Onest Conley Photo

Onest Conley

Born: Dec 6, 1906

Death: Oct 8, 1989

Birthplace: Evanston

Profession: Actor

Nationality: United States

Onest Conley

Date of Birth : Dec 6, 1906
Date of Death : Oct 8, 1989
Birth Place : Evanston

Onest Conley was an American film actor. Born in Evanston, Illinois, his mother was the pioneering African-American film actress Madame Sul-Te-Wan and his father was Robert Reed Conley. He had two brothers. His father abandoned the family shortly after Conley's birth, leaving his actress mother to raise the three boys. Like his mother, Onest Conley gravitated toward the acting profession and began taking bit parts in films. His first film appearance was a minor role in the 1926 Frank Borzage-directed The Dixie Merchant, a film adaptation of the Barry Benefield novel The Chicken-Wagon Family. The film starred Jack Mulhall and Madge Bellamy. Despite limitations for African-American actors within the film industry during the 1920s and 1930s, Onest Conley appeared in a number of films during the era, albeit often typecast in stereotypical roles as "natives" and "shoeshine boys." Conley would appear alongside his brother Odel Conley as "warriors" in the 1933 box-office hit King Kong. Their mother would also appear in the film in an uncredited role as a "native haindmaiden." Conley would also appear alongside his mother in the 1930 Richard Thorpe-directed film The Thoroughbred.


  • Actor

Also known as

  • Ernest A. Conley
  • Onest Conly


  • Madame Sul-Te-Wan
  • Robert Reed Conley
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