Conrad Bain
NEW YORK Conrad Bain, a veteran stage and film actor who became a star in middle age as the white adoptive father of two young African-American brothers in the TV sitcom "Diff'rent Strokes," died Monday at 89.

Bain died Monday of natural causes in his hometown of Livermore, Calif., according to his daughter, Jennifer Bain. He was 89.

The show that made him famous debuted on NBC in 1978, an era when television comedies tackled relevant social issues.

"Diff'rent Strokes" touched on serious themes but was known better as a family comedy that drew most of its laughs from its standout child actor , Gary Coleman.

Mr. Bain played wealthy Manhattan widower Philip Drummond, who promised his dying housekeeper he would raise her sons, played by Coleman and Todd Bridges. Race and class relations became topics on the show as much as the typical trials of growing up.

Coleman, with his sparkling eyes and perfect comic timing, became an immediate star, and Bain, with his long training as a theater actor, proved an ideal straight man. The series lasted six seasons on NBC and two on ABC.

In the show's heyday, Bain didn't mind being overshadowed by the focus on the show's children. He praised Coleman and Bridges as natural talents without egos.

But "Diff'rent Strokes" is remembered mostly for its child stars' adult troubles.

Coleman, who died in 2010, had financial and legal problems in addition to continuing ill health from the kidney disease that stunted his growth and required transplants. Bridges and Dana Plato, who played Bain's teenage daughter, both had arrest records and drug problems, and Plato died of an overdose in 1999 at age 34.

Bain said in interviews later that he struggled to talk about his TV children's troubled lives because of his love for them. After Bridges started to put his drug troubles behind him in the early 1990s, he told Jet magazine that Bain had become like a real father to him.

Bain went directly into "Diff'rent Strokes" from another comedy, "Maude," which aired on CBS from 1972 to 1978.

As Dr. Arthur Harmon, the conservative neighbor often zinged by Bea Arthur's liberal feminist, Bain became so convincing as a doctor that a woman once stopped him in an airport seeking medical advice.

At a nostalgia gathering in 1999, he lamented the fading of situation comedies that he said were about something.

"I think they got off the track when they first hired a standup comic to do the lead," he said. "Instead of people creating real situations, you get people trying to act funny."

Before those television roles, Bain had appeared occasionally in films, including "A Lovely Way to Die," "Coogan's Bluff," "The Anderson Tapes," "I Never Sang for My Father" and Woody Allen's "Bananas." He also played the clerk at the Collinsport Inn in the 1960s television show "Dark Shadows."

A native of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, Bain arrived in New York in 1948 after serving in the Canadian army during World War II. He was still studying at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts when he acquired his first role on television's "Studio One."

A quick study who could play anything from Shakespeare to O'Neill, he found work in stock companies in the United States and the Bahamas, making his New York debut in 1956 as Larry Slade in "The Iceman Cometh" at the Circle in the Square.

With his plain looks and down-to-earth manner, he was always cast as a character actor.

It was an audition for a role in the 1971 film "Cold Turkey" that led Bain to TV stardom. He didn't get the part but "Cold Turkey" director Norman Lear remembered him when he created "Maude."

Conrad Stafford Bain attended high school in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, deciding on his life's work after an appearance as the stage manager in a high school production of "Our Town."

He married artist Monica Sloan in 1945. She died in 2009. He is survived by three children: Jennifer, Kent and Mark.




Published by The Record/Herald News on Jan. 17, 2013.
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370 Entries
He was my favorite father on television. I'll never forget meeting him, he was so gracious and kind. Truly a gentleman. I send my sincere condolences to his friends and family . May God bless you and give you strength and peace at this time. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Sarah Johnson
January 13, 2021
He was the kindest father on t.v. I send my sincere condolences to his family and friends.
January 13, 2021
Conrad better know as Philippe Drummond was the cutest and amazing actor loved him so much still watching his reruns at my age.
Eileen Lanoue
Friend
November 14, 2020
God is a God of all Comfort and he will Comfort the family's..
June 13, 2020
Conrad ,
I Thank you so very much for such incredible memories from my childhood TV years !
May God bless you for portraying such a likeable and positive father on Diffrent Strokes .
Shawn in Philly
June 29, 2018
Take comfort in knowing that now you have a special guardian angel to watch over you.
george turner
April 25, 2018
Melissa Lindsey
June 23, 2017
Rest in peace.
A L
May 11, 2017
Rip,Conrad
Mike Jayko
November 2, 2016
Valenda Newell
July 21, 2016
I love when u played in different strokes you kept willis arnold and Kimberly in line always I'll miss you alot from your fansylvia William's
Sylvia Williams
December 29, 2015
Please accept my sincere condolences and sincere prayers that go out to the surviving family and friends. May the God of comfort continue to bless you and yours especially after such an untimely loss of a very precious life please accept my deepest sympathies. (2 Cor. 1:2, 3).
January 3, 2015
To Conrad Bain,
You were a very talented actor. I liked watching you in the sitcom Maude. and Different Strokes. My prayers go to your family. Lisa Weiner
Lisa Weiner
April 21, 2014
I loved the show, I grew up watching these family drama and comedy back in the times. I'm really sorry for the loss of this great actor. Psalms 119:76 - "May your loyal love please comfort me", are my thoughts for the family.
April 18, 2014
May your family find comfort in your fond memories and reliance on the hearer of prayer (Psalm 65:2) My deepest sympathy.

