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    Tom D'Andrea


    Tom D'Andrea


    Thomas J. D'Andrea was an American actor in films and on television. D'Andrea's first job was at the Chicago Public Library, after which he worked in publicity at the Sherman Hotel in Chicago. Contacts with entertainers at the hotel led to an opportunity to work in Hollywood. After moving there in 1934, he became a publicist for Betty Grable, Gene Autry, Mae Clarke and Jackie Coogan. He began writing scripts in 1937, creating lines for Ben Bernie, Jack Benny, Eddie Cantor and Olsen and Johnson and continued in television, writing for Cantor and Donald O'Connor on their shows. In 1941, D'Andrea was drafted into the Army Air Corps. He was assigned to write a Gracie Fields program after being stationed at Camp Roberts, California..Reading lines at a rehearsal, Fields decided to have him read the lines in the show. He was assigned to the Overseas Radio Unit in 1943, and he began performing comedy in addition to writing. While at Ciro's Restaurant on Sunset Strip attracted a Warner Bros.' executive's attention, resulting in a role in This is the Army, with Ronald Reagan. In 1946, the studio sighed him to a long-term contract. He went on to roles in Pride of the Marines with John Garfield, Night and Day with Cary Grant, Never Say Goodbye, Silver River with Errol Flynn, and Dark Passage with Humphrey Bogart. His last film was A House Is Not a Home with Shelley Winters in 1964. After working in the film Kill the Umpire, with William Bendix in 1950, D'Andrea was chosen to play the part of Gillis, Riley's talkative neighbor in the long running television series, The Life of Riley starring Bendix. Other TV shows he appeared in were "Death Valley Days" with Ronald Reagan, "Playhouse 90" and the "Hallmark Hall of Fame." "He retired in his '60s. But, he didn't really retire. Like all actors and writers he never stopped performing. They would meet at places like the Friars Club and amuse themselves," said his son Tom. "That was when he started doing club dates at The Sands with Frank Sinatra. He Coalso did a summer replacement TV show called 'The Soldiers' with Hal March. After they left, the show was kept on with Phil Silvers and renamed 'Sgt. Bilko'. On television, D'Andrea portrayed Bill, the bartender, in Dante and acted as himself in The Soldiers. He appeared in the films This Is the Army, Pride of the Marines, Night and Day, Two Guys from Milwaukee, Never Say Goodbye, Humoresque, Love and Learn, Dark Passage, To the Victor, Silver River, Smart Girls Don't Talk, Fighter Squadron, Flaxy Martin, Tension, Kill the Umpire, The Next Voice You Hear..., Little Egypt and A House Is Not a Home. He appeared in the television series' The Soldiers, The Life of Riley, The Bill Dana Show, My Living Doll, The Farmer's Daughter, The Double Life of Henry Phyfe, The Beverly Hillbillies, The Andy Griffith Show, Green Acres and That Girl, among others.

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    Tom D'Andrea

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