Frank Conroy

Active - 1930 - 2002  |   Born - Oct 14, 1890   |   Died - Feb 24, 1964   |   Genres - Drama, Crime, Mystery, Romance

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Biography by Hal Erickson

The embodiment of corporate dignity, British actor Frank Conroy nonetheless gave the impression of being a long-trusted executive who was about to abscond with the company funds. During his Broadway career, Conroy frequently achieved above-the-title billing; he never quite managed this in Hollywood, but neither was he ever without work. Conroy made his first film, Royal Family of Broadway, in 1930; uncharacteristically, he plays the ardent suitor of the leading lady (Ina Claire), and very nearly wins the lady before she decides that her stage career comes first. Conroy's respectable veneer allowed him to play many a "hidden killer" in movie mysteries like Charlie Chan in Egypt (1935). He left films periodically for more varied assignments on stage; in 1939, he originated the role of dying millionaire Horace Giddens in Lillian Hellmans The Little Foxes. Returning to Hollywood in the 1940s, it was back to authoritative villainy, notably his role in The Ox-Bow Incident as a martinet ex-military officer who rigidly supervises a lynching, then kills himself when he realizes he's executed three innocent men. More benign roles came Conroy's way in All My Sons (1948), in which he plays an industrialist serving a prison sentence while the guilty man (Edward G. Robinson) walks free; and in Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), wherein Conroy has a lengthy unbilled role as the American diplomat who listens to the demands of outer-space visitor Michael Rennie. Frank Conroy remained a top character player until his retirement in 1960, usually honored with "guest star" billing on the many TV anthologies of the era.

Movie Highlights

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