Conrad Bain, who played the loving, wealthy adoptive father of Gary Coleman and Todd Bridges on the enormously popular ’70s sitcom “Diff’rent Strokes”, has died of natural causes. He was 89 years old.
Bain held a long career in acting, beginning soon after he moved to New York from Canada in 1948. His big break didn’t come until 1971, however, when he auditioned for a role in the film “Cold Turkey”. He didn’t get the part, but he impressed the director so much, he was later given a role on the sitcom “Maude”.
He was 55 years old before he found success on “Diff’rent Strokes”, playing a wealthy widower who promised his housekeeper he would take care of her sons after she died. The show became a cultural and comedic phenomenon, working in stories about the things going on in the world no matter how disconcerting. And although the sitcom quickly found its star in young Gary Coleman, Bain said he never minded taking a backseat to his co-star.
Bain’s daughter Jennifer compared him to his famous character, saying, “He was an amazing person. He was a lot like Mr. Drummond, but much more interesting in real life. He was an amazing father.”