Kensico Cemetery Valhalla, Westchester County, New York, USA
Ann Andrews (October 13, 1890 - January 23, 1986) was a stage actress for much of the first half of the twentieth century, with a wide range of friends in theatrical and motion pictures circles.
Actress Ann Andrews was born in Los Angeles in 1895, to Josia J. Andrews and Ann Anthony. She attended Frank Egan's Dramatic School in Los Angeles and made her stage debut in 1916 in the same city in a production of the Russian play Nju by Ossip Dymow, in which she played the title role. Her New York debut was at the Bandbox Theatre on Broadway in the play Nju in 1917. She appeared in the Broadway debut of several hit plays, Seven Days Leave (1917), The Hottentot (1920), Her Temporary Husband (1922), The Captive (1926), George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber's The Royal Family of Broadway (1927), Preston Sturges' Recapture (1930), Kaufman & Ferber's Dinner at Eight (1932), Dark Victory (1934), First Love (1936), When We Are Married (1939) and Spring Again (1944). She was scheduled to appear on Broadway in Four Winds in 1957, but reliquished the role to Ann Todd. Ann Andrews also toured the United States and Canada in stock, and appeared in two motion pictures, The Girl by the Roadside (1917) and The Cheat (1931).
Her productions were well received; the audience met her performance in Edward A. Paulton’s farce Her Temporary Husband with “shouts and laughter, . . . the comely Ann Andrews . . . seems to be growing in grace and skill as the season jogs along.”
Carl Van Vechten and Ann Andrews exchanged letters for many years, gossiping about theater successes and failures and sharing their love of cats. Andrews often enclosed newspaper and magazine comics about cats and their owners in her letters to Van Vechten, who wrote a book about cats called The Tiger in the House in 1920 and who donated the Pollock Collection of Books about Cats to the Yale University Library. Andrews peppered her letters with exclamations like “Cats in the Belfry!” and referred to Van Vechten as a “cat angel.”
by Carl Van Vechten
In her letters to Van Vechten, Ann Andrews often used quirky greetings and endearments specific to their friendship. Van Vechten, who was known among his friends for the unique and clever ways he signed letters—such as “Pats and purrs to you!” or “Hearts and flowers and gold and pearls to you”—must have enjoyed being referred to as “Fabulous Carlo” and “Carlo da Vinci.” Other salutations reflected their mutual affection for cats: “Cool Cat Carlo,” “Carlo King of the Cool Cats,” and “My sainted cat of God” were favorites.
In response to a book about cats that Van Vechten sent her in 1964, Andrews wrote a brief telegram: “Another one of your gifts is to discover jewels.”
Ann Andrews died January 23, 1986 in New York City and was interred at Kensico Cemetery, Valhalla, New York.
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