Kevin Conway, Star of The Elephant Man and Of Mice and Men on Broadway, Dies at 77

Obituaries   Kevin Conway, Star of The Elephant Man and Of Mice and Men on Broadway, Dies at 77
 
The performer—and sometimes director—also appeared in several films and TV shows.
Kevin Conway Obit Graphic_HR

Broadway performer Kevin Conway died February 5 at the age of 77. He was known for his performances as Frederick Treves in The Elephant Man and George in Of Mice and Men, among others. The cause of death was a heart attack, as confirmed to The New York Times by his longtime partner Geraldine Newman.

Mr. Conway made his Broadway debut in 1969 in the Tony-nominated Indians as Black Hawk, going on to perform in a total of seven productions on the Main Stem. He was last seen on Broadway in the 2002 revival of Dinner at Eight, starring Christine Ebersole and Marian Seldes.

James Earl Jones and Kevin Conway in <i>Of Mice and Men</i> on Broadway, 1974
James Earl Jones and Kevin Conway in Of Mice and Men on Broadway, 1974 Martha Swope

The performer was also known for his work Off-Broadway, earning a Drama Desk award in 1974 for his performance in When You Comin’ Back, Red Ryder? and nominated in 1980 for his direction of the play Mecca. He also played Randle McMurphy in an Off-Broadway production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. He starred alongside many theatre heavy-hitters, including James Earl Jones and Mercedes Reuhl.

Mr. Conway was born May 29, 1942, in Harlem. Upon graduating Brooklyn’s Bishop Loughlin High School, he joined the navy and, after that, worked at IBM. Enrolled in evening acting classes, Mr. Conway discovered his passion for the stage.

In addition to his stage work, the performer appeared in film and television and did voice-overs. His screen breakout came as Clancy in Believe in Me, but he was noted for his performance as Roland Weary the following year of the 1972 adaptation Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five. Film credits throughout his career include Gettysburg, Thirteen Days, and Invincible.

On TV, he had guest roles on The Good Wife, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, and Oz, among others. More recently, Mr. Conway served as narrator for several television programs such as Who Killed Jane Doe? and Prairie Dog Manor. He recorded vocals as Daniel Webster in The Gettysburg Address, which is in post-production.

Mr. Conway is survived by Newman.