Alan Conway biography
Alan Conway was a British man who pretended to be famous film director Stanley Kubrick. He successfully convinced several figures in the entertainment industry that he was Kubrick, and promised movie roles in exchange for meals, liquor, and sexual favors.
Alan Conway was born Eddie Alan Jablowsky in Whitechapel, London in 1934. He told friends later that he was a Polish Jew who had escaped the Nazi occupation. He began a life of crime at an early age, when at 13 he was sent to a center for serious juvenile offenders. He changed his name to Alan Conn (Conway would come later), and met a woman who would become his wife. The family moved to South Africa, where they worked until some of his business deals came under scrutiny from authorities.
The family returned to England, where Conway and his wife started a travel agency with offices in the cities of Harrow, Muswell Hill, and London.
In the late eighties Conway's family life fell apart when he left his wife for his gay lover. After his partner died of AIDS, Conway became an alcoholic. After his children's mother died, they were placed in his care. He reportedly abused the children, and social services removed them from his care, placing them in a home.
It was during this period that Conway cooked up the scheme that would make him famous, and, eventually, make him the subject of a film. Conway began telling people in England that he in fact was Kubrick. Conway convinced several individuals, promising them roles in Kubrick films in exchange for meals, drinks, hotel stays, and more. Conway would always assure his dinner partners that his studio would reimburse them for the tab. Several young actors and screenwriters looking to make it in Hollywood gave sexual favors to 'Stanley Kubrick.'
Beginning in the 1970s, Kubrick led a fairly reclusive life, refusing to fly on airplanes or leave his country estate in Hertfordshire, England. Kubrick was so rarely seen that by the 1990s few people knew what he looked like. Thus even though Conway bore very little resemblance to Kubrick, and was British, not American, he managed to fool so many people in the entertainment industry.
In the most famous episode of Conway's con, he, as Kubrick, was invited to join theater critic Frank Rich and his party of journalists at Joe Allen's restaurant in New York City. Conway was with a group of young men, and Rich began to suspect that Kubrick was gay. The elusive director promised the journalists interviews. Rich caught on to the charade when he contacted Warner Brothers and discovered that the Stanley Kubrick he met was an imposter. In addition, Kubrick's lawyer told Rich his client still had a beard— Conway had no beard when he met Rich. Kubrick was reportedly fascinated by the idea of his impersonator, though his wife was not pleased.
Conway was finally forced to stop impersonating Kubrick when he was caught signing Kubrick's name on a bank loan for a gay bar in London's SoHo neighborhood.
Conway was arrested, and immediately claimed he was mentally ill. Conway was admitted to a psychiatric ward at a local hospital. Though it was believed Conway had many victims, they were reluctant to go public with their embarassing stories. The charges were eventually dropped.
In one incident, he signed Kubrick's name on a bank loan for a gay bar in New York City's SoHo neighborhood.
Conway died in 1998 of cardiac thrombosis, just months before Stanley Kubrick's death in March 1999. In 2006 Conway was portrayed by John Malkovich in "Color Me Kubrick," a film based on his impersonation of Kubrick. Malkovich's character promises parts in Kubrick films in exchange for money, liquor, and sexual favors.