L.T. Cleveland
L T
January 1, 2014
He was one of the the best actors that had a personal touch with the average person.

Carlene
December 27, 2013
May the family find comfort at Jeremiah 29:11. My love and sympathy goes out to the family.
A Woods
December 26, 2013
So sorry for your loss. He has my Grand- mother's maiden name, Bain.
December 15, 2013
U will truly b missed
Zepharine Williams
November 21, 2013
I am sorry for your loss. I hope you can find comfort in the words written at (Jeremiah 29:11,12)
JW
November 4, 2013
With deepest sympathy to the Bain family during your time of grief...God is for you a "refuge and strength," A help that is there to be found during difficult times...May God provide you with "peace and comfort" to endure the days ahead...(Psalm 62:8).
October 7, 2013
Conrad Bain,
You will be missed by a lot of your fans and the shows you played/stared in! R I P I loved the shows you played/stared in and now they wont be the same with out you!
Donna Houltberg
September 7, 2013
My condolences to your family. May you rest in peace.Maude and Different Strokes are two of my favorite shows from those years.
Mary Walz
April 12, 2013
TO BAD YOUR GONE YOU WILL BE MISSED BY ALOT OF PEOPLE.
ROSE THOMAS
April 10, 2013
My sympathy goes to Conrad's family. I am so sorry for your loss. I grew up watching Different Strokes and Maude. He will be greatly missed.
Carrie Carliell
April 7, 2013
To the Family of Conrad Bain: He was a very talented actor and played the role of a father to the fullest extent. His memory and legacy will live on. May the God of all comfort allow you throw your burden on him. He will sustain you.
SJM
March 31, 2013
May your family find peace and comfort in the promises of Jesus Christ who dearly loved us.
Nazarene Mckinney
March 30, 2013
to Conrad Bain,
You were a very talented actor. You did a great job playing Phillip drummond on the sitcom Different Strokes, and Arthur On the sitcom Maude. My prayers are with your family. Lisa Weiner
Lisa Weiner
March 15, 2013
bain was a nice guy,I enjoyed watching him on different strokes,may he RIP
dedria jenkins
March 10, 2013
Rest in Peace Mr. Bain. I still watch Different Strokes....
J Gwyn
March 5, 2013
Mr. Bain was funny to watch on Maude. He played his characters so well. God rest your soul, Mr. Bain. Thank you for the laughs.
Pat Leonard
March 3, 2013
To the bain family I*m so sorry that Conrad passed away, he was very funny and i do miss that show and especially when Arnold used to say watch u talking about Willis? and to bad also he was a great father to adopt the other 2 sons all kids do need a good home no matter where they come from rest in pease Conrad Bail you will be surely missed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mamacita Delacruz
February 18, 2013
He was a funny man and Arnold and other actors from that cast will miss him..... Rip Conrad!
Nicole Horton
February 14, 2013
Bain was a fun person to watch on Different Strokes. He was the straight guy in every show and also showed how a parent should act.
Laura Foster
February 10, 2013
I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I loved watching different Strokes. My prayers are with the entire family.
February 9, 2013
Sorry, Bonar, for your loss. It was a pleasure meeting Conrad back in the 80's when he visited you at Canpark. I remember those days fondly.
Randy Riley
February 8, 2013
we will miss him from or famly the welkers in zanesville ohio he will be mist my email is [email protected] thank you timothy welker
February 8, 2013
You will ne missed for the laughter you brought to us.
ginger
February 8, 2013
Thanks!
R. Dev
February 5, 2013
awsome at acting
jenny
February 4, 2013
i loved watching you on tv you was one of the greatest actor i watched on tv still will be remembered
jenny
February 4, 2013
I loved different strokes. I'm so sorry for your loss I hope you can find a measure of comfort in prayer and in the scriptures, like John 6:40 that tells us we can see our dear loved ones again.
alice
February 1, 2013
DIFFERNT STROKES WAS A FUNNY SHOW, IT ALSO TOLD AMERICANS YOU CAN HAVE A MIXED FAMILY, IT JUST TAKES TIME. CONRAD BAIN HAD ME LAUGHTING ALOT. R.I.P. YOUR NOW WATCHING DOWN ON US,,,,GOD BLESS
AMEN.

