Mary Todd Andrews, actress and the widow of screen star Dana Andrews, died Jan. 17 in Palm Springs, Calif., of Alzheimer’s disease. She was 86.
Born and reared in Santa Monica, she studied acting and became a leading comedic actress and ingenue at the Pasadena Playhouse in the 1930s.
There she met the recently widowed Andrews, who had hitchhiked from Houston and was studying to become an actor. They were married in 1939 at the home of her parents, the J.W. Todds, donors of the Alaskan totem pole in Santa Monica’s Palisades Park.
Andrews put her career on hold to rear the actor’s son from his first marriage, and their son and two daughters. But she returned occasionally to perform at the Playhouse, and in 1953 toured with her far-better-known husband and Walter Matthau in “The Glass Menagerie.”
In the 1970s, she and her husband, who died in 1992, toured together in several plays with mature leading roles. Among them were “Morning’s at Seven” and “Gaslight.” Critics drawn by Dana Andrews’ fame praised the performances by his wife.