Actor Tige Andrews

Tige Andrews (born Tiger Androwas; March 19, 1920 – January 27, 2007) was an American character actor. He is best remembered for his law-enforcement roles as Captain Adam Greer and Lieutenant Johnny Russo in two ABC crime drama television series: The Mod Squad, and The Detectives Starring Robert Taylor, respectively.

Early life

Andrews was born Tiger Androwas in Brooklyn, New York, one of ten children of Syrian parents Selma (née Shaleesh) and George E. Andrews. His family’s surname was originally “Androwas”. His parents, following Syrian custom, named him after a strong animal to ensure good health. His mother died when he was three years old, and his father later remarried. Andrews moved with his family to Middlesex, New Jersey, where Andrews graduated from Bound Brook High School. His father was in the fruit business, and Andrews worked for his father.

Andrews attended classes for a time at the University of Beirut medical school. During World War II, Andrews served with the United States Army’s 45th Infantry Division, rising to the rank of second lieutenant. He was medically discharged in 1944 for injuries sustained when his ship sunk in the Mediterranean. He graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York in 1946.


After graduating from the Academy, Andrews made his Broadway debut in the play Hidden Horizons, in which he used his Syrian background to speak Arabic. He then appeared in the original 1948 cast of Thomas Heggen and Joshua Logan’s war comedy Mister Roberts, in which he played the roles of Schlemmer and Insigna. He changed his stage name from “Tiger” to “Tige” in 1954.

Director John Ford saw the play while visiting New York and, remembering his performance in it years later, cast him in the 1955 film version of Mister Roberts. Andrews and Henry Fonda were the only members of the Broadway cast to appear in the film.

Back in New York in 1955, Andrews won critical acclaim as The Streetsinger in the long-running revival of Marc Blitzstein’s translation of the Brecht-Weill musical, The Threepenny Opera, off-Broadway. It featured German star Lotte Lenya and an ensemble cast of future stars, including Beatrice Arthur, Jo Sullivan, John Astin, Jerry Orbach, Ed Asner, and Jerry Stiller. He reprised the role in San Francisco and Los Angeles, California, and went on to direct The Threepenny Opera in Arizona.

Andrews made frequent appearances on television in the 1960s. In addition to being a cast member of The Phil Silvers Show (1955–1957, as Tiger Andrews), Andrews appeared in such series as U.S. Marshal; The Lawless Years; Mr. Novak; Dundee and the Culhane; The Big Valley; The Fugitive; Gunsmoke; Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.; and Star Trek as Kras in the episode “Friday’s Child”, in which he was the first Klingon ever to die in that series.

His best known roles were Lieutenant Johnny Russo on The Detectives and as Captain Adam Greer on The Mod Squad. For the latter role, he received both an Emmy and a Golden Globe award nomination and won a Logie Award. Andrews reunited with his fellow Mod Squad cast members for a 1979 made-for-television film, The Return Of Mod Squad; it was their last appearance together. After The Mod Squad ended, Andrews continued to make guest appearances on various television series, such as Kojak; Marcus Welby, M.D.; Police Story; CHiPs; and Murder, She Wrote.

His film career included roles in Onionhead (1958), A Private’s Affair (1959), In Enemy Country (1968), The Last Tycoon (1976), and Raid on Entebbe (1977, as Shimon Peres). He retired from acting in the early 1990s after having appeared in more than one hundred acting roles onstage, on film and on television.

In addition to his acting career, Andrews was an accomplished painter and singer. His artwork has been shown in Los Angeles art galleries, and some of it was published in the book Actors As Artists by Jim McMullan and Dick Gautier. He collaborated with Sandy Matlowsky and Sid Kuller on two original songs on his Tiger Records label in Los Angeles, California. “The Modfather” and “Keep America Beautiful” were the A and B sides of the vinyl 45 single release.

Personal life

In 1950 he married Norma Thornton, a ballerina who was a regular on The Ed Sullivan Show and appeared in the Broadway play Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. They had six children, three boys and three girls: Barbara, Gina, Julie, John, Steve and Tony, and eleven grandchildren. He was previously married to Josephine Phillips, whom he wed in 1944 after his medical discharge from the Army. Norma Thornton Andrews died in 1996.


Andrews died of cardiac arrest at his home in Encino, California, on January 27, 2007, aged 86.



