Conrad Bain

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Conrad Bain
Conrad Bain Arthur Harmon Maude 1975.JPG
Bain as Arthur Harmon in Maude, 1975.
Born Conrad Stafford Bain
(1923-02-04)February 4, 1923
Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Died January 14, 2013(2013-01-14) (aged 89)
Livermore, California, U.S.
Cause of death Stroke
Education Banff School of Fine Arts
Alma mater American Academy of Dramatic Arts
Occupation Actor
Years active 1952–1996
Known for Dr. Arthur Harmon on Maude,
Phillip Drummond on Diff'rent Strokes
Television Diff'rent Strokes,
Maude
Spouse(s) Monica Sloan (m. 1945; d. 2009)
Children 3
Parent(s) Jean Agnes (née Young),
Stafford Harrison Bain
Relatives Bonar Bain (brother, deceased)

Conrad Stafford Bain (February 4, 1923 – January 14, 2013) was a Canadian-American actor. His television credits include a leading role as Phillip Drummond in the sitcom Diff'rent Strokes and as Dr. Arthur Harmon on Maude.

Early life[edit]

Conrad Bain was born in Lethbridge, Alberta, the son of Jean Agnes (née Young) and Stafford Harrison Bain, who was a wholesaler.[1] He studied at the Banff School of Fine Arts before serving in the Canadian Army during World War II.[2] He later studied in New York at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, graduating in 1948; one of his classmates was comedian Don Rickles. Bain became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1946.[3]

Career[edit]

After a stint at the Stratford Festival in Canada, Bain had further success as a stage actor in the 1956 Broadway revival of Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh.[4] The New York Times reviewer noted that his role was "especially well acted."[5] Bain's other Broadway theatre credits include Candide, Advise and Consent, An Enemy of the People, Uncle Vanya, and On Borrowed Time.[6] On Off Broadway, he appeared in the original run of Steambath. While doing stage work in New York City, Bain also found work on television, appearing in the soap opera Dark Shadows as the town inkeeper, Mr. Wells, during seasons 1 and 2. His character was killed off by werewolf Chris Jennings (Don Briscoe).

In the early 1960s, Bain was one of the principal organizers of the Actors Federal Credit Union. In an article in the Credit Union Times, he recalled that "the effort grew out of the fact that, at least in the world of financial services, actors and other performers got no respect and, more importantly, no access to credit."[7]

It was at a meeting of the Actors' Equity [Union] where a member stood up and asked why we didn't do something about actors not being able to get any credit, much less a mortgage or anything like that. Someone else stood up and echoed what the first member said, pointing out that the issue really was one of equity and actors didn't have any when it came to the banks.[7]

He wrote:

Remember this: no share payment is too small. The main objective should be to establish a consistent habit of saving. In return, you can have the security of knowing that there is a place to turn to when you need a loan, a place where you will be met with dignity and respect, rather than suspicion and prejudice.[7]

Bain served as the credit union's first president.[8]

In the early 1970s, Bain appeared in New York–based films like Lovers and Other Strangers and Woody Allen's Bananas before achieving national recognition for his work in television.[4] He is best known for his roles as Dr. Arthur Harmon, Bea Arthur's title character's conservative nemesis, who married her best friend, Vivian, in Maude (1972–78) and as Park Avenue millionaire Phillip Drummond in Diff'rent Strokes (1978–86), in which he adopted two African-American orphaned boys from Harlem, Willis and Arnold, to live with him and his daughter, Kimberly, and housekeeper, Mrs. Garrett. In 1979, he played Phillip Drummond in an episode of The Facts of Life. In 1996, Bain reprised his role of Phillip Drummond along with Gary Coleman as Arnold Jackson on the series finale of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Personal life[edit]

Bain had two sons and a daughter with Monica Sloan, to whom he was married in 1945 until her death in 2009. His identical twin brother was actor Bonar Bain,[6] who once played Arnold Harmon, the twin brother of Conrad's Maude character, Dr. Arthur Harmon.

Death[edit]

Bain died from complications following a stroke on January 14, 2013, in Livermore, California, three weeks before his 90th birthday.[9] His body was cremated.

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1967 The Borgia Stick Lawyer (uncredited) TV movie
1968 Madigan Hotel Clerk
1968 A Lovely Way to Die James Lawrence
1968 Star! Salesman at Cartier's (uncredited)
1968 Coogan's Bluff Madison Avenue Man
1969 Last Summer Sidney (uncredited)
1970 Lovers and Other Strangers Priest in Confessional (uncredited)
1970 I Never Sang for My Father Rev. Sam Pell
1971 Fury on Wheels Lester Jump Alternate title: Jump
1971 A New Leaf Professor Heinrich (uncredited)
1971 Bananas Semple
1971 The Anderson Tapes Dr. Rubicoff
1971 Who Killed Mary What's 'Er Name? Val Rooney
1971 Men of Crisis: The Harvey Wallinger Story President Richard M. Nixon Short film
1972 A Fan's Notes Poppy
1972 Up the Sandbox Dr. Gordon
1975 Twigs Swede TV movie
1979 C.H.O.M.P.S. Ralph Norton
1979 A Pleasure Doing Business Herb
1981 Child Bride of Short Creek Frank King TV movie
1990 Postcards from the Edge Grandpa

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1952 Studio One in Hollywood Dr. Caldwell Episode: "The Hospital"
1956 Studio One in Hollywood Evans Episode: "Family Protection"
1961 Naked City Miller Episode: "The Day the Island Almost Sank"
1961 The Defenders D.A. Fred Monahan Episode: "Gideon's Follies"
1965 The Trials of O'Brien District Attorney Episode: "Dead End on Flugel Street"
1966 Dark Shadows Hotel Clerk Episodes #1.1, #1.11, #1.61
1967 N.Y.P.D. Manager Episode: "Shakedown"
1968 Dark Shadows Mr. Wells Episode #1.632
1970 The Edge of Night Dr. Charles Weldon #1 Unknown episodes
1972–78 Maude Dr. Arthur Harmon Main cast (121 episodes)
1978 The Waverly Wonders Tate Sr. Episode: "Tate vs. Tate"
1978 Grandpa Goes to Washington Robert Green Episode: "Kelley at the Bat"
1978 The Love Boat Les Episode: "Till Death Do Us Part-Maybe/Locked Away/Chubs"
1978–86 Diff'rent Strokes Philip Drummond Main cast (189 episodes)
1979 Hello, Larry Philip Drummond Episode: "The Trip: Part 2"
1979 The Facts of Life Philip Drummond Episode: "Rough Housing"
1979 Hello, Larry Philip Drummond Episode: "Feudin' and Fussin': Part 2"
1979 Hello, Larry Philip Drummond Episode: "Thanksgiving Crossover: Part 2"
1980 The Beatrice Arthur Special Himself (uncredited) TV special
1980 CHiPs Himself Episode: "The Great 5K Star Race and Boulder Wrap Party: Part 2"
1985 The Love Boat Leslie Campbell Episode: "Instinct/Unmade for Each Other/BOS"
1985 The Love Boat Charles Custers Episode: "A Day in Port"
1987–88 Mr. President Charlie Ross Main cast (24 episodes)
1993 The Adventures of the Black Stallion Tobias Doyle Episode: "Legends Never Die"
1996 The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Philip Drummond Episode: "I, Done: Part 2" (final TV role)

References[edit]

External links[edit]