Conrad Dunn is an American actor. He began his screen career with the role of Francis "Psycho" Soyer in Stripes (1981). Working for some ten years under the name George Jenesky, he achieved soap-opera stardom in Days of Our Lives as Nick Corelli, a misogynistic pimp who evolved from bad guy to romantic lead. He returned to the name Conrad Dunn and began working extensively in Canadian as well as U.S. film and television. He excels as a villain, and has found depth in such TV films as We the Jury (1996) and the miniseries The Last Don (1997–98). For two seasons he portrayed the freelance detective Saul Panzer in the A&E TV series A Nero Wolfe Mystery (2001–02).
Life and career
Born and raised in Los Angeles,:31 Conrad Dunn studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts-Los Angeles and with Stella Adler in New York. After seeing him on the stage, a casting director asked him to read for the role of Francis "Psycho" Soyer in Stripes (1981), his first feature film.[a] His introductory speech, described by one reviewer as "Conrad Dunn's adroit tribute to Travis Bickle", was singled out by film critic Roger Ebert: "The movie has especially good writing in several scenes. My favorite comes near the beginning, during a session when recruits in the new platoon get to know one another. One obviously psycho draftee, who looks like Robert De Niro, quietly announces that if his fellow soldiers touch him, touch his stuff, or interfere in any way with his person or his privacy, he will quite simply be forced to kill them." The response from drill sergeant Warren Oates—"Lighten up, Francis"—became a popular movie quote.
Taking the name George Jenesky, Dunn performed over seven seasons (1981–90) in the NBC daytime soap opera, Days of Our Lives. His character, Nick Corelli, became a fan favorite, a despicable pimp who evolved into a romantic lead and one of the show's main characters.:34, 36:71, 191 Nick's murder was one of the series' notable whodunits.:146–149
Dunn had his own theatre company, and his stage credits include a 1994 production of Edward Albee's The Zoo Story simultaneously performed in American Sign Language. "Notwithstanding the value of bringing this important work to a non-hearing audience, the energy of the gestures generated by the actors actually underscores the emotional impact of their fateful encounter," wrote Variety.
He has made numerous appearances in films and on television, frequently as the villain. In the mid-1990s he returned to the name Conrad Dunn and began working extensively in Canada as well as the U.S. Notable TV roles include an antagonistic juror in the USA Network film, We the Jury (1996), a remorseless mobster in two CBS miniseries (1997–98) adapted from Mario Puzo's The Last Don, and the arch villain in the 2000 pilot for TNT's supernatural drama series Witchblade. In 2001 he joined the principal cast of the A&E TV series, Nero Wolfe (2001–02), portraying the superlatively competent freelance detective Saul Panzer for two seasons. His later film appearances include Chicago (2001), Owning Mahowny (2003) and Ving Rhames' Animal 2 (2007).
|1981||Stripes||Francis "Psycho" Soyer|||
|1981||Days of Our Lives (TV series)||Nick Corelli||as George Jenesky:191|
|1983||T.J. Hooker (TV series)||Douglas Nelson||"Too Late for Love"|
|1983||Buffalo Bill (TV series)||"Woody Quits"|
|1983||Alice (TV series)||Customer||"The Robot Wore Pink"|
|1984||Days of Our Lives (TV series)||Nick Corelli||as George Jenesky|
|1985||Hill Street Blues (TV series)||Sonny Murdo||"You're in Alice's"|
|1986||Stewardess School||Referee||as George Jenesky|
|1986||Jumpin' Jack Flash||Man with Umbrella at Phone Booth||as George Jenesky|
|1986||Amazing Stories (TV series)||Gas Station Attendant
|"Gather Ye Acorns", as George Jenesky
"Life on Death Row", as George Jenesky
