Conrad Dunn

Conrad Dunn is an American actor. He began his screen career with the role of Francis "Psycho" Soyer in Stripes (1981). Working for some ten years under the name George Jenesky, he achieved soap-opera stardom in Days of Our Lives as Nick Corelli, a misogynistic pimp who evolved from bad guy to romantic lead. He returned to the name Conrad Dunn and began working extensively in Canadian as well as U.S. film and television. He excels as a villain, and has found depth in such TV films as We the Jury (1996) and the miniseries The Last Don (1997–98). For two seasons he portrayed the freelance detective Saul Panzer in the A&E TV series A Nero Wolfe Mystery (2001–02).

Life and career

Born and raised in Los Angeles,[1]:31 Conrad Dunn studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts-Los Angeles and with Stella Adler in New York. After seeing him on the stage, a casting director asked him to read for the role of Francis "Psycho" Soyer[2] in Stripes (1981), his first feature film.[3][lower-alpha 1] His introductory speech,[4] described by one reviewer as "Conrad Dunn's adroit tribute to Travis Bickle",[5] was singled out by film critic Roger Ebert: "The movie has especially good writing in several scenes. My favorite comes near the beginning, during a session when recruits in the new platoon get to know one another. One obviously psycho draftee, who looks like Robert De Niro, quietly announces that if his fellow soldiers touch him, touch his stuff, or interfere in any way with his person or his privacy, he will quite simply be forced to kill them."[6] The response from drill sergeant Warren Oates—"Lighten up, Francis"—became a popular movie quote.[7]

Taking the name George Jenesky, Dunn performed over seven seasons (1981–90) in the NBC daytime soap opera, Days of Our Lives. His character, Nick Corelli, became a fan favorite, a despicable pimp who evolved into a romantic lead and one of the show's main characters.[1]:34, 36[8]:71, 191 Nick's murder was one of the series' notable whodunits.[8]:146–149

Dunn had his own theatre company,[3] and his stage credits include a 1994 production of Edward Albee's The Zoo Story simultaneously performed in American Sign Language. "Notwithstanding the value of bringing this important work to a non-hearing audience, the energy of the gestures generated by the actors actually underscores the emotional impact of their fateful encounter," wrote Variety.[9]

He has made numerous appearances in films and on television, frequently as the villain.[3] In the mid-1990s he returned to the name Conrad Dunn and began working extensively in Canada as well as the U.S. Notable TV roles include an antagonistic juror in the USA Network film, We the Jury (1996),[10] a remorseless mobster in two CBS miniseries (1997–98) adapted from Mario Puzo's The Last Don,[11] and the arch villain in the 2000 pilot for TNT's supernatural drama series Witchblade.[12] In 2001 he joined the principal cast of the A&E TV series, Nero Wolfe (2001–02), portraying the superlatively competent freelance detective Saul Panzer for two seasons.[13] His later film appearances include Chicago (2001),[14] Owning Mahowny (2003)[15] and Ving Rhames' Animal 2 (2007).[16]