PATTY BOYLE~
MILMONT PARK, PA
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
January 31, 2013
May the God of all comfort grant you peace in your time of distress.
WCT
January 30, 2013
I am very sorry for your lost. May Jehovah God keep you in His memory!
john lane
January 28, 2013
LUVED ALL TYHE SITCOMES U WILL TRULY MISSED !GOD BLESS U & UR FAMILY...
R JACKSON
January 28, 2013
My prayers are with the family and Friends.I am a great t.v. buff of old shows and loved Different Strokes. Very sorry for your loss. He will be missed.
sheryl greer
January 25, 2013
Loved the shows.They were refreshing.
mm
January 25, 2013
May you rest in gods presence
Eazeale Collins
January 24, 2013
May you rest in gods presence
.
January 24, 2013
As u can see people all over the world loved this man!! God bless..
Tracey
January 22, 2013
my prayer is with you and your family and I was a fan of different strokes a real good show
Tracy Clugston
January 22, 2013
O how i loved watching Different Strokes way back way back when. He will b missed.
Edna Brunson
January 22, 2013
Praying for the family. Sorry for your loss. Mr. Bain made me laugh over and over again on Different Strokes.
S
January 22, 2013
I was born in 1975, but i still remember watching this show along with my two brothers. We would play outside, but always made sure we never missed the show at its airing time. Its sad to know that a great actor has passed. He's in heaven now with his two actor children.. Gary Coleman and Dana Plato. Im pretty sure they're doing their own sitcom of laughter up there. May he rest in peace.
Susie
January 22, 2013
I loved watching him on television during the run of 'Different Strokes'. He was a great actor, and will truly be missed!! May The Lord continue watching over him and his family!! God Bless!!
Tosha Livingston
January 22, 2013
Sending Love and Condolences you your Family..Mr.Bain will be Greatly Miss, never Forgotten. May he Rest in Peace...
victoria siqueiros
January 21, 2013
So sorry to hear of your loss... I loved watching Mr. Bain. He brought laughter to me in a chilhood when there wasn't much.. Thank You Mr. Bain
jennifer dotson
January 21, 2013
I pay the Tribute to Conred Bain is the
Greatest Actor on Tv.
Grady Youngblood
January 21, 2013
It's truly sad to hear another one has fell asleep in death. Promises of life everlasting is not far away just a little while longer and death will be no more, neither any more crying or pain will be any more the former things has passed away.
Praise Jah!
~yoda
January 21, 2013
You only have one life to
Iive but somehow you got a second
malissa wilkins
January 21, 2013
He will be missed.
Kura Falconer
January 21, 2013
I loved watching Mr. Bain on Different Strokes . The show was so funny. May the family find comfort in the God who gives comfort to all.
Verna
January 21, 2013
RIP MR CONRAD BAIN. I SO ENJOYED THE SHOW MAUDE AND DIFFERENT STROKES. MY PRAYERS GO OUT TO HIS FAMILY AT THIS SAD TIME. GOD BLESS YOU MR BAIN. YOU WILL BE GREATLY MISSED.
M. TERRY
January 21, 2013
You will truely missed !
You was a great actor !!

