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Tom Conway

tom conway, tom conway biography
Tom Conway 15 September 1904 – 22 April 1967 was a British film, television and radio actor remembered for playing private detectives including The Falcon, Sherlock Holmes, Bulldog Drummond and The Saint and psychiatrists


  • 1 Early life
  • 2 Career
  • 3 Decline and death
  • 4 Filmography
  • 5 References
  • 6 External links

Early lifeedit

Conway was born Thomas Charles Sanders in St Petersburg, Russia, the son of Henry Peter Ernest Sanders1 1868–1960,2 and Margarethe Jenny Bertha Sanders née Kolbe; 1883–1967, who was born in Saint Petersburg, of mostly German, but also Estonian and Scottish, heritage34 His younger brother b 1906 d 1972 was fellow actor George Sanders5 Their younger sister, Margaret Sanders, was born in 1912 At the outbreak of the Russian Revolution 1917, the family moved to England, where Conway was educated at Bedales School and Brighton College He travelled to Northern Rhodesia, where he worked in mining and ranching, then returned to England, appearing in several plays with the Manchester Repertory Company and performing on BBC Radio


When he joined his brother George in Hollywood, Conway became a contract player for MGM

Conway is perhaps best known for playing "The Falcon" in ten of the series' entries, taking over for his brother in The Falcon's Brother, in which they both starred This work led Conway to become a contract player with RKO Pictures While working for the studio, Conway starred in three of Val Lewton's horror films In two otherwise unrelated films, Cat People 1942 and The Seventh Victim 1943, he played Dr Louis Judd, although the character was killed in Cat People The third Lewton film in which he starred was I Walked with a Zombie also 1943

On radio, Conway played Sherlock Holmes during the 1946–1947 season of The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, following Basil Rathbone's departure from the series6:302 In spite of a similar vocal timbre, Conway was not as well-received as Rathbone by audiences; he only played Holmes for one season

Conway's screen career diminished in the 1950s, but he appeared in a number of British films, as well as on radio and television In 1951, he replaced Vincent Price as star of the radio mystery series The Saint,6 a character which Sanders had portrayed on film a decade earlier In 1956, the two brothers both featured as brothers in the film Death of a Scoundrel, though Sanders had the starring role

From 1951–1954, Conway played debonair British police detective Mark Saber, who worked in the homicide division of a large American city, in the ABC series entitled Inspector Mark Saber – Homicide Detective7 In 1957, the series resumed on NBC, renamed Saber of London, with Donald Gray in the title role8

Conway performed in the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode "The Glass Eye" 1957 as Max Collodi, receiving critical praise His final television appearance was in the Perry Mason episode, "The Case of the Simple Simon" 1964, playing the role of Guy Penrose

Conway provided his voice for Disney's 101 Dalmatians 1961 as a quizmaster in What's My Crime—a parody of the game show What's My Line—and as a collie who offers the dalmatians shelter in a barn, later guiding them home His wife at the time, Queenie Leonard, voiced a cow in the barn

Decline and deathedit

Despite having been financially successful in his twenty-four-year film career, Conway later struggled to make ends meet Failing eyesight and alcoholism took their toll on him in his last years His second wife Leonard divorced him in 1963 because of his drinking problem, and his brother George Sanders broke off all contact with him because of it

Conway underwent cataract surgery during the winter of 1964–65 In September 1965, he briefly returned to the headlines, having been discovered living in a $2-a-day room in a Venice, Los Angeles flophouse Gifts, contributions and offers of aid poured in for a time

His last years were marked with hospitalizations It was there that former sister-in-law Zsa Zsa Gabor paid Conway a visit and gave him $200 "Tip the nurses a little bit so they'll be good to you," she told him The following day, the hospital called her to say that Conway had left with the $200, gone to his girlfriend's house, and become gravely sick in her bed It was 22 April 1967, and he died from cirrhosis of the liver at the age of 62 His funeral was held in London


