Dana Andrews Made over 70 films


December 18, 1992

HOLLYWOOD -- Dana Andrews, whose film portrayals ranged from a sensitive, tough-talking detective in the 1944 movie "Laura" to a bomber pilot returning to a troubled civilian life in the post-World War II classic "The Best Years of Our Lives," died yesterday.

His brother, actor Steve Forrest, said Mr. Andrews had been in failing health for several weeks and was 83 when he died of congestive heart failure and pneumonia.

Despite the critical and public acclaim he drew with both of those performances and a third in a supporting but significant role in "The Ox Bow Incident," Mr. Andrews generally starred in moderate-budget films-- making more than 70 of them. Eventually, he turned to real estate development when he grew too old to be cast as a hero.

One of the reasons his acting career didn't blossom into full-fledged stardom, he admitted later in his life, was his propensity for liquor.

He not only admitted the problem but went public with his alcoholism, becoming a member of the National Council on Alcoholism and making numerous appearances to talk about his struggle with the problem.

"No one ever said anything to me about my drinking," he once told an interviewer. "But word gets around, and the pictures dried up. It was [Samuel] Goldwyn who finally said to me, 'Look, young man, you're drinking far too much. You'd better cut it out.' "

He became part of a national movement to make people aware of the pitfalls of drink.

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