Robert Conrad – star of television and feature film, singer, producer, writer, and radio show host – has passed away. He was 84 years old.
Goodbye, Robert Conrad
Conrad, perhaps best known for co-starring in the stunt heavy, science fiction western The Wild Wild West and the military drama Baa Baa Black Sheep, is survived by his ex-wives, Joan Kenlay and LaVelda Fann as well as his eight children and 18 grandchildren.
Family spokesperson, Jeff Ballard, released a statement to People magazine saying, “He lived a wonderfully long life and while the family is saddened by his passing, he will live forever in their hearts.”
Born Conrad Robert Falk on March 1, 1935, the nascent performer’s ascent was buoyed by Nick Adams (future star of ABC’s The Rebel), who arranged for Conrad to appear in the 1958 film Juvenile Jungle.
Although the role amounted to little more than a non-speaking extra, it enabled Conrad to join the Screen Actors Guild and subsequently, he received a small part in another film – Thundering Jets – and an offer to appear in the television program Bat Masterson.
Path To Success
Soon after, Conrad signed an exclusive contract with Warner Bros. and through that prestigious company, he landed the starring role in Hawaiian Eye, a series that followed the exploits of a private detective.
After EYE’s end in 1963, Conrad went on to even greater success in the action thriller The Wild Wild West where he played Secret Service agent James T. West from 1965 to 1969. The show was such a fave, it was revived as a feature film decades later in 1999 starring Will Smith in his role.
Further credits include guest spots on Mannix, Mission: Impossible, and Columbo, lead roles in made-for-TV movies such as Weekend of Terror, Five Desperate Women, the starring role in a series of made-for-TV movies encompassing the D.A. franchise and a co-starring credit in Baa Baa Black Sheep.
Through his personal company, A Shane Productions, Conrad starred in, wrote, and directed a number of projects including Coach of the Year, Moving Violation, High Mountain and Jesse Hawkes.
Outside of his acting, Conrad was also known as a singer. His recordings were released via Warner Bros. Records and despite never achieving record-breaking success in the music industry, he did score a minor Billboard hit with the song Bye Bye Baby.
Pop culture enthusiasts probably also remember a string of commercials he did in the 1970s for Eveready Batteries in which he put one on his shoulder and would say, “I dare you to knock this off.”
Entertainment Hub sends our sincerest condolences to Robert Conrad’s family and friends during this trying time.