  • Waterloo Bridge 1940 voice, uncredited
  • Sky Murder 1940 as Andrew Hendon
  • The Great Meddler 1940 as Henry Bergh
  • The Wild Man of Borneo 1941 as Actor in Film Scene uncredited
  • The Trial of Mary Dugan 1941 as Edgar Wayne
  • Free and Easy 1941 as Captain Ferris
  • The Bad Man 1941 as Morgan Pell
  • The People vs Dr Kildare 1941 as Mr Channing
  • Lady Be Good 1941 as Mr Blanton
  • Tarzan's Secret Treasure 1941 as Medford
  • Mr and Mrs North 1942 as Louis Berex
  • Rio Rita 1942 as Maurice Craindall
  • Grand Central Murder 1942 as Frankie Ciro
  • Mrs Miniver 1942 as Man uncredited
  • The Falcon's Brother 1942 as Tom Lawrence
  • Cat People 1942 as Dr Louis Judd
  • The Falcon Strikes Back 1943 as Tom Lawrence
  • I Walked with a Zombie 1943 as Paul Holland
  • The Falcon in Danger 1943 as Tom Lawrence
  • The Seventh Victim 1943 as Dr Louis Judd
  • The Falcon and the Co-eds 1943 as Tom Lawrence
  • The Falcon Out West 1944 as Tom Lawrence
  • A Night of Adventure 1944 as Mark Latham
  • The Falcon in Mexico 1944 as Tom Lawrence
  • The Falcon in Hollywood 1944 as Tom Lawrence
  • Two O'Clock Courage 1945 as Ted 'Step' Allison
  • The Falcon in San Francisco 1945 as Tom Lawrence
  • Whistle Stop 1946 as Lew Lentz
  • The Falcon's Alibi 1946 as Tom Lawrence
  • Criminal Court 1946 as Steve Barnes
  • The Falcon's Adventure 1946 as Tom Lawrence
  • Lost Honeymoon 1947 as Dr Robert 'Bob' Davis
  • Fun on a Weekend 1947 as Jefferson Van Orsdale Jr
  • Repeat Performance 1947 as John Friday
  • The Challenge 1948 as Capt Hugh 'Bulldog' Drummond
  • 13 Lead Soldiers 1948 as Capt Hugh 'Bulldog' Drummond
  • The Checkered Coat 1948 as Dr Michael Madden
  • One Touch of Venus 1948 as Whitfield Savory
  • Bungalow 13 1948 as Christopher Adams
  • I Cheated the Law 1949 as John Campbell
  • The Great Plane Robbery 1950 as Ned Johnson
  • Painting the Clouds with Sunshine 1951 as Bennington Lansing
  • Bride of the Gorilla 1951 as Dr Viet
  • Confidence Girl 1952 as Roger Kingsley
  • Peter Pan 1953 as Narrator voice
  • Tarzan and the She-Devil 1953 as Fidel
  • Park Plaza 605 1953 as Norman Conquest
  • Blood Orange 1953 as Tom Conway, private investigator
  • Paris Model 1953 as Maharajah of Kim-Kepore
  • Prince Valiant 1954 as Sir Kay
  • Barbados Quest 1955 as Tom Martin
  • Breakaway 1955 as Tom 'Duke' Martin
  • The She-Creature 1956 as Timothy Chappel
  • The Last Man to Hang 1956 as Sir Roderick Strood
  • Death of a Scoundrel 1956 as Gerry Monte aka Sabourin
  • Operation Murder 1957 as Dr Wayne
  • Voodoo Woman 1957 as Dr Roland Gerard
  • The Atomic Submarine 1959 as Sir Ian Hunt
  • 12 to the Moon 1960 as Dr Feodor Orloff
  • One Hundred and One Dalmatians 1961 as Quizmaster / Collie voice
  • What a Way to Go! 1964 as Lord Kensington uncredited final film role


  1. ^ genicom
  2. ^ freebmdorguk deaths
  3. ^ genicom
  4. ^ Sanders, George 1960 Memoirs of a Professional Cad Hamish Hamilton p 8 
  5. ^ Obituary Variety, 26 April 1967
  6. ^ a b Terrace, Vincent 1999 Radio Programs, 1924-1984: A Catalog of More Than 1800 Shows McFarland & Company, Inc ISBN 978-0-7864-4513-4 P 293
  7. ^ Terrace, Vincent 2011 Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 McFarland & Company, Inc ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7 P 656
  8. ^ Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh, The Complete Directory to Prime Time and Cable TV Shows, 1946 – present New York City: Random House Publishing Co, 2003 Retrieved 5 January 2011 

External linksedit

  • Media related to Tom Conway at Wikimedia Commons
  • Tom Conway on Internet Movie Database
  • Tom Conway at AllMovie
  • Tom Conway at the TCM Movie Database
  • Tom Conway at Find a Grave

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