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Bert Convy, 57; Actor, TV Game Show Host

July 16, 1991|BURT A. FOLKART | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Bert Convy, the effervescent actor, singer and television game show host, died Monday at his Brentwood home of cancer.

Howard Hinderstein, his manager, said Convy, 57, most recently the celebrity host of "The Third Degree" and "Win, Lose or Draw," was diagnosed with a brain tumor 15 months ago.

A top baseball player at North Hollywood High School who briefly joined the Philadelphia Phillies farm system in the early 1950s, Convy's versatile career even ran to hit records.

Realizing that he was more suited to acting than athletics, he enrolled at UCLA and joined a rock 'n' roll group called The Cheers. Their first hit, "(Bazoom) I Need Your Lovin' " in 1954 was a mild success but their second, "Black Denim Trousers and Motorcycle Boots," a year later sold a million copies. Convy's first taste of theater also came at UCLA when he landed a non-speaking role in Moliere's "The Imaginary Invalid."

Convy's first real success as an actor was in the musical "The Billy Barnes Revue," which had a long run in Los Angeles before moving to Broadway in 1959. He starred in several major Broadway hits, including "Fiddler on the Roof," "Cabaret" and "The Front Page."

Convy also began to appear on television in such shows as "77 Sunset Strip," "Perry Mason," and, later, "Love, American Style" and "The Partridge Family." His film credits include "Semi-Tough," "The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders" and "Hero at Large."

Convy launched still another career in the 1960s as a TV talk and game show host. He was a frequent guest host on "The Tonight Show."

Convy also began hosting the daytime "Super Password" in 1974 and had his own prime-time variety show in the summer of 1976. In 1977, he won an Emmy as best daytime host for "Tattletales,"

Convy is survived by his second wife, Catherine, and three children from a previous marriage.

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