1940s radio and TV star Conte dies at 90

Sept. 7, 2006 at 3:47 PM
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RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif., Sept. 7 (UPI) -- Star of 1940s and 1950s radio, television and Broadway, John Conte, who later owned a successful television station, died in Rancho Mirage, Calif., at 90.

Born in Palmer, Mass., on Sept. 15, 1915, Conte moved with his family to Los Angeles in his teens. He began singing and acting on radio right after high school, the Los Angeles Times reported.

In the 1940s, he was a regular on the "Burns and Allen" show with George Burns and Gracie Allen. Conte also acted in Broadway shows, including "Allegro," a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, and "Arms and the Girl."

In the 1950s, Conte appeared on Sid Caesar's "Your Show of Shows" and hosted "The Matinee Theatre," a one-hour drama, through the 1950s. In the 1960s, he had guest appearances on "Bonanza," "Perry Mason" and other shows.

He and his wife, Sirpuhe Philibosian, started an NBC affiliate, KMIR, in 1968, which they ran successfully and sold in 1999.

He is survived by Sirpuhe, son Christopher, and stepdaughters Louise Danelian and Joyce Stein, as well as six grandchildren.

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