Bernard Whalen Convy or Bert Convy (July 23, 1933 - July 15, 1991) was an American actor, singer, game show host and panelist known for hosting Tattletales, Super Password and Win, Lose or Draw.
Convy was born in St. Louis, Missouri, the son of Bernard Fleming and Monica (nee Whalen) Convy. 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. The Philadelphia Phillies offered him a contract when he was just 17 and he played two years of minor league baseball in 1951-52. He later joined the 1950s vocal band The Cheers, who had a Top 10 hit in 1955 with "Black Denim Trousers and Motorcycles Boots".
Convy attended UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television where he received a bachelor's degree.
After a two season stint in the Philadelphia minor league system, Convy began his career in the entertainment business as a featured performer and singer in the Billy Barnes Revenues of the 1950s and 1960s. Bert portrayed a CBS usher on an Art Linkletter's House Party in 1956. He appeared in the 1961 Warner Bros. drama Susan Slade, playing Troy Donahue's rival for the affections of Connie Stevens. Convy went on to become 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 Hamilton, a rapist. He also appeared on The Partridge Family, playing the role of a politician Richard Lawrence, in "A Likely Candidate" which aired on November 3, 1972.
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 (he would later star as the host of the pilot for Match Game '90 in 1989) 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 Award for Best Game Show Host in 1977. In 1979, he appeared on Password Plus with fellow celebrity contestants such Elizabeth Montgomery, Carol Burnett, Phyllis Diller, Judy Norton Taylor, Marcia Wallace and Elaine Joyce.
Convy and Burt Reynolds formed their own production company, Burt and Bert Productions, during the 1980s. Their first production was a game show based on Pictionary titled Win, Lose or Draw which made its debut in 1987 as part of the NBC daytime lineup and in nightly syndication. Convy hosted the syndicated edition of Win, Lose or Draw for its first two seasons, then left the show to host another of his company's productions, the syndicated 3rd Degree.
When 3rd Degree went to pilot, Peter Marshall was brought in to be the host. When the series was picked up for syndication, however, Convy, decided to leave his position as the host the syndicated edition of Win, Lose or Draw and take Marshall's place on 3rd Degree. Marshall filed a lawsuit against Convy for the action, but later dropped it after Convy's cancer diagnosis was made public.
Around the time that 3rd Degree was cancelled, Convy was called by Mark Goodson Productions again to host a week's worth of pilot episodes for a revival of Match Game that Goodson was attempting to sell at ABC.
He turned to acting full-time in 1956 and was in the musical The Billy Barnes Revue in Los Angeles before moving to New York City. He appeared in 10 Broadway shows, including "Nowhere to go but Up", Cabaret (original of the role of Cliff, a fictionalized Christopher Isherwood) and The Impossible Years. He played the reporter Hildy Johnson in a 1969 Broadway revival of The Front Page, which starred Robert Ryan. In the original Broadway cast on Fiddler on the Roof with Zero Mostel, Convy played Perchik the Student and sang "Now I Have Everything". He filled in for Raul Julia in the lead role of Guido Contini in the Broadway musical Nine when Raul Julia went on vacation.
In the 1960-1961 season, Convy guest starred on Pat O'Brien's short-lived sitcom Harrigan and Son as well as the series 77 Sunset Strips in the role of David. He was also cast on an episode of 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". He played Harry Thompson, the defendant.
In 1974, Convy portrayed Li. Steve Ostrowski, the police officer nephew of elderly amateur sleuths on the short-lived series The Snoop Sisters.
Convy attempted a short-lived variety series called The Late Summer Early Fall Bert Convy Show in 1976, he appeared with the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders in their eponymous television 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 Phi Silvers Show, Fantasy Island, Charlie's Island and Murder, She Wrote (including the pilot episode). In 1983, Convy was cast a Neil Townsend on the 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 memorable 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), Phillippe de Broca's Le Caprices de Marie (1970), SST: Death Flight (1977), the horror film Jennifer (1978). Hanging by a Thread (1979), Racquet (1979), The Man in the Santa Claus Suit (1979), Hero at Large (1980), The Cannonball Run (1981) and the television movie Help Wanted: Male (1982). Convy also directed with the comedy Weekend Warriors (1986). In 1980, Convy produced at directed the Goodspeed Opera House premiere of the musical Zapata, with music and lyrics by Harry Nilsson and Penny Botkin, Jr. and libretto by Allan Katz.
Convy was married twice. He married Anne Anderson in 1959 with whom he ad three children: Jennifer, Joshua and Johan. Convy and Anderson divorced in 1991. Convy married his second wife, Catherine Hills, five months before his death.
In April 1990, Convy was admitted to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after collapsing while visiting his mother who had been hospitalized for a stroke. He was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme. The inoperable tumor forced him to retire. On July 15, 1991, Convy died at his home in Brentwood eight days before his 58th birthday. His remains were buried at Forest Lawn -- Hollywood Hills Cemetery in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles.
Convy's death also occurred three days after the final episode of the 1990-91 edition of Match Game aired on ABC, Convy hosted a week's worth of pilot episodes in 1990.