Good bless your family and peace be with you !!
Good bless
Laura Smith
January 21, 2013
you were a great actor and will be missed .
January 20, 2013
I AM PRAYING FOR THE FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF CONRAD BAIN... MAY GOD CONTINUE TO BLESS EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU IN YOUR TIME OF NEED.. RIP...
ANJANETTE HARRIS
January 20, 2013
I loved him in different strokes and mauld. He made me laugh alot. And it also help my children because they have amixed backround .this showed them that their are people out in this world that can love you just for you and not your skin color or your financialbackround . My love is withyou bain and all your family the ones that helped support your dreams.
patricia green
January 20, 2013
SORRY TO HEAR ABOUT UR LOST BUT HE WILL BE FOREVER MISSED IN MY FAMILY
sylvia guy
January 20, 2013
To Conrad Bain,
You were a very talented actor. You did a great job playing Phillip Drummond on the sitcom Different Strokes, and Doctor Arthur Harmon on the sitcom Maude. My prayers are with your family. Lisa Weiner
Lisa Weiner
January 20, 2013
To Conrad Bain,
You were a very talented actor. You did a great job playing Doctor Arthur Harmon on the sitcom Maude, and Phillip Drummond on the sitcom Different Strokes. My prayers are with your family. Lisa Weiner
Lisa Weiner
January 20, 2013
I will certainly miss him, however I will still enjoy both reruns of Maude and Diffrent Strokes. I loved him so much in Maude that he was the reason I watched the other show. Rest in peace Mr. Bain. You've earned it. To the Bain family, you have my deepest sympathy and prayers.
Donna Walsh
January 20, 2013
I will certainly miss him, however I will still enjoy both reruns of Maude and Diffrent Strokes. I loved him so much in Maude that he was the reason I watched the other show. Rest in peace Mr. Bain. You've earned it.
Donna Walsh
January 20, 2013
I AM SO VERY SORRY TO HERE ABOUT THE DEATH IN YOUR FAMILY YOUR FAMILY IS IN MY PRAYERS AT THIS TIME OF NEED
AARON O'DWYER
January 20, 2013
i'm so sorry for your loss the bain family.rip mr.conrad bain rip. you will be missed very much by my generation.
philip ryan
January 20, 2013
After reading your obituary just now all I can say Mr. Bain is what a wonderful philosophy about your craft, and what a wonderful life....rest in peace.
Lynn Morris
January 20, 2013
What a wonderful actor you were Mr. Bain; your work brought tremendous joy to your viewers and to that end, you will live forever. My thoughts, prayers, and deepest sympathies go out to your family and friends.
Lynn Morris
January 20, 2013
The Memories of that time and that show made me laugh and hoped that one racism would disappear. My thoughts go out to his family. Thank you for your many laughs,
De Anna Quinto
January 20, 2013
Tonya Olmsted
January 20, 2013
My sincere condolences to the family.you will be missed and memories will be stay for ever in our hearts
Bathiya i
January 20, 2013
You will be missed but not forgotten
Eva
January 20, 2013
Mr drummond was a dreat actor and adoptive father to the crew that played different strokes to the family thank you all so much for shareing.your father with the world what a great man may god bless and strengthen all his loved ones
Unzella Dowell
January 19, 2013
thank you for memories of being with family and watching you entertain us.
Sandra McRobbie
January 19, 2013
William Burdette
January 19, 2013
We are watching a Tribute To Conrad Bain on Antenna! We have been laughing for hours. He was a part of two great comedy shows. So sorry for the loss of your father, his legacy lives on. Thank you for the laughs ,Sir.
misty rodriguez
January 19, 2013
l just loved Diff'rent Strokes Mr Drummond he was like a father to all the young fans, you will be missed so much and thank you for the great show.
Zakiyah
January 19, 2013
To the family and friends of Mr. Bain my family and I are truly sorry for your loss our hearts will be going out to you.
Mary Cobb
January 19, 2013
Our condolences to all family and and friends you will be missed and loved always from Mary and Des Bain and family Aveley Perth Wa Australia we loved watching your shows
Mary Bain
January 19, 2013
-I AM SORRY TO HEAR OF YOUR LOSS HE WAS A GOOD FATHER FIGURE TO THE KIDS HE PLAYED A FATHER TO AND SPEAK OF THOSE KIDS AS HIS OWN. HE WILL BE MISSED AND NOW THE LORD HAS A PLACE FOR HIM IN HEAVEN SO HOLD ON TO YOUR MEMORIES AND MAY GOD BLESS YOU.
DEANDRA YOUNG
January 19, 2013
Rest in peace, Mr. Bain. I will always love watching you play Arthur Harmon on Maude.
Lee Kuhn
January 19, 2013
God Bless You, Sweet Soul.
Ivy
January 19, 2013
I loved Conrad Bain in Diffirent Strokes, he was such an easy man to love. May God comfort you during your time of loss. He will be remembered fondly
Rhonda Hoffman
January 19, 2013
To the Family of CONRAD BAIN,
May the peace of God be with you and help you during this difficult time and many days ahead.-Php 4:7
L.F
January 19, 2013
Mr. Bain, you will be missed. I know you best on the tv comedy, Maude. Now you are with Rue, Bea and alot of actors and actresses that went before you. Keep everyone laughing in heaven like you did here.
Lisa Marcus
January 19, 2013
This is so sad. I grew up watching Different Strokes
ruthanne jenkins
January 19, 2013
May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.
C,S
January 19, 2013
My condolences to the Bain family and fans. Mr. Conrad aka Mr. Drummond will live on in the memories of many. May God comfortand strengthen all who is mourning this loss.
January 19, 2013
I grew up watching different strokes and Conrad made me laugh. Conrad Bain you will be forever missed. RIP
Judy Stout
January 19, 2013
My sincere condolences to the family. Your loved one will be remembered fondly. God cares and promises to remember all who sleep in death (Jhn 5:28, 29).
Mary Smith
January 19, 2013
I'm So Sorry To Hear A loved Actor Has Died My Thought's & Prayers Are With Conrad Bain Family Mr. Drummond was verry Funny Different Strokes was one of my all time Favorited Tv Showes growing Up R.I.P. Mr. Drummond
LARRY FAHEY
January 19, 2013
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