|1986||Hunter (TV series)||Rocket||"The Set Up", as George Jenesky|
|1986–90||Days of Our Lives (TV series)||Nick Corelli||as George Jenesky|
|1988||Alien Nation||Quint||as George Jenesky|
|1989||True Believer||Slim Jim||as George Jenesky:31|
|1988||Hunter (TV series)||Tommy Orlowski||"Presumed Guilty", as George Jenesky|
|1990||Death Warrant||Konefke||as George Jenesky|
|1990||Dark Justice (TV series)||Ted||"Prime Cuts", as George Jenesky|
|1992||Tequila and Bonetti (TV series)||Wayne||"Mama", as George Jenesky|
|1993||Inside Edge||Hip-Hop||as George Jenesky|
|1993||Without Warning: Terror in the Towers (TV)||Mohammed Salameh||as George Jenesky|
|1995||Highlander (TV series)||Matthew||"Blind Faith"|
|1995||The Marshal (TV series)||Louie-Louie||"Rainbow Comix"|
|1995||Due South (TV series)||Siracusa||"The Witness"|
|1996||Side Effects (TV series)||Dr. Irwin Pfaff||"Behind the Scenes"|
|1996||Ed McBain's 87th Precinct: Ice (TV)||Henry Gore|||
|1996||Mask of Death||Frank Dallio|||
|1996||We the Jury (TV)||Rafael Ramos|||
|1996||Kung Fu: The Legend Continues (TV series)||Mr. Marsden||"Who Is Kwai Chang Caine?"|
|1997||The Last Don (TV miniseries)||Lia Vazzi|||
|1997||F/X: The Series (TV series)||"Script Doctor"|
|1997||Goosebumps (TV series)||Grimm||"The Barking Ghost"|
|1997||The New Ghostwriter Mysteries (TV series)||Harry||"Designer Crime"|
|1998||The Last Don II (TV miniseries)||Lia Vazzi|||
|1999||Traders (TV series)||"Eat the Loss"|
|1999||Vendetta (TV)||Pasquale Corte|||
|1999||The Famous Jett Jackson (TV series)||Marley||"Saving Mr. Dupree"|
|1999||Black and Blue (TV)||Enrique|||
|1999||Execution of Justice (TV)||Gay Teacher|||
|2000||Harry's Case (TV)|||
|2000||La Femme Nikita (TV series)||The Director of Red Cell||"Sleeping with the Enemy"|
|2000||Witchblade (TV)||Tommy Gallo|||
|2000||Turn It Up||Urie|||
|2001||Haven (TV miniseries)||Josef|||
|2001–02||A Nero Wolfe Mystery (TV series)||Saul Panzer||[b]|
|2002||Witchblade (TV series)||Tommy Gallo||"Emergence"
|2002||Martin and Lewis (TV)||Lou Perry|||
|2003||Control Factor (TV)||Thrillkill|||
|2003||Blue Murder (TV series)||Kenney Roswell||"John Doe"|
|2003||Veritas: The Quest (TV series)||Moondawg||"Skulls"|
|2004||Direct Action||Captain Stone|||
|2004||Zeyda and the Hitman||Mr. Valenti|||
|2004||Clubhouse (TV series)||Defense Lawyer||"Road Trip"|
|2004||The Eleventh Hour (TV series)||"Megan Ice Cream"|
|2005||Cool Money (TV)||City|||
|2006||Puppets Who Kill (TV series)||Plumber||"Mr. Big"|
|2006||At the Hotel (TV series)||Señor Arioso||"Modern Solutions to Modern Problems"|
|2006||Covert One: The Hades Factor (TV miniseries)||Ghalib Hassan|||
|2006||Jeff Ltd. (TV series)||Vincent||"Ali Baba and the 40 Carpets"
"Nightmare on Stevens Street"
|2007||Degrassi: The Next Generation (TV series)||Vlad||"Don't You Want Me?"|
|2007||The Dead Zone (TV series)||Frankie Toro||"Drift"|
|2009||Murdoch Mysteries (TV series)||Professor Otranto||"Snakes and Ladders"|
|2011||XIII: The Series (TV series)||Peralta||"Costa Verde"|
|2012||Suits (TV series)||Oscar Mendoza||"Break Point"|
- Before working in Stripes, Dunn filmed scenes for Evilspeak (1981) that did not appear in the final release.:31–32
- Appearances in episodes of A Nero Wolfe Mystery are as follows: "The Doorbell Rang", "Champagne for One", "Prisoner's Base", "Eeny, Meeny, Murder, Moe", "Disguise for Murder", "Door to Death", "Christmas Party", "Over My Dead Body", "Death of a Doxy", "The Next Witness", "Motherhunt", "Too Many Clients", "Before I Die" and "The Silent Speaker".
- Logan, Michael (July 11, 1989). "Phantom of the Soap Opera". Soap Opera Digest. 14 (14): 30–31, 33–36, 38.
- "Pvt. Francis 'Psycho' Sawyer from 'Stripes'". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2015-07-16.
Pvt. Francis 'Psycho' Sawyer played by Conrad Dunn was a memorable character from the 1981 Bill Murray and Harold Ramis comedy 'Stripes.'
