Created on: January 17, 2013
Renowned actor Conrad Bain, who is perhaps best known for his role as Phillip Drummond in the popular 1980’s sitcom “Diff’rent Strokes”, has sadly passed away at the age of 89. According to a report from “The BBC” in the United Kingdom, Bain’s daughter has stated that the veteran actor died peacefully of natural causes in California. Bain, who was known as a caring and gentlemanly actor, had a career in television and film spanning over six decades and he most recently acted in 2011 as a priest in crime drama, “Unforgettable”.
“Diff’rent Strokes” is regarded as one of the best sitcoms of the 1980’s era of the genre. Bain plays Philip Drummond in the sitcom and he stars alongside Gary Coleman who plays Arnold, Todd Bridges who plays Willis and Dana Plato who plays Drummond’s own daughter, Kimberley. Reflecting the changes in culture and society in the 1970’s, “Diff’rent Strokes” focuses on Drummond, a rich gentleman, who adopts Arnold and Willis, two young African-American children. The comedy generally ensued when Arnold, unfamiliar with the rich, white lifestyle, struggles to fit in whereas his older brother, Willis, tries to explain it all to him, resulting in the classic catchphrase, “What’chu talkin’ ‘bout, Willis?”
Bain had been acting for decades before his universally acclaimed role in the sitcom. His first ever role came in 1952 in the drama, “Studio One” where he played Dr. Caldwell. Starring in TV series for the rest of the 1950’s and the 1960’s, he finally got the chance to act in a TV movie in 1967’s “The Borgia Stick” where he played the simple role of a lawyer. In 1968, he starred as James Lawrence in “A Lovely Way To Die”. From1966 to 1968, he starred as Clerk Wells in the acclaimed “Dark Shadows”. Starring in many other shows and movies throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s, it was arguably his role in Diff’rent Strokes, which began airing in 1978, that made him a household name.
His last feature role in a TV show came in 1987’s “Mr. President” in which he starred as Charlie Ross. Since then, the aging Bain seemingly vanished from the industry to spend more time with his family, only accepting two additional roles over the course of the next two decades. Bain spent the remainder of his days quietly until he passed away at the age of 89 on January 14th, 2013. However, he will always be remembered as a face of television throughout the 1980’s, and a cult-classic TV actor for over six decades.
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