000 for a trip to New York. He spent it all in two weeks and came home broke but had a grand time.

The following year, 1930, he became an accountant with the Gulf Oil Company in Houston. In 1931 he was chief accountant for Tobin’s, Incorporated, in Austin.

Late in 1931 he hitch-hiked to Los Angeles, hoping to get started as a singer or screen actor, or both. He ended by getting a job at a gas station in Van Nuys, a suburb of Los Angeles and Hollywood.

In 1935 two friends in Van Nuys started out to finance his career as a singer. After two years of this, an agent, after hearing him sing, asked if he could act. The answer was no and he advised him to go to the Pasadena Playhouse for schooling and experience. Beginning as a spear carrier, actually, in Shakespeare productions in 1936, he built up to speaking parts and later to feature parts.

In October 1938, one of Samuel Goldwyn’s talent scouts saw and liked him. Goldwyn signed him to a contract in December 1939. Having no parts for Dana at the time he allowed him to continue at the Playhouse for almost a year during which time he played some of his most important roles, among them the part of George Washington in “Valley Forge” which received much favorable comment.

His first role was a minor one, the part of Hod Johnson in the Goldwyn picture, “The Westerner,” starring Gary Cooper. In January 1940, arrangements were made for 20th Century-Fox to share his contract and he reported to that studio for the part of “Scrappy Wilson” with Nancy Kelly and Jon Hall in “Sailor’s Lady.” He followed this with the role of “Sergeant Dunn” in “Lucky Cisco Kid,” starring Cesar Romero. He has gone steadily ahead since then appearing in “Tobacco Road,” “Belle Starr,” “Swamp Water,” “Ball of Fire,” and “Berlin Correspondence.” His fine work in “The Ox-Bow Incident” with Henry Fonda won him a part of Lieut. Connors in “Crash Dive” with Tyrone Power.

Dana Andrews is married to Mary Todd, of Santa Monica, whom he met at the Pasadena Playhouse. Miss Todd gave up acting when she married Andrews on November 17, 1939. Only July 10, 1942, while Dana was working in “The Ox-Bow Incident,” their daughter Kathryn was born in Van Nuys. He also has a son David, by his first wife, who died in 1935. On December 16, 1944, a second son, named Stephen Todd, was born at Santa Monica, Calif.

Andrews is superstitious about three lights from one match. His favorite followers are daffodils and bachelor buttons. He favors Dickens, Shakespeare, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Van Gogh, A. J. Cronin, Maxwell Anderson, Grant Wood, Abraham Lincoln and the Philadelphia Symphony, amateur photography, vegetables and rare roast beef.

Andrews is an even six fee and weights 168 pounds. His hear and eyes are brown.

He has two sisters and six brothers, all living in Texas.

SOURCE: Valerie Yaros, Archivist at the Screen Actors Guild, 5757 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036.

Picture Record

1939 The Westerner
1940 Sailor’s Lady
1940 Lucky Cisco Kid
1941 Tobacco Road
1941 Belle Starr
1941 Swamp Water
1941 Ball of Fire
1942 Berlin Correspondent
1942 The Ox-Bow Incident
1942 Crash Dive
1943 North Star
1944 Up in Arms
1944 Purple Heart
1944 Wing and a Prayer
1944 Laura
1944 A Walk in the Sun
1945 State Fair
1945 Fallen Angel
1945 Canyon Passage
1946 Glory for Me
1946 The Best Years of Our Lives
1946 Boomerang

We must say a special thank you to Valerie Yaros of Los Angeles, CA for her kind assistance with gathering photographs and biographical information for use on the Milam County TXGenWeb site.

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Created on 1 Nov 2003 and last revised on 7 Sept 2004