Patty Andrews, the last surviving member of the Andrews Sisters trio, who lifted American spirits in World War II with songs such as “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree” and “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” has died. She was 94.
She died yesterday at her home in Northridge, California, near Los Angeles, of natural causes, the Associated Press reported, citing family spokesman Alan Eichler.
Maxene, Patty, and LaVerne appeared in 17 Hollywood films. Their first picture, Argentine Nights, paired them with another enthusiastic trio, the Ritz Brothers. Universal Pictures, always budget-conscious, refused to hire a choreographer, so the Ritzes taught the sisters some eccentric steps. Thus, in Argentine Nights and the sisters' next film, Buck Privates, the Andrews Sisters dance like the Ritz Brothers.
Buck Privates, with Abbott and Costello, featured the Andrews Sisters' best-known song, "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy". This Don Raye-Hughie Prince composition was nominated for Best Song at the 1941 Academy Awards ceremony.
Universal hired the sisters for two more Abbott and Costello comedies, and then promoted them to full-fledged stardom in B musicals. What's Cookin', Private Buckaroo, and Give Out, Sisters(the latter portraying the sisters as old ladies) were among the team's popular full-length films.
The Andrews Sisters have a specialty number in the all-star revue Hollywood Canteen (1944). They can be seen singing "You Don't Have to Know the Language" with Bing Crosby in Paramount'sRoad to Rio with Bob Hope, that year's highest-grossing movie. Their singing voices are heard in two full-length Walt Disney features ("Make Mine Music" which featured Johnny Fedora and Alice Blue Bonnet, and "Melody Time", which introduced Little Toot, both of which are available on DVD today).