‘Dark Shadows’ thesp Fowkes dies at 76

Also served as the secretary-treasurer of Actors' Equity

Theater, TV and film actor Conard Fowkes, who appeared in “Dark Shadows” and was a long-time secretary/treasurer of Actors’ Equity Assn., died Dec. 14. He was 76 and had battled pancreatic cancer.

Fowkes was elected to Equity’s council in 1973, and served as the Association’s secretary/treasurer from 1988 to 2009.

He also co-founded VITA, Equity’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, in 1977 where he assisted thousands of members with their income taxes. Fowkes’ advocacy also led to the creation of the Qualified Performing Artist deduction in the Federal Tax Code in 1986.

Conard chaired or served on numerous committees, including House Affairs, LORT (League of Resident Theaters) Film, Recording and Pay TV, Investment and the National Plenary. He also served as treasurer for the Actors’ Equity Foundation and Actors’ Equity Holding Corporation and was a Vice-Chair of the Staff Pension Plan Trustees. He served on the LORT Negotiating Team in 1984, 1985 and 1988.

Fowkes attended Yale on a Navy scholarship, and served three years as communications officer and cryptographer on an aircraft carrier.

In 1958, he made his Broadway debut in “Howie.” Moving over to television, he was a contract player on soap operas, including “As The World Turns,” “Search For Tomorrow” and “The Edge of Night,” as well as numerous episodes of the cult series, “Dark Shadows.”

In 2009, Conard received the Patrick Quinn Award for distinguished service to actors.

He is survived his wife of 52 years, former actress Jacqueline Hernly; three daughters; a grandson and a sister.

Donations may be made to the VITA program, Actors’ Equity Foundation, 165 West 46th Street, New York, NY 10036.

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