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Gerry Conway

Gerry Conway

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Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

One of the rare writers who managed to transition from comic books to television, Gerry Conway wrote on nearly every Marvel comic series published during the 1970s. His success in comic books oddly led to a career in television by way of animation, then on to primetime for the venerable "Law & Order" franchise. Though not as well known as predecessor and comic icon Stan Lee, or Todd McFarlane, who became popular in the 1990s, Conway nonetheless carved out a prominent career. Among his most notable work was the seminal Spider-Man storyline involving the death of girlfriend Gwen Stacy - a comic that remained popular well after publication, and The Punisher - the first real vigilante superhero that inspired two feature films.Conway was born Sept. 10, 1952 in New York, NY. During his childhood, the science fiction and horror fan dreamed of becoming a filmmaker; a fantasy that started to become reality when he began making 8mm movies with his friends. At 16, the industrious young Conway wrote a six-page horror story and sold it to DC Comics, where it was published in House of Secrets #81 in September 1969. Conway hit the ground running and was an instant pro, turning out additional horror anthology tales...

One of the rare writers who managed to transition from comic books to television, Gerry Conway wrote on nearly every Marvel comic series published during the 1970s. His success in comic books oddly led to a career in television by way of animation, then on to primetime for the venerable "Law & Order" franchise. Though not as well known as predecessor and comic icon Stan Lee, or Todd McFarlane, who became popular in the 1990s, Conway nonetheless carved out a prominent career. Among his most notable work was the seminal Spider-Man storyline involving the death of girlfriend Gwen Stacy - a comic that remained popular well after publication, and The Punisher - the first real vigilante superhero that inspired two feature films.

Conway was born Sept. 10, 1952 in New York, NY. During his childhood, the science fiction and horror fan dreamed of becoming a filmmaker; a fantasy that started to become reality when he began making 8mm movies with his friends. At 16, the industrious young Conway wrote a six-page horror story and sold it to DC Comics, where it was published in House of Secrets #81 in September 1969. Conway hit the ground running and was an instant pro, turning out additional horror anthology tales to DC and rival publisher Marvel Comics, which had its own line of horror thrillers like Chamber of Darkness and Tower of Shadows.

Within a few years, Conway was writing mainstream superhero comics such as Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk. He would go on to script nearly every Marvel title, but his most memorable and revered work was on its flagship title, The Amazing Spider-Man. Along with artist John Romita, the 19-year-old Conway formulated a storyline culminating in the death of the character of Gwen Stacy, girlfriend of Peter Parker, and her killer, the villainous Green Goblin. While the creative team was convinced that the storyline would shake up readers, they had no idea their efforts would resonate for years and captivate generations of fans. Variations of the storyline even made their way into the plotlines for the "Spider-Man" movies, directed by Sam Raimi - a self-professed fan of Marvel during Conway's reign.

In 1974, Conway co-created the character of gun-toting vigilante, The Punisher, a somewhat controversial figure in its time because of its violence. While an instant hit, the character went on to further fame in the 1980s when comic books matured and embraced edgier stories from new writers and artists. The Punisher also spawned two feature films; one in 1989 starring Dolph Lundgren, and the second - a more faithful adaptation - in 2004, starring Thomas Jane. Conway's prolific writing led to a brief stint as editor-in-chief for Marvel, though he only held the post for a few months before returning to DC. He also penned the science fiction novels Midnight Dancers (1971) and Mindship (1974), before writing the daily newspaper comic strip adaptation for "Star Trek" in 1983. Along with Marvel writer and editor Roy Thomas, Conway co-wrote screenplays for "Fire and Ice" (1983) an animated film directed by Ralph Bakshi, and "Conan the Destroyer" (1984), the lesser sequel to the 1982 film.

Eager to explore other mediums - and certain that he would like to write something other than comics before he reached 50 years of age, Conway made the jump to television. He started in animation, writing episodes of "Superfriends: The Legendary Super Powers Show" (ABC, 1984), "G.I. Joe" (syndicated, 1985-86) and "Transformers" (syndicated, 1984-87). But it was his move to primetime drama that truly cemented Conway's career. He got his start when producer Dean Hargrove hired him to rewrite an episode of "Father Dowling Mysteries" (NBC, ABC, 1989-1991). With that assignment soon leading to fulltime work writing and producing, Conway quickly established himself as an adept procedural writer, penning episodes of "Jake and the Fatman" (CBS, 1987-1992), "Matlock" (NBC, ABC, 1986-1995), "Diagnosis: Murder" (CBS, 1993-2001) and three syndicated made-for-television Perry Mason movies.

But Conway still held on to his first love, returning to animated superheroes with episodes of the critically acclaimed "Batman: The Animated Series" (Fox, 1992-95), whose style and storytelling - which was geared towards an older, more sophisticated audience - was far more advanced and mature than the cartoons of 10 years earlier, according to Conway. Meanwhile, he wrote an episode of "Spider-Man," (Fox Kids Network, 1994-98), then moved back to more genre writing with the live-action "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" (1995-99), "Baywatch Nights," (syndicated, 1995-97), and the short-lived DC Comics-based series, "The Huntress." (USA, 2000).

Conway again made another big career jump when he moved over to primetime drama, landing a staff writing gig during the ninth season of the Dick Wolf-produced mainstay, "Law & Order" (NBC, 1990- ). Once established in the "L&O" family, he joined the staff of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" (NBC, 2001- ) as a co-executive producer. He announced plans in interviews to eventually leave the show in order to pursue his own television ideas.

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CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Final Option, The (1982) Pop Group Member
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