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Jack Conway (filmmaker)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jack Conway
Jack Conway 1937 (cropped).jpg
Conway in 1937
Hugh Ryan Conway

(1886-07-17)July 17, 1886
DiedOctober 11, 1952(1952-10-11) (aged 66)
  • Actor
  • director
  • producer
Years active1909–1948
Spouse(s)Viola Barry (1911–1918) (divorced) 2 children
Virginia Bushman (1926–1952) (his death) 2 children

Hugh Ryan "Jack" Conway (July 17, 1886 – October 11, 1952) was an American film director and film producer, as well as an actor of many films in the first half of the 20th century.

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He was born as Hugh Ryan Conway, on July 17, 1886, in Graceville, Minnesota, USA. Conway started out as an actor, joining a repertory theater group straight out of high school. He then moved into films, and in 1911, became a member of D.W. Griffith's stock company, appearing primarily in Westerns. Four years later, he made his mark as a director and gained valuable experience at Universal (1916–17 and 1921–23), before moving on to MGM in 1925. He remained there until 1948, often helming prestige assignments featuring the studio's top male star, Clark Gable: Boom Town (1940), Honky Tonk (1941), and The Hucksters (1947) – all solid box-office hits.

Conway was one of a team of MGM contract directors, who forsook any pretense to a specific individual style in favor of working within the strictures set forth by studio management. A thoroughly competent craftsman, he delivered commercially successful entertainment, on time, and within budget.

In his most famous film, A Tale of Two Cities (1935), he used 17,000 extras for the Paris mob scenes alone. This spectacular adaptation of the Dickens classic is still regarded by many as the definitive screen version.[citation needed]

Another popular hit was the sophisticated all-star comedy Libeled Lady (1936), with the New York Times reviewer commenting on Conway's "agile direction". Conway also directed Viva Villa!, a hit MGM film starring Wallace Beery that was nominated for four Academy Awards.

Conway and director Edmund Goulding share the distinction of directing the most Best Picture-nominated films without ever being nominated for Best Director, with three apiece. Conway's nominated films were Viva Villa!, A Tale of Two Cities, and Libeled Lady.

Private life

His first marriage was to silent film actress Viola Barry. Together, they had two children, including writer Rosemary Conway. His second marriage was to Virginia Bushman, daughter of silent screen star Francis X. Bushman. They had two children, as well, including the actor Pat Conway. They resided in Pacific Palisades, California, in a house designed by architect Allen Siple (1900–1973).[1] A street in Pacific Palisades, Jacon Way, is named for Conway. He retired from films in 1948 and died four years later at his home from pulmonary disease.[2]





  • The Girl from Missouri (1934)
  • Hell Below (1933)
  • Just a Gigolo (1931)
  • Our Modern Maidens (1929)


  1. ^ "PCAD - the Pacific Coast Architecture Database - Home". Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  2. ^ — Los Angeles Times Oct. 13, 1952 (October 13, 1952). "Jack Conway - Hollywood Star Walk - Los Angeles Times". Retrieved May 4, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)

External links

This page was last edited on 24 March 2023, at 16:30
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