How Tige Andrews, the Star of ‘The Mod Squad’, Died of a Postoperative Complication


Tige Andrews was a veteran character actor who played a variety of roles in television and film, but he is best remembered for his portrayal of Captain Adam Greer in the popular crime drama series 'The Mod Squad'. He died at the age of 86 on January 27, 2007, of cardiac arrest caused by a postoperative bowel obstruction, according to [Wikipedia](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tige_Andrews).

## A Long and Diverse Career

Tige Andrews was born Tiger Androwas on March 19, 1920, in Brooklyn, New York, to Syrian immigrants. His parents named him after a strong animal to ensure good health, following their custom. He lost his mother when he was three years old, and his father later remarried. He grew up working in his father's fruit business and attended classes at the University of Beirut medical school for a time.

He served in the US Army during World War II and was wounded when his ship sank in the Mediterranean. He was medically discharged in 1944 and graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York in 1946. He made his Broadway debut in the play 'Hidden Horizons', where he used his Syrian background to speak Arabic. He then appeared in the original cast of 'Mister Roberts', where he caught the eye of director John Ford, who cast him in the film version of the same play in 1955.

He also starred in the off-Broadway revival of 'The Threepenny Opera' in 1955, alongside future stars such as Beatrice Arthur, Jerry Orbach, and Ed Asner. He later directed the same musical in Arizona. He changed his stage name from 'Tiger' to 'Tige' in 1954.

He made frequent appearances on television in the 1950s and 1960s, often playing detectives or law-enforcement officers. He was a cast member of 'The Phil Silvers Show' from 1955 to 1957, and guest-starred on shows such 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'. He also played Lieutenant Johnny Russo in 'The Detectives Starring Robert Taylor' from 1959 to 1962.

## The Role That Defined Him

His most famous role came in 1968, when he was cast as Captain Adam Greer in 'The Mod Squad', a groundbreaking series that featured a trio of young, hip, and rebellious undercover cops who tackled social issues such as drugs, prostitution, and teen pregnancy. Andrews played the mentor and boss of the three protagonists, played by Michael Cole, Peggy Lipton, and Clarence Williams III. He was nominated for an Emmy Award for his performance in 1970.

He stayed with the show until its cancellation in 1973, and reprised his role in a 1979 reunion TV movie. He also appeared in other TV shows and movies in the 1970s and 1980s, such as 'Kojak', 'The Love Boat', 'CHiPs', 'The A-Team', 'Murder, She Wrote', and 'Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment'. His last acting credit was in the 1991 film 'Lucky Luke'.

## A Loving Family Man

Andrews married Norma Thornton, an actress and singer, in 1950. They had six children together: Barbara, Gina, Steve, Tony, Michael, and Julie. They also had several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Andrews was devoted to his family and enjoyed painting, gardening, and cooking in his spare time. He was also active in the Screen Actors Guild and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. His wife died in 1996 after 46 years of marriage.

Andrews died of cardiac arrest at his home in the San Fernando Valley on January 27, 2007, at the age of 86. His family said that he had undergone surgery for a bowel obstruction a few days earlier, and that the complication was the cause of his death, according to [Today](https://www.today.com/popculture/mod-squad-star-tige-andrews-dies-86-1C9480190). He was cremated and his ashes were scattered at sea.

He is survived by his six children and their families, as well as his fans and colleagues who remember him as a talented and versatile actor who left a lasting impression on the screen.