Year Title Role Notes
1955 Mister Roberts Wiley
1957 The Wings of Eagles Arizona Pincus Uncredited
1957 Until They Sail US Marine, Store Customer
1958 China Doll Cpl. Carlo Menotti
1958 Imitation General Pvt. Orville Hutchmeyer
1958 Onionhead Charlie Berger
1959 A Private’s Affair Sgt. Pickerell
1968 In Enemy Country Nicolay
1976 The Last Tycoon Popolos
1980 Gypsy Angels Ted


Year Title Role Notes
1951 Kraft Television Theatre Episode: “Moon Over Mulberry Street”
1952 The Hunter Episode: “The Ghost Goes East”
1952–1953 Armstrong Circle Theatre Sam 2 episodes
1953 Suspense 1st Thug Episode: “The Quarry”
1953 Plymouth Playhouse Episode: “Jetfighter”
1954 Inner Sanctum Reed Episode: “The Hermit”
1955–1956 The Phil Silvers Show Pvt. Gander 22 episodes
1957–1968 Gunsmoke Jose Santillo / Mike Postil 2 episodes
1958 The Walter Winchell File Frank Episode: “The Box Men: File #38”
1958 U.S. Marshal Sam Episode: “Mechanic”
1958 Steve Canyon Sgt. Bagdasarian Episode: “Operation Jettison”
1958–1959 Playhouse 90 Bassi / Frank Nitti 2 episodes
1959 Zorro Nava Episode: “The Iron Box”
1959 The Lawless Years Tony Morelli Episode: “The Tony Morelli Story”
1959 Grand Jury Ben Episode: “Fire Trap”
1959–1962 The Detectives Det. Lt. John Russo / Lt. John Russo 97 episodes
1961 The Best of the Post C.P.O. Jacobsen Episode: “Band of Brothers”
1961 Adventures in Paradise Jay Jay Jenkins Episode: “Wild Mangoes”
1961 The Dick Powell Show Paul Manzuk Episode: “Somebody’s Waiting”
1962 Alcoa Premiere Gaby Lasalle Episode: “Flashing Spikes”
1962 Ensign O’Toole Soilman Episode: “Operation: Holdout”
1962–1965 Ben Casey Dave McClusky / Cash Burdock 2 episodes
1963 Sam Benedict Bill Yohler Episode: “Green Room, Grey Morning”
1963 Mr. Novak Lt. Charles Green Episode: “A Single Isolated Incident”
1964 Dr. Kildare Roy Winters Episode: “The Middle of Ernie Mann”
1965 Slattery’s People Horse Episode: “Question: Who You Taking to the Main Event, Eddie?”
1965 Twelve O’Clock High Master Sgt. Tony Podesta Episode: “R/X for a Sick Bird”
1965 Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. Chief Petty Officer 3 episodes
1966 Jericho Francois Leboult Episode: “Wall to Wall Kaput”
1966 Run for Your Life Sam Miller Episode: “A Game of Violence”
1967 The Big Valley Bodos Garcos Episode: “Wagonload of Dreams”
1967 The Fugitive Buck Leonard Episode: “The Walls of Night”
1967 The F.B.I. John Forno Episode: “Force of Nature”
1967 Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre Det. Owens Episode: “Deadlock”
1967 Dundee and the Culhane Nicasio Episode: “The Jubilee Raid Brief”
1967 Star Trek: The Original Series Kras Episode: “Friday’s Child”
1968 Premiere Albert Sanchez Episode: “The Freebooters”
1968–1973 The Mod Squad Capt. Adam Greer 123 episodes
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film (1971)
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (1970)
1973 Marcus Welby, M.D. Fred Pulaski Episode: “For Services Rendered”
1974 Skyway to Death Sam Nichols Television film
1974–1975 Police Story Blodgett / Sergeant Kidder 3 episodes
1974–1978 Kojak Sergeant Geno Polucci / Joe Paxton / Aaron Fisk 4 episodes
1975 The Wide World of Mystery Bert / the Werewolf Episode: “The Werewolf of Woodstock”
1975 Amy Prentiss Adams Episode: “Profile in Evil”
1975 Barbary Coast Phineas T. James Episode: “An Iron-Clad Plan”
1975 Police Woman Lieutenant McKay Episode: “The Purge”
1976 Good Heavens Jack McMann Episode: “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”
1977 Raid on Entebbe Shimon Peres Television film
1978 Flying High Blakely Episode: “The Marcy Connection”
1978–1981 CHiPs Charley Davis / Charley 3 episodes
1979 The Return of the Mod Squad Adam Greer Television film
1980 Vegas Benson Episode: “Lost Monday”
1982 Quincy, M.E. Victor Ramsey Episode: “Expert in Murder”
1982 Tucker’s Witch Terry Porter Episode: “Big Mouth”
1982 Seven Brides for Seven Brothers Merlin Palmer Episode: “Christmas Song”
1984 Hawaiian Heat Dan McGreedy Episode: “Old Dues”
1985 Street Hawk Morgan Hartmann Episode: “Fire on the Wing”
1985 Misfits of Science Bill Episode: “Fumble on the One”
1987 Sledge Hammer! Hugo Victor Episode: “Jagged Sledge”
1991 Murder, She Wrote Carmine Abruzzi Episode: “Family Doctor”

External Links

Actor Tige Andrews – Wikipedia

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