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Bert Convy 1933-1991
 


Country : St. Louis, Missouri
Profession : Game show host
Date of birth : 1933-07-23
Date of death : 1991-07-15
Cause of Death : Brain cancer

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Bernard Whalen "Bert" Convy (July 23, 1933July 15, 1991) was an American game show host and panelist, actor and singer known for his tenure as the host for Tattletales, Super Password, and Win, Lose or Draw.

Early life

Convy was born in St. Louis, Missouri, to Monica and Bert Convy. Convy was a member of the 1950s vocal band, The Cheers, who had a Top 10 hit in 1955 with "Black Denim Trousers And Motorcycle Boots". He was also a minor league baseball player, within the Philadelphia Phillies organization.

Early career

Convy started his career in the entertainment business as a featured performer and singer in the Billy Barnes Revues of the 1950s and '60s. He appeared in the 1961 Warner Brothers drama, "Susan Slade", playing Troy Donahue's rival for the affections of Connie Stevens. Convy went on to became a Broadway actor, starring in Fiddler on the Roof (1964), The Impossible Years (1965), and Cabaret (1966). He also appeared in the Roger Corman film A Bucket of Blood and the soap opera, Love of Life playing Glenn Hamilton, a rapist.

Game show career

In the 1960s and '70s, Convy was a popular semi-regular panelist on several game shows, including What's My Line?, To Tell the Truth, The Match Game and Password. Convy soon took the podium himself as host of several game shows, including the fourth edition of Password, Super Password (1984–1989), but he remains best known for his first television game show, Tattletales (1974–1978, 1982–1984), for which he was awarded an Emmy for "Best Game Show Host" in 1977.

He also hosted the syndicated version of Win, Lose or Draw (1987–1990), which he co-produced with Burt Reynolds (under the firm Burt and Bert Productions). The final season of Win, Lose or Draw was hosted by Robb Weller, freeing up Convy to host his last game show, 3rd Degree, a syndicated program that ran during the 1989–90 TV season. He was also slated to host the 1990 revival of Match Game, but was too ill to do so (comedian Ross Shafer took the role instead).

Other projects

In the 1960-1961 season, Convy guest starred on Pat O'Brien's short-lived ABC sitcom, Harrigan and Son.

He attempted to parlay his fame in a short-lived variety series, The Late Summer Early Fall Bert Convy Show in 1976. In 1979, he appeared with the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders in a movie of the same name.

Convy also starred in several movies, most memorably in the film Semi-Tough (1977) where he played a caricature of Werner Erhard named "Friedrich Bismark." He starred in French director Philippe de Broca's Les Caprices de Marie ("Give Her The Moon", 1970). In 1979 he starred in the movie "Racqet", as a tennis star. He also made a fine appearance in "Help Wanted: Male" (1982). In addition, he directed the 1986 comedy Weekend Warriors. In 1980, Convy produced and directed the Goodspeed Opera House premiere of the musical Zapata, music and lyrics by Harry Nilsson and Perry Botkin, Jr., libretto by Allan Katz. Convy's final feature film was the 1981 movie Cannonball Run, in which he played a character named Bradford Compton. He also appeared in episodes of three CBS series, Perry Mason starring Raymond Burr, Hawaii Five-0, starring Jack Lord, and The New Phil Silvers Show, with comedian Phil Silvers, and starred in the premiere episode of Ricardo Montalban's Fantasy Island.

Personal life

Convy was surprised when he was called to come on down on The Price Is Right. Bob Barker invited Convy up on stage and had him thank the show for having him as a guest and he returned to his seat before an alternative contestant was called down to Contestant's Row. Convy also made two guest appearances on The Price Is Right during the 1970s appearing with models Anitra Ford and Dian Parkinson.

Convy claimed to have the ability to predict the sex of unborn children. A few times on Super Password, he would put his hands on a pregnant contestant's stomach and remarked how he had guessed correctly the sex of 19 babies in a row, including all of the actor John Ritter's children with his first wife Nancy Morgan (Carly, Tyler, and Jason). (Convy and Ritter had appeared together in the 1979 theatrical release, Hero at Large.) On another episode, he claimed his on-going tally was 34 out of 36; he also said that on one occasion he simply could not predict if a particular woman was going to have a boy or girl, and it turned out the lady had twins--one boy, one girl. One of the celebrity contestants on that episode, Dick Cavett, quipped, "Why did I see you the other day putting your hands like that on a woman who wasn't pregnant?"

Convy was married twice: to Anne Anderson, with whom he had three children; and to Catherine Hills, to whom he wed five months prior to his death. Bert's daughter Jennifer also has been involved in television, moderating shows on Home and Garden Television (HGTV). His youngest son, Jonah Convy, is also involved in show business. His eldest son, Joshua Convy, is an accountant.

Death

In April 1990, Convy was admitted to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after collapsing while visiting his mother. It was there that he was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and was given a short time to live, resulting in the relinquishing of his planned Match Game 90 role. After seeking many treatments from several hospitals, Convy died from the tumor on July 15, 1991, 8 days shy of his 58th birthday. He is buried in Forest Lawn - Hollywood Hills Cemetery.

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