Gary Conway

Active - 1957 - 2000  |   Born - Feb 4, 1936   |   Genres - Action, Drama, Crime

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Biography by Hal Erickson

One of the most beloved of movie clich├ęs concerns the violinist who must give up his music for sports -- or vice versa. Gary Conway was lucky enough to be able to keep up with his violin studies (and even play at the Hollywood bowl) while remaining heavily active in high school athletics. Conway was also an accomplished painter in his teen years, winning a scholarship to the Otis Art Institute, and later transferring to the art department at U.C.L.A. Invited to participate in a campus production of Volpone, Conway switched his major to drama. In films and TV from 1956, Conway's best-known (and, in many ways, most notorious) screen role was the title character in the deathless I Was a Teenage Frankenstein (1957). In 1963, Conway was cast as detective Tim Tilson in the lighthearted TV cop series Burke's Law. He left the show in 1965, hoping to go on to "a wider spectrum of creative challenge." One such challenge was the 1968 Irwin Allen weekly Land of the Giants, in which, as Captain Steve Burton, Conway spent his time reacting in amazement at king-sized special effects. After Giants left the air in 1970, he went into films as an actor, producer (1977's The Farmer) and screenwriter (1987's American Ninja 2: The Confrontation). He has also worked as a drama teacher. Gary Conway was married to former Miss America Marian McKnight.

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