Keith Andes

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Keith Andes
Keith Andes in Split Second trailer.jpg
Andes in Split Second (1953)
Born John Charles Andes
(1920-07-12)July 12, 1920
Ocean City, New Jersey, U.S.
Died November 11, 2005(2005-11-11) (aged 85)
Newhall, Santa Clarita, California, U.S.
Cause of death Suicide by asphyxiation
Alma mater Oxford University
Temple University
Occupation Actor
Years active 1932–1980
Spouse(s) Jean Alice Cotton (m. 1948–61) (divorced) 2 children
Shelah Hackett (divorced)
Children Mark Andes
Matt Andes (b. 1949) musician

Keith Andes (July 12, 1920 – November 11, 2005) was an American film, radio, musical theatre, stage and television actor.

Early life

John Charles Andes was born in Ocean City, New Jersey. By the age of 12, he was featured on the radio.[1]

The family moved to Upper Darby, near Philadelphia. Andes found work on radio singing and acting throughout his years at Upper Darby High School.

He attended Oxford University and graduated from Temple University in Philadelphia in 1943 with a bachelor's degree in education.

He began his Broadway career while serving in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II.



His first screen role was a minor part in the film Winged Victory (1944), followed by a small role in the film The Farmer's Daughter, which starred Loretta Young, and for which she won her Best Actress Oscar. In 1947, Andes received a Theater World Award for his debut performance in The Chocolate Soldier, and later starred in Kiss Me, Kate, taking over Alfred Drake's role of Fred Graham after first playing it on the show's national tour.

In 1952, he appeared as Marilyn Monroe's sweetheart and Barbara Stanwyck's brother in the cult film Clash by Night (directed by Fritz Lang and co-written by Clifford Odets). He co-starred with Angela Lansbury in the 1954 film noir A Life at Stake after appearing in 1952 with Robert Newton in Blackbeard the Pirate. In 1958, Andes starred as crusading former Louisiana State Police Superintendent Francis Grevemberg in the film Damn Citizen. His co-stars were Margaret Hayes as Dorothy Maguire Grevemberg and Gene Evans as police Major Al Arthur. In 1970, he appeared as Chief of Staff of the United States Army, General George C. Marshall, in the film Tora, Tora, Tora .


An episode of Playhouse 90 brought Andes to television August 22, 1957. He played a teacher in "Homeword Borne."[2]

On television, Andes portrayed from 1959 to 1960 Frank Dawson in the syndicated police drama, This Man Dawson, the story of a former United States Marine Corps colonel who is hired to halt police corruption in a large, unnamed city. William Conrad did the series narration.

In 1963, Andes was cast with Victor Buono and Arch Johnson in the episode "Firebug" of the CBS anthology series, GE True, hosted by Jack Webb. In the story line, Buono portrays Charles Colvin, a barber in Los Angeles, California, who is by night a pyromaniac. The United States Forest Service works to find Colvin before he can set more fires.[3]

Later in 1963, Andes was cast as the lawyer-husband on the 1963 Desilu CBS sitcom, Glynis, starring Glynis Johns as his wife, a mystery writer and amateur sleuth. The next year, he guest-starred in Mickey Rooney's short-lived Mickey sitcom on ABC.

Andes starred as the manager of a radio station in the serial Paradise Bay, which debuted September 27, 1965.[4]

In his nearly five decades as an actor, Andes appeared in episodes of Cannon, Death Valley Days, Daniel Boone, I Spy, The Andy Griffith Show,The Rifleman, Perry Mason (in the episodes "The Case of the Skeleton's Closet" and "The Case of the Illicit Illusion"), and Star Trek (in the episode "The Apple"). His work included voice acting in the animated Birdman and the Galaxy Trio (1967). Late in his career, he appeared in films such as ...And Justice for All and Tora! Tora! Tora! (about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor). He also appeared as Prime Minister Darius in the Buck Rogers in the 25th Century episode "Buck's Duel to the Death".


Andes starred opposite Lucille Ball in the Broadway musical Wildcat in 1960, and later appeared on her 1960s sitcom, The Lucy Show. He later toured as Cervantes/Quixote in "Man of La Mancha."

Selected filmography


Andes was found dead at the age of eighty-five at his home in Newhall, Santa Clarita, California. He had been suffering from bladder cancer and other ailments and committed suicide by asphyxiation, according to a report from the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office. His remains were donated to medical science.


His two sons, Mark Andes (a musician in such bands as Spirit, Jo Jo Gunne, and Heart) and Matt Andes (also a musician in Jo Jo Gunne and Spirit), survived him.


  1. via Associated Press. "Andes, leading man to Marilyn Monroe, dies at 85", USA Today, November 27, 2005. Accessed October 29, 2008.
  2. "'Homeward Borne' On 'Playhouse 90' Aug. 22". Altoona Tribune. August 17, 1957. p. 14. Retrieved April 20, 2015 – via<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> open access publication - free to read
  3. "GE True". Classic Television Archive. Retrieved March 1, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "TV Highlights". The San Bernardino County Sun. September 27, 1965. p. 19. Retrieved April 20, 2015 – via<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> open access publication - free to read

External links