- "Back to the 80s: Interview with Conrad Dunn". Kickin' it Old School. February 6, 2011. Archived from the original on July 29, 2014. Retrieved 2016-11-29.
- "Stripes (1981): Quotes". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2015-07-16.
- Croce, Fernando F. (September 25, 2009). "Reviews: Stripes". CinePassion. Retrieved 2015-07-16.
- Ebert, Roger (January 1, 1981). "Stripes". RogerEbert.com. Retrieved 2015-07-16.
- Greenfield, Jimmy (November 30, 2004). "The line on great movie quotes". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2015-07-16.
- Russell, Maureen (1995). Days of Our Lives: A Complete History of the Long-Running Soap Opera. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company. ISBN 0-7864-0112-5.
- Martinez, Julio (June 22, 1994). "Review: 'The Zoo Story'". Variety. Retrieved 2015-07-15.
… The pulse of 'The Zoo Story' beats from the heart of Jerry. This strangely repulsive but hypnotic being is personified by Conrad Dunn. He is immediately dangerous but poetic, a loose cannon with the patience of a Buddhist monk. It is an amazing experience to watch this gifted performer use his words and his almost dancelike signing ability to frighten yet somehow give comfort to his newfound soulmate Peter.
- Rosenberg, Howard (October 16, 1996). "Deliberating Virtues, Vices of Three Timely TV Movies". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2015-07-15.
- Farkash, Michael (April 30, 1998). "TV Review: The Last Don II". The Hollywood Reporter.
Decent acting is in evidence, with standouts coming from two of the smaller roles—Robert Wuhl as Bobby Bantz, providing lively comic relief, and Conrad Dunn as Lia Vazzi, the most menacing of Cross' henchmen.
- Turegano, Preston (August 27, 2000). "'Witchblade' rattles along without a clue". San Diego Union Tribune.
The best performance in Witchblade is delivered by Conrad Dunn as the sociopathic Gallo.
- Hadley, Mitchell (August 27, 2013). "Mitchell's Top Ten, #7: Nero Wolfe". It's About TV. Retrieved 2015-07-15.
- "Chicago". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved 2015-07-13.
- "Conrad Dunn". AllMovie. Retrieved 2017-03-04.
- Berry, S. Torriano; Berry, Venise T. (2015). Historical Dictionary of African American Cinema (2nd ed.). Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield. p. 32. ISBN 978-1442247017. Retrieved 2015-07-13.
- "Stripes". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved 2015-07-13.
- "T.J. Hooker, Season 1". Classic TV Archive. Retrieved 2016-03-07.
- "Conrad Dunn". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2015-07-13.
- "Alien Nation". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved 2015-07-13.
- "Death Warrant". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved 2015-07-13.
- "The Marshal". Classic TV Archive. Retrieved 2016-03-07.
- Scott, Tony (February 15, 1996). "Review: 'Ed Mcbain's 87th Precinct Ice'". Variety. Retrieved 2015-07-13.
- Sandler, Adam (October 16, 1996). "Review: 'We the Jury'". Variety. Retrieved 2015-07-13.
- Richmond, Ray (May 11, 1997). "Review: 'Mario Puzo's the Last Don'". Variety. Retrieved 2015-07-13.
- Horst, Carole (March 11, 1998). "Review: 'Wonderful World of Disney' (Mr. Headmistress)". Variety. Retrieved 2015-07-13.
- Richmond, Ray (May 4, 1998). "Review: 'The Last Don II'". Variety. Retrieved 2015-07-13.
- Smith, Kevin Burton. "Harry Decker". The Thrilling Detective. Retrieved 2015-07-13.
- Oxman, Steven (August 21, 2000). "Review: 'Witchblade'". Variety. Retrieved 2015-07-13.
- Oxman, Steven (February 7, 2001). "Review: 'Haven'". Variety. Retrieved 2015-07-13.
- Van Dover, J. Kenneth (2003) . At Wolfe's Door: The Nero Wolfe Novels of Rex Stout (2nd ed.). Rockville, Maryland: James A. Rock & Company. p. 101. ISBN 091873651X.
- Gallo, Phil (November 19, 2002). "Review: 'Martin and Lewis'". Variety. Retrieved 2015-07-13.
- Strachan, Alex (March 16, 2006). "Does music have charms to soothe the savage puppet?". Ottawa Citizen.
Veteran stage actors Michael Rhoades, Tony Munch, Bill MacDonald, Joe Pingue and Conrad Dunn make cameo appearances, and they're clearly having a blast.