HOLLYWOOD -- Hans Conried, the versatile comedian who delighted radio, TV, movie and stage audiences with his ability to mimick exotic accents -- from Un:le Tonoose to Professor Kropotkin to Snidley Whiplash -- died Tuesday of a heart attack. He was 64.
Conried had been hospitalized since Sunday at St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank with chest pains after returning from Seattle where he had performed in 'Barefoot in the Park.' His wife of 40 years, Margaret, and several other family members were at his bedside when he died.
Although Conried considered himself just a 'provincial player,' John Barrymore once described him as 'one of the most versatile actors I've ever seen.'
The comedian appeared in more than 100 movies and Broadway shows, but he was best-known to TV audiences as Un:le Tonoose on 'The Danny Thomas Show' and as host of 'Fractured Flickers,' a 1960s series that took silent pictures and dubbed them with funny dialogues.
'It's awfully shocking, losing a brother, losing a pal, losing a great co-star,' Thomas said. 'He was a wonderful human being, a tremendous man. He was the consummate actor. He went from Shakespeare to slapstick. He did everything. We shall miss him, I tell you.'
Conried's voice was better known than his face to many fans. He often took parts requiring East European, Meditarrean and other exotic accents. The voice of the evil Snidley Whiplash on 'The Bullwinkle Show' cartoons was his too.
He was heard regularly on the CBS-Radio Network as Professor Kropotkin on 'My Friend Irma,' as Schultz on 'Life with Luigi' and in several roles on the 'Edgar Bergen-Charlie McCarthy Show.'
Besides 'Fractured Flickers,' he also hosted the 'Made in America' TV quiz show and was a panelist on the 'Pantomime Quiz,' 'What's It For' and 'Take A Guess' quiz series.
On the movie screen, he had the starring role in the movie, 'The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T.' His other film credits included 'My Friend Irma,' 'Bus Stop, 'The Cat from Outer Space,' 'Oh, God! Book II,' 'The Senator Was Indiscreet,' 'Dramatic School,' It's a Wonderful World,' 'The Wife Takes A Flyer, 'Blondie's Blessed Event,' 'Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier,' 'The Patsy' and 'The Affairs of Dobie Gillis.'
A founding member of the American Federation of Television and Radio Actors, Conried was born April 15, 1917, in Baltimore and attended Columbia University where he played in a wide variety of Shakespearian roles.
He moved to Los Angeles in 1935 and launched a career as a radioactor, using his ear for the sounds and rhythms of languages to win many dialect parts.
He once said of the radio business, 'Whatever you aren't, you play. The older I get, the younger the roles I portray.'
He appeared in the original Broadway production of 'Can-Can,' with Debbie Reynolds in the revival of 'Irene' and in 'The Second Time Around.'
Conried's many television roles included regular appearances in 'Pepsi-Cola Playhouse' and 'Target' anthologies, on 'The Jack Paar Show' and in last season's short-lived 'American Dream' series.
His numerous guests stints included The George Burns Christmas Special' and such series as 'Love Boat,' 'Fantasy Island,' 'Alice' and 'Laverne and Shirley.'
Besides his wife, Conried is survived by four childen, Trilby, 30, Hans III, 28, Alexander, 26, and Edith, 25. Funeral arrangements were pending.
Hospital spokeswoman Rhoda Weiss said Conried, who had a history of heart problems and suffered a stroke during a dinner theater performance in 1974, suffered a massive heart attack Monday night and died a few minutes before noon Tuesday.