Year Title Role Notes
1981 Stripes Francis "Psycho" Soyer [3][17]
1981 Days of Our Lives (TV series) Nick Corelli as George Jenesky[8]:191
1983 T.J. Hooker (TV series) Douglas Nelson "Too Late for Love"[18]
1983 Buffalo Bill (TV series) "Woody Quits"[19]
1983 Alice (TV series) Customer "The Robot Wore Pink"[19]
1984 Days of Our Lives (TV series) Nick Corelli as George Jenesky[8]
1985 Hill Street Blues (TV series) Sonny Murdo "You're in Alice's"[19]
1986 Stewardess School Referee as George Jenesky[19]
1986 Jumpin' Jack Flash Man with Umbrella at Phone Booth as George Jenesky[19]
1986 Amazing Stories (TV series) Gas Station Attendant
Warden's Guard
"Gather Ye Acorns", as George Jenesky
"Life on Death Row", as George Jenesky[19]
1986 Hunter (TV series) Rocket "The Set Up", as George Jenesky[19]
1986–90 Days of Our Lives (TV series) Nick Corelli as George Jenesky[8]
1988 Alien Nation Quint as George Jenesky[20]
1989 True Believer Slim Jim as George Jenesky[1]:31
1988 Hunter (TV series) Tommy Orlowski "Presumed Guilty", as George Jenesky[19]
1990 Death Warrant Konefke as George Jenesky[21]
1990 Tequila and Bonetti (TV series) Wayne "Mama" as George Jenesky[19]
1990 Dark Justice (TV series) Ted "Prime Cuts", as George Jenesky[19]
1993 Inside Edge Hip-Hop as George Jenesky[19]
1993 Without Warning: Terror in the Towers (TV) Mohammed Salameh as George Jenesky[19]
1995 Highlander (TV series) Matthew "Blind Faith"[15]
1995 The Marshal (TV series) Louie-Louie "Rainbow Comix"[22]
1995 Due South (TV series) Siracusa "The Witness"[15]
1996 Side Effects (TV series) Dr. Irwin Pfaff "Behind the Scenes"[19]
1996 Ed McBain's 87th Precinct: Ice (TV) Henry Gore [15][23]
1996 Mask of Death Frank Dallio [15]
1996 Silent Trigger Klein [15]
1996 We the Jury (TV) Rafael Ramos [24]
1996 Kung Fu: The Legend Continues (TV series) Mr. Marsden "Who Is Kwai Chang Caine?"[19]
1997 The Last Don (TV miniseries) Lia Vazzi [15][25]
1997 F/X: The Series (TV series) "Script Doctor"[19]
1997 Goosebumps (TV series) Grimm "The Barking Ghost"[19]
1997 The New Ghostwriter Mysteries (TV series) Harry "Designer Crime"[15]
1998 Mr. Headmistress Farley [15][26]
1998 The Last Don II (TV miniseries) Lia Vazzi [15][27]
1999 Traders (TV series) "Eat the Loss"[19]
1999 Vendetta (TV) Pasquale Corte [15]
1999 The Famous Jett Jackson (TV series) Marley "Saving Mr. Dupree"[19]
1999 Black and Blue (TV) Enrique [15]
1999 Execution of Justice (TV) Gay Teacher [15]
2000 Harry's Case (TV) [28]
2000 La Femme Nikita (TV series) The Director of Red Cell "Sleeping with the Enemy"[19]
2000 Witchblade (TV) Tommy Gallo [12][15][29]
2000 Turn It Up Urie [15]
2001 Haven (TV miniseries) Josef [15][30]
2001–02 A Nero Wolfe Mystery (TV series) Saul Panzer[31] [lower-alpha 2]
2002 Witchblade (TV series) Tommy Gallo "Emergence"[19]
2002 Martin and Lewis (TV) Lou Perry [15][32]
2002 Chicago Doctor [14]
2003 Control Factor (TV) Thrillkill [15]
2003 Owning Mahowny Edgar [15]
2003 Blue Murder (TV series) Kenney Roswell "John Doe"[19]
2003 Veritas: The Quest (TV series) Moondawg "Skulls"[19]
2004 Direct Action Captain Stone [19]
2004 Zeyda and the Hitman Mr. Valenti [19]
2004 Clubhouse (TV series) Defense Lawyer "Road Trip"[19]
2004 The Eleventh Hour (TV series) "Megan Ice Cream"[19]
2005 Cool Money (TV) City [19]
2006 Puppets Who Kill (TV series) Plumber "Mr. Big"[19][33]
2006 At the Hotel (TV series) Señor Arioso "Modern Solutions to Modern Problems"[19]
2006 Covert One: The Hades Factor (TV miniseries) Ghalib Hassan [19]
2006 Jeff Ltd. (TV series) Vincent "Ali Baba and the 40 Carpets"[19]
"Nightmare on Stevens Street"[19]
2007 Animal 2 Kasada [3][16]
2007 Degrassi: The Next Generation (TV series) Vlad "Don't You Want Me?"[19]
2007 The Dead Zone (TV series) Frankie Toro "Drift"[19]
2009 Murdoch Mysteries (TV series) Professor Otranto "Snakes and Ladders"[19]
2011 XIII: The Series (TV series) Peralta "Costa Verde"[19]
2012 Suits (TV series) Oscar Mendoza "Break Point"[19]


  1. Before working in Stripes, Dunn filmed scenes for Evilspeak (1981) that did not appear in the final release.[1]:31–32
  2. Appearances in episodes of A Nero Wolfe Mystery are as follows: "The Doorbell Rang", "Champagne for One", "Prisoner's Base", "Eeny, Meeny, Murder, Moe", "Disguise for Murder", "Door to Death", "Christmas Party", "Over My Dead Body", "Death of a Doxy", "The Next Witness", "Motherhunt", "Too Many Clients", "Before I Die" and "The Silent Speaker".[19]


