Tige Andrews, of 'The Mod Squad' Fame, Dies at 86

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Tige Andrews, the Emmy-nominated character actor who portrayed a police captain in charge of a trio of hip, young crime fighters in "The Mod Squad," has died. He was 86.

Andrews died Jan. 27 of cardiac arrest at his home in the San Fernando Valley, his family said.

The actor often played detectives during his television career, which spanned five decades and included appearances on more than 60 shows. His daughter said he was proud of his stint as Capt. Adam Greer on "The Mod Squad," which aired during the late 1960s and early 1970s. The popular TV drama starred three young actors — Clarence Williams III, Michael Cole and Peggy Lipton.

"He felt the show made a big difference because it was one of the first television series to address social issues such as drugs, prostitution and teen pregnancy that were more hush-hush before that time," said Barbara Andrews, one of the actor's six children.

Tiger Andrews was born March 19, 1920, in Brooklyn, New York. His parents, following Syrian custom, named him after a strong animal to ensure good health for their son, his family said.

His mother died when he was 3, and his father, who ran a fruit stand, later remarried. Andrews was wounded while serving in the Army during World War II and, after returning home, graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York.

In 1955, Andrews appeared in the off-Broadway revival of "The Threepenny Opera." Later that year, director John Ford cast him in the film version of "Mister Roberts" after seeing his Broadway performance. Family members said Ford was a major influence on Andrews.

The actor's wife of 46 years, Norma Thornton, died in 1996.