Thanks to a childhood accident Andy Devine’s voice was best described as a “dual-tone wheeze.” Later, when asked if he had nodes on his vocal cords Andy quipped, “I have the same nodes as Bing Crosby but his are in tune.”
After college where he starred in football Andy got into acting and did well during the silent movie era but it looked like his career was over with the advent in talkies. He told a story about being so depressed that he decided to commit suicide by sticking his head in the oven and turning on the gas. His effort was thwarted by his landlady who had turned off the gas because he hadn’t paid the rent.
Despite his unique voice Andy still managed to get good roles during the 1930s but his big break came when director John Ford was looking for a stagecoach driver for his 1939 epic. Ward Bond was designated for the role but he couldn’t handle “six ribbons.” Andy could and the movie “Stagecoach” became his break through into the big time.