Hans Georg Conried Jr.
April 15, 1917
|Died||January 5, 1982 (aged 64)|
|Alma mater||Columbia University|
Hans Georg Conried Jr. (April 15, 1917 – January 5, 1982) was an American actor and comedian. He was known for providing the voices of Walt Disney's George Darling and Captain Hook in Peter Pan (1953), Snidely Whiplash in Jay Ward's Dudley Do-Right cartoons, Professor Waldo P. Wigglesworth in Ward's Hoppity Hooper cartoons, was host of Ward's "Fractured Flickers" and Professor Kropotkin on the radio and film versions of My Friend Irma. He also appeared as Uncle Tonoose on Danny Thomas' sitcom Make Room for Daddy, and twice on I Love Lucy.
Conried was born on April 15, 1917, in Baltimore, Maryland to parents Edith Beryl (née Gildersleeve) and Hans Georg Conried Sr. His Connecticut-born mother was a descendant of Pilgrims, and his father was a Jewish immigrant from Vienna, Austria. He was raised in Baltimore and in New York City.
He studied acting at Columbia University and went on to play major classical roles onstage. Conried worked in radio before turning to movies in 1939. During World War II, he enlisted in the United States Army in September 1944.
Conried trained at Fort Knox as a tank crewman until the army decided he was too tall. He became a heavy mortar crewman then was sent to the Philippines as an engineer laborer until fellow actor Jack Kruschen obtained his release for service with the Armed Forces Radio Network.
One of Conried's early radio appearances came in 1937, when he appeared in a supporting role in a broadcast of The Taming of the Shrew on KECA in Los Angeles, California. Four years later, a newspaper reported about his role on Hedda Hopper's Hollywood: "But at the mike, he's equally convincing as old men, drunks, dialeticians, or Shakesperean tragedians. Miss Hopper favors him for her dramatizations when the script will allow him, as she puts it, 'to have his head.'"
Conried appeared regularly on radio during the 1940s and 1950s. He was in the regular cast of Orson Welles' Ceiling Unlimited, for which he wrote the December 14, 1942, episode, "War Workers". On The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, he played a psychiatrist whom George regularly consults for help in dealing with the ditzy Gracie.
Conried made his Broadway debut in Can-Can and was credited in six films (among them The Twonky and The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T), all in 1953. Other Broadway productions include 70, Girls, 70 and Irene. He can be heard on the original cast recordings of Cole Porter's "Can-Can" and Kander & Ebb's "70, Girls, 70", where, among other songs, Conried performs a sensational, fast-paced patter song titled "The Caper."
Even as a younger man, Conried appeared much older than his actual age and he was frequently cast as middle-aged or even elderly pompous scholarly types. His inimitable growl and impeccable diction were well-suited to the roles he played, whether portraying the dim Professor Kropotkin in the radio show My Friend Irma or as comic villains and mock-sinister or cranky types, such as Mr. Darling and Captain Hook in Walt Disney's Peter Pan (following the tradition of having both characters portrayed by the same actor), and The Grinch/Narrator from Dr. Seuss' Halloween Is Grinch Night. According to the DVD commentary of Futurama, he was the inspiration for the voice created for Robot Devil. He was a live action model reference for King Stefan in Sleeping Beauty and, though he was replaced by Taylor Holmes for the voice role of Stefan, he recorded a few dialogues.
Conried was a cast member of other Dr. Seuss specials and The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, voicing the character of Snidely Whiplash in the Dudley Do-Right segments, a creation of Jay Ward and Bill Scott, as well as Wally Walrus on The Woody Woodpecker Show, Professor Waldo P. Wigglesworth on Hoppity Hooper, and Dr. Dred on Drak Pack. He also performed as the "slave in the mirror" character, hosting several memorable episodes of Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color.
Besides hosting Jay Ward's Fractured Flickers, Conried was a regular panelist on the pantomime program Stump the Stars and a semi-regular guest on the Ernie Kovacs-hosted game show Take a Good Look. He was a regular guest on Jack Paar's Tonight Show from 1959 to 1962. Conried joined the cast of The Tony Randall Show during the 1977–78 season.
His many guest appearances included I Love Lucy, Davy Crockett with Fess Parker, The Californians, Meet McGraw, Hey, Jeannie!, The Ray Milland Show, The DuPont Show with June Allyson, The Real McCoys with Walter Brennan, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, Mister Ed, The Islanders, Ben Casey, Dr. Kildare, Lost in Space with Guy Williams, Daniel Boone with Fess Parker, The Beverly Hillbillies with Buddy Ebsen, The Lucy Show, Gilligan's Island with Alan Hale Jr., The Monkees, Have Gun – Will Travel with Richard Boone, Love, American Style, Here's Lucy, Kolchak, Alice, Laverne & Shirley, The Love Boat, Hogan's Heroes, Match Game, Maverick with James Garner, The Donna Reed Show, What's It For, Fantasy Island and Quark.
From 1955 to 1964, Conried made 19 guest appearances as Danny Thomas' Uncle Tonoose in Make Room for Daddy on ABC and then CBS, and four appearances as other characters. He was featured in the 1958 episode "What Makes Opera Grand?" on the anthology series Omnibus. The episode, an analysis by Leonard Bernstein, showing the powerful effect of music in opera, featured Conried as Marcello in a spoken dramatization of Act III of Puccini's La Bohème. The program demonstrated the effect of the music in La Bohème by having actors speak portions of the libretto in English, followed by opera singers singing the same lines in the original Italian.
Conried played Dr. Terwilliker in The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T (1953), the only motion picture ever written by Dr. Seuss.
Conried married Margaret Grant on January 29, 1942; they had four children.
Conried had a long history of heart problems and suffered a stroke in 1974 and a mild heart attack in 1979. He remained active until his death on January 5, 1982, one day after suffering a major heart attack. His body was donated to medical science.