Sad news today as we just heard cult actor Kevin Conway has passed away at the age of 77. His longtime partner Geraldine Newman says he died of a heart attack in Manhattan on Wednesday.
Conway is perhaps best known around these parts as Conrad Straker the Funhouse Barker in director Tobe Hooper’s The Funhouse. That said, I know the man best as Theo in Clint Eastwood’s Mystic River, and as the Mailman, Crum Petree, in Funny Farm with Chevy Chase.
Other notable Conway roles include Sgt. Buster Kilrain in Gettysburg and Gods and Generals, Chief Citrine in Jennifer 8, Eugene Dred in The Quick and the Dead, the control voice in The Outer Limits, and Jonathan Walker in Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace.
The Funhouse centered on a rebellious teen Amy (Elizabeth Berridge) who defies her parents by going to a trashy carnival that has pulled into town. In tow are her boyfriend, Buzz (Cooper Huckabee), and their friends Liz (Largo Woodruff) and Richie (Miles Chapin). Thinking it would be fun to spend the night in the campy “Funhouse” horror ride, the teens witness a murder by a deformed worker wearing a mask. Locked in, Amy and her friends must evade the murderous carnival workers and escape before it leaves town the next day.
It was directed by Tobe Hooper and produced by Steven Bernhardt, Derek Power, Mace Neufeld, and Mark L. Lester from a screenplay written by Larry Block. Conway’s co-stars included Elizabeth Berridge, Cooper Huckabee, Largo Woodruff, Miles Chapin, Sylvia Miles, and William Finley. Universal Pictures released the cult classic into theaters back on March 13, 1981.