  1. 1 2 3 4 Logan, Michael (July 11, 1989). "Phantom of the Soap Opera". Soap Opera Digest. 14 (14): 30–31, 33–36, 38.
  2. "Pvt. Francis 'Psycho' Sawyer from 'Stripes'". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2015-07-16. Pvt. Francis 'Psycho' Sawyer played by Conrad Dunn was a memorable character from the 1981 Bill Murray and Harold Ramis comedy 'Stripes.'
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 "Back to the 80s: Interview with Conrad Dunn". Kickin' it Old School. February 6, 2011. Archived from the original on July 29, 2014. Retrieved 2016-11-29.
  4. "Stripes (1981): Quotes". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2015-07-16.
  5. Croce, Fernando F. (September 25, 2009). "Reviews: Stripes". CinePassion. Retrieved 2015-07-16.
  6. Ebert, Roger (January 1, 1981). "Stripes". Retrieved 2015-07-16.
  7. Greenfield, Jimmy (November 30, 2004). "The line on great movie quotes". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2015-07-16.
  8. 1 2 3 4 5 Russell, Maureen (1995). Days of Our Lives: A Complete History of the Long-Running Soap Opera. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company. ISBN 0-7864-0112-5.
  9. Martinez, Julio (June 22, 1994). "Review: 'The Zoo Story'". Variety. Retrieved 2015-07-15. … The pulse of 'The Zoo Story' beats from the heart of Jerry. This strangely repulsive but hypnotic being is personified by Conrad Dunn. He is immediately dangerous but poetic, a loose cannon with the patience of a Buddhist monk. It is an amazing experience to watch this gifted performer use his words and his almost dancelike signing ability to frighten yet somehow give comfort to his newfound soulmate Peter.
  10. Rosenberg, Howard (October 16, 1996). "Deliberating Virtues, Vices of Three Timely TV Movies". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2015-07-15.
  11. Farkash, Michael (April 30, 1998). "TV Review: The Last Don II". The Hollywood Reporter. Decent acting is in evidence, with standouts coming from two of the smaller roles—Robert Wuhl as Bobby Bantz, providing lively comic relief, and Conrad Dunn as Lia Vazzi, the most menacing of Cross' henchmen.
  12. 1 2 Turegano, Preston (August 27, 2000). "'Witchblade' rattles along without a clue". San Diego Union Tribune. The best performance in Witchblade is delivered by Conrad Dunn as the sociopathic Gallo.
  13. Hadley, Mitchell (August 27, 2013). "Mitchell's Top Ten, #7: Nero Wolfe". It's About TV. Retrieved 2015-07-15.
  14. 1 2 "Chicago". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved 2015-07-13.
  15. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 "Conrad Dunn Filmography". The New York Times (AllMovie). Retrieved 2015-07-13.
  16. 1 2 Berry, S. Torriano; Berry, Venise T. (2015). Historical Dictionary of African American Cinema (2nd ed.). Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield. p. 32. ISBN 978-1442247017. Retrieved 2015-07-13.
  17. "Stripes". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved 2015-07-13.
  18. "T.J. Hooker, Season 1". Classic TV Archive. Retrieved 2016-03-07.
  19. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 "Conrad Dunn". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2015-07-13.
  20. "Alien Nation". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved 2015-07-13.
  21. "Death Warrant". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved 2015-07-13.
  22. "The Marshal". Classic TV Archive. Retrieved 2016-03-07.
  23. Scott, Tony (February 15, 1996). "Review: 'Ed Mcbain's 87th Precinct Ice'". Variety. Retrieved 2015-07-13.
  24. Sandler, Adam (October 16, 1996). "Review: 'We the Jury'". Variety. Retrieved 2015-07-13.
  25. Richmond, Ray (May 11, 1997). "Review: 'Mario Puzo's the Last Don'". Variety. Retrieved 2015-07-13.
  26. Horst, Carole (March 11, 1998). "Review: 'Wonderful World of Disney' (Mr. Headmistress)". Variety. Retrieved 2015-07-13.
  27. Richmond, Ray (May 4, 1998). "Review: 'The Last Don II'". Variety. Retrieved 2015-07-13.
  28. Smith, Kevin Burton. "Harry Decker". The Thrilling Detective. Retrieved 2015-07-13.
  29. Oxman, Steven (August 21, 2000). "Review: 'Witchblade'". Variety. Retrieved 2015-07-13.
  30. Oxman, Steven (February 7, 2001). "Review: 'Haven'". Variety. Retrieved 2015-07-13.
  31. Van Dover, J. Kenneth (2003) [1991]. At Wolfe's Door: The Nero Wolfe Novels of Rex Stout (2nd ed.). Rockville, Maryland: James A. Rock & Company. p. 101. ISBN 091873651X.
  32. Gallo, Phil (November 19, 2002). "Review: 'Martin and Lewis'". Variety. Retrieved 2015-07-13.
  33. Strachan, Alex (March 16, 2006). "Does music have charms to soothe the savage puppet?". Ottawa Citizen. Veteran stage actors Michael Rhoades, Tony Munch, Bill MacDonald, Joe Pingue and Conrad Dunn make cameo appearances, and they're clearly having a blast.

External links

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