Conrad Bain

Active - 1944 - 1990  |   Born - Feb 4, 1923 in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada  |   Died - Jan 14, 2013   |   Genres - Comedy, Drama, Horror

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Wryly humorous Canadian character actor Conrad Bain was all wrapped up in such athletic pursuits as hockey and speed skating when, in his junior year of high school, he suddenly became fascinated with acting. He studied at Alberta's Banff School of Fine Arts, served in the Canadian army during World War II, then resumed his training at New York's American Academy of Dramatic Arts. He worked at the Stratford (Ontario) Shakespeare Festival and in live television before scoring his first real success in the 1956 Broadway revival of Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh. In the early 1970s, Bain began popping up in such New York-based films as Lovers and Other Strangers (1970) and Woody Allen's Bananas (1973). He gained national fame in the TV role of stuffy next-door neighbor Dr. Arthur Harmon on the Norman Lear sitcom Maude (1974-78). Bain was later awarded top billing as wealthy Phillip Drummond, foster father to Gary Coleman and Todd Bridges, on Diff'rent Strokes. His most recent regular-series assignment was as presidential aide Charley Ross on the George C. Scott TV vehicle Mr. President (1987). Conrad Bain's identical twin brother Bonar Bain occasionally guested on Conrad's various TV series. Conrad died at 89 in early 2013.

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  • Has an identical twin brother, Bonar Bain.
  • Served in the Canadian Army during World War II.
  • Became a U.S. citizen in 1946.
  • Classmates at the Academy of Dramatic Arts included Charles Durning and Don Rickles.
  • Early in his career, acted at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario.