Kevin Conway Dead: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Getty Kevin Conway

Kevin Conway, a beloved actor, and director best known his work on TV, theatre, and numerous feature films such as Gettysburg and Invincible died on Wednesday, as first reported by Deadline. He was 77.

Conway’s longtime partner, Geraldine Newman, told The New York Times that he passed of a heart attack. Born on May 29, 1942, in New York City, Conway received his acting training at the Herbert Berghof Studio, where world-renowned acting coach Uta Hagen was the artistic director. Notable alumni from the school include Matthew Broderick, Whoopi Goldberg, Kyra Sedgewick, Robert De Niro, Bette Midler, Gene Wilder, and more.

He married wife Mila Burnette on April 15, 1966, but the relationship eventually ended in divorce. Newman said that he is survived by their cat, Chico, and two dogs, Cotton and Dorothy.

Here’s what you need to know about Kevin Conway:

1. Conway Started His Career As A Sales Analyst for IBM

Kevin Conway (bottom right) in ‘Slaughterhouse-Five’

After graduating from Bishop Loughlin High School, Conway worked as a sales analyst for IBM. But after turning 24, he caught the acting bug. He asked IBM to fire him so he could collect unemployment while taking a Dramatic Workshop at Carnegie Hall. He started to work consistently, booking roles both on stage and for TV. His first major film role came in 1972’s Slaughterhouse-Five, based on Kurt Vonnegut’s novel.

Throughout his decades in the industry, he appeared as Kahless in Star Trek: The Next Generation, and guest-starred on TV series such as Law & Order, JAG, and Michael Hayes before booking the role of Seasums O’Reilly in HBO’s Oz. In 2007, he worked alongside Oliver Platt and John Turturro in the mini-series, The Bronx Is Burning.


2. Tributes To The TV & Film Star Poured In On Social Media

Kevin Conway and Julianna Margulies in ‘The Good Wife’

While Conway might’ve never been officially recognized during awards seasons, former co-stars and fans shared tributes of Conway that show he still cemented his memory in Hollywood history. Actress Betty Buckley shared on Facebook, “Oh my God!! I loved Kevin Conway. I was privileged to get to work with him as his Ex Wife in “Oz”. We had some wonderful scenes together. He was a lovely man and incredible actor. So sad to hear this. #RIP dear Kevin. xoxo”


3. Conway Famously Played 3 Roles In The Movie ‘Funhouse’


The Barker Speaks! with Kevin Conway – ClipA clip from "The Barker Speaks!" featuring actor Kevin Conway discussing his role(s) in Tobe Hooper's THE FUNHOUSE (1981).2015-02-11T09:07:24Z

Another major role Conway will be remembered for playing, his multiple characters in Tobe Hooper’s The Funhouse in 1981. Conwy was Freak Show Barker, Strip Show Barker and Funhouse Barker in the horror flick.

Conway also enjoyed working on the other side of the camera. In 1987, he directed the independent film, The Sun and the Moon.


4. Conway Starred Opposite James Earl Jones In Broadway’s ‘Of Mice and Men’

Kevin Conway

While he found incredible success in Hollywood, Conway always returned to his roots in the New York theatre world. He earned an Obie Award for Best Performance in 1974’s staging of “When You Comin’ Back, Red Ryder?” as well as a Drama Desk Award. In 1989, he received an Outer Critics Circle Award for his portrayal of Lawrence Garfunkel in the play, “Other People’s Money.”


5. Conway’s Final Film Project Is Currently In Post-Production

Conway did a lot of voice-over work prior to his death. He narrated the TV series, Who Killed Jane Doe, Unmasked. His finale credit, according to his IMDB page, was appearing in the documentary, The Gettysburg Address, along with Sam Elliott, Carey Elwes, and Michael C. Hall.

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