Bert Convy

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Bert Convy
Convy as substitute host on To Tell the Truth, 1968
Born Bernard Whalen Convy
(1933-07-23)July 23, 1933
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
Died July 15, 1991(1991-07-15) (aged 57)
Brentwood, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death Brain tumor
Resting place Forest Lawn – Hollywood Hills Cemetery
Nationality American
Education North Hollywood High School
Alma mater UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television
Occupation Actor, game show host, singer
Years active 1958–1990
Spouse(s) Anne Anderson (m. 1959–91)
Catherine Hills (m. 1991–91)
Children 3

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

Early life[edit]

Convy was born in St. Louis, Missouri, the son of Monica (née Whalen) and Bert Fleming Convy.[1] Convy's family moved to Los Angeles when he was seven years old. He later attended North Hollywood High School where he was an all-around athlete.[2] He was signed by the Philadelphia Phillies when he was just 17, playing two years of minor league baseball in 1951–52.[3] He later joined the 1950s vocal band The Cheers, who had a Top 10 hit in 1955 with "Black Denim Trousers And Motorcycle Boots".

Convy later attended UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television where he received a bachelor's degree.


Early years[edit]

Convy started his career in the entertainment business as a featured performer and singer in the Billy Barnes Revues of the 1950s and 1960s. 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 as Perchick in the original cast of Fiddler on the Roof (1964), appearing in The Impossible Years (1965) and creating the role of Cliff Bradshaw in Cabaret (1966). He also appeared in the Roger Corman film A Bucket of Blood, playing Lou Raby, and the soap opera Love of Life, playing Glenn Hamilton, a rapist.

Game shows[edit]

In the 1960s and 1970s, Convy was a popular semi-regular panelist on several game shows, including What′s My Line?, To Tell the Truth, Match Game and Password. He soon took the podium himself as host of several game shows, including the fourth edition of Password (called Super Password) (1984–1989) and Tattletales (1974–1978, 1982–1984), for which he was awarded an Emmy for Best Game Show Host in 1977.[4] In 1979, he appeared on Password Plus with fellow celebrity contestants such as Elizabeth Montgomery, Carol Burnett, Phyllis Diller, Judy Norton Taylor, Marcia Wallace and Elaine Joyce.

Convy also hosted the first two seasons of the syndicated version of Win, Lose or Draw (1987–1989), which he co-produced with Burt Reynolds (under Burt and Bert Productions). The third and final season (1989–1990) of Win, Lose or Draw was hosted by Robb Weller, freeing up Convy to host his last game show (which he also produced), 3rd Degree, a syndicated program that ran during the 1989–90 TV season. Convy was planned as host for the 1990 revival of Match Game filming six pilot episodes for ABC executives, but he was too ill to continue once ABC greenlit the show; comedian and Love Me, Love Me Not host Ross Shafer took the role instead.


Convy was in the original Broadway cast of "Fiddler on the Roof" with Zero Mostel playing Perchik the Student and singing "Now I Have Everything" [5]

In the 1960–1961 season, Convy guest starred on Pat O'Brien's short-lived ABC sitcom Harrigan and Son, as well as the ABC private detective show 77 Sunset Strip in the role of David. He was also cast on an episode of CBS's The Mary Tyler Moore Show as Mary's friend Jack Foster, alongside future Alice star Beth Howland. In 1973, Convy was a guest star in two episodes of Hawaii Five O. Convy also guest starred in an episode of Perry Mason titled "The Case of the Nimble Nephew."

In 1974, Convy portrayed Lt. Ostrowski, the police contact of elderly amateur sleuths in NBC's short-lived series The Snoop Sisters.

Convy attempted a short-lived variety series called The Late Summer Early Fall Bert Convy Show in 1976. In 1979, he appeared with the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders in their eponymous TV movie. Throughout his career, Convy was a frequent guest star on series such as Bewitched, Hawaii Five-O, The Partridge Family, Mission: Impossible, The Silent Force, The New Phil Silvers Show, Fantasy Island, Charlie′s Angels, and Murder, She Wrote (including the pilot episode). In 1983, Convy was cast as Neil Townsend on the ABC sitcom It's Not Easy, playing opposite Ken Howard. Convy had joined the project when it was recast after its intended premiere in the 1982–83 season was delayed; he earned the role originally given to Larry Breeding, who was killed in a car accident in September 1982 after the first pilot was shot.

Convy also starred in several movies, perhaps most memorably Semi-Tough (1977), in which he played a caricature of Werner Erhard named Friedrich Bismark. Other film credits included A Bucket of Blood (1959), Susan Slade (1961), French director Philippe de Broca's Les Caprices de Marie (1970), SST: Death Flight (1977), the horror film Jennifer (1978), Hanging by a Thread (1979), Racquet (1979) as a tennis star, Hero at Large (1980), The Cannonball Run (1981) as Bradford Compton, and the TV movie Help Wanted: Male (1982). Convy tried his hand at directing with the 1986 comedy Weekend Warriors. In 1980, Convy produced and directed the Goodspeed Opera House premiere of the musical Zapata, with music and lyrics by Harry Nilsson and Perry Botkin, Jr., and libretto by Allan Katz.

Personal life[edit]

Convy was married twice. He married Anne Anderson in 1959 with whom he had three children: Jennifer, Joshua and Jonah. Convy and Anderson divorced in 1991. Convy married his second wife, Catherine Hill, five months before his death.[2]


In April 1990, Convy was admitted to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after collapsing while visiting his mother there, and was diagnosed with a brain tumor.[4] He died from the tumor on July 15, 1991 at his home in Brentwood.[2] He is buried at Forest Lawn – Hollywood Hills Cemetery.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Who's who in the Theatre - John Parker - Google Books. Retrieved 2012-10-30. 
  2. ^ a b c "Bert Convy, 57; Actor, TV Game Show Host". The Los Angeles Times. AP. July 16, 1991. Retrieved September 23, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Bert Convy Minor League Statistics & History". Retrieved 2012-10-30. 
  4. ^ a b "Bert Convy, 57, an Actor and Host of Television Game Shows, Dies". The New York Times. AP. July 16, 1991. Retrieved June 20, 2013. 
  5. ^

External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by
Tom Kennedy
on Password Plus
Host of Super Password
September 24, 1984– March 24, 1989
Succeeded by
Regis Philbin
on "Million Dollar Password" in 2008
Preceded by
Host of Win, Lose or Draw syndicated nighttime edition
Succeeded by
Robb Weller
Preceded by
Allen Ludden
Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host
Succeeded by
Richard Dawson