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Conrad Janis

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Conrad Janis
In the trailer for The Brasher Doubloon (1947)
Born(1928-02-11)February 11, 1928
DiedMarch 1, 2022(2022-03-01) (aged 94)
  • Actor
  • trombonist
Years active1945–2012
Vicki Quarles
(m. 1948; div. 1957)
Ronda Copland
(m. 1979; div. 1983)
Maria Grimm
(m. 1987; died 2021)

Conrad Janis (February 11, 1928 – March 1, 2022) was an American jazz trombonist and actor who starred in film and television during the Golden Age Era in the 1950s and 1960s, and continued acting right up until 2012. He played the role of Mindy McConnell's father Frederick in 53 episodes of Mork & Mindy, and appeared in many guest-starring roles on several notable television shows throughout the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s such as sitcoms like Maude, The Golden Girls, and Frasier.

Early life[edit]

Janis was born in Manhattan on February 11, 1928.[1] His father, Sidney, was an art dealer and writer; his mother, Harriet (Grossman), was also a writer.[2] He had one brother, Carroll.[3][4] Janis successfully auditioned as an actor for a road company at the age of 13 and consequently spent the next two years with them. He also began doing radio voice work during this time.[1]


Film and television[edit]

Janis secured a role in the play Dark of the Moon during its pre-Broadway run, in which he was spotted by a Hollywood talent scout. He stayed with the production when it ran in New York City, consequently making his Broadway debut in March 1945. He then made his film debut later that year as Ronald Stevens in the film Snafu.[1] Next Janis played Johnikins in Margie (1946) with Jeanne Crain. He starred in the film noir The Brasher Doubloon with George Montgomery the following year.[5]

Janis's work on television included starring in "Fit to Kill" on The Web on November 19, 1950.[6] He played the eldest son Edward on the sitcom Bonino in 1953. He subsequently appeared in an episode of Get Smart as a KAOS agent, guest-starred as a dance marathon emcee on The Golden Girls, and appeared in the sci-fi sitcoms Quark and Mork and Mindy. He was also featured in The Buddy Holly Story and the Goldie Hawn / George Segal comedy The Duchess and the Dirtwater Fox.[4] Janis made a brief appearance as himself in the jazz bar scene from Nothing in Common.[7]


Janis was a longtime advocate of traditional jazz. He assembled a band of jazz musicians in 1949 ("all of the guys that I idolized"), consisting of James P. Johnson (piano), Henry Goodwin (trumpet), Edmond Hall (clarinet), Pops Foster (bass), and Baby Dodds (drums), with himself on trombone.[4] During the late 1970s, he formed the Beverly Hills Unlisted Jazz Band, which appeared multiple times on the Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and gave eight sold-out performances at Carnegie Hall.[4][8]

Personal life[edit]

Janis's first marriage was to Vicki Quarles. Together, they had two children: Christopher and Carin. They later divorced. His second marriage to Ronda Copland also ended in divorce. Janis married his third wife, Maria Grimm, in 1987. They remained married until her death in September 2021.[1]

Janis died aged 94 on March 1, 2022, in Los Angeles. His death was announced by his business manager Dean A. Avedon, who was also the executor of his estate.[1]

Partial filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1945 Snafu[5][9] Ronald Stevens Alternative title: Welcome Home
1946 Margie[5][9] Johnny 'Johnikins' Green
1947 The Brasher Doubloon[5][9] Leslie Murdock Alternative title: The High Window
That Hagen Girl[5][9] Dewey Koons
1948 Beyond Glory[9][10] Raymond Denmore, Jr.
1958 Let's Rock[5][9] Charlie Alternative title: Keep It Cool
1965 Get Smart[5][11] Victor (Season 1, Episode 12)
1966 My Favorite Martian[5][11] Chad Foster TV or Not TV (Season 3, Episode 19)
1972 Banacek[12] Video Technician Let's Hear it for a Living Legend (Season 1 Episode 1)
1974 Airport 1975[9][10] Arnie
Cannon[5] Larry Warshaw Daddy's Little Girl
1975 The Happy Hooker[9][10] Fred
1976 Happy Days[5][11] Mr. Kendall (Season 4, Episode 7)
The Duchess and the Dirtwater Fox[5][9] Gladstone
Maude[5][11] Lyle Bellamy (Game Show Host) (Season 5, Episode 8)
1977 Roseland[5][9] George
1977–1978 Quark[5][10] Otto Bob Palindrome 8 episodes
1978–1982 Mork & Mindy[5][11] Frederick Fred McConnell 53 episodes
1978 The Buddy Holly Story Ross Turner
1980 Oh, God! Book II[5][9] Charles Benson
1985 V: The Series Dr. David Atkins Episode: "War of Illusions"
Brewster's Millions[5][9] Businessman in Car
1986 Nothing in Common[11] Conrad Janis and the Unlisted Jazz Band
1987 The Golden Girls[5][11] Dance Marathon Emcee (Season 3, Episode 2)
1988 Murder She Wrote A Little Night Work (Season 5, Episode 2)
1989 Caddie Woodlawn[13] Rev. Tanner
Sonny Boy[5][9] Doc Bender
1992 Mr. Saturday Night[9][10] Director
1995 The Feminine Touch[10] Frank Donaldsonn Also director; alternative title: The November Conspiracy
1996 The Cable Guy[5][10] Father 'Double Trouble'
1997-2002 Frasier[5][11] Albert 3 episodes
2009 Maneater[5][11] Doc Gramm
2012 Bad Blood[5] Lawrence Also director


  1. ^ a b c d e Genzlinger, Neil (March 8, 2022). "Conrad Janis, Father on 'Mork & Mindy' and Much More, Dies at 94". The New York Times. Retrieved March 9, 2022.
  2. ^ "Sidney Janis; Innovative and Influential Art Dealer". The Los Angeles Times. November 24, 1989. p. 28. Retrieved December 25, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  3. ^ Glueck, Grace (November 24, 1989). "Sidney Janis, Trend-Setting Art Dealer, Dies at 93". The New York Times. Retrieved November 14, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d Uhl, Jin. "For Conrad Janis, Acting and Jazz Share the Spotlight", The Mississippi Rag, pp. 1-9, September 2002, Bloomington, MN.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w "Conrad Janis". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 9, 2022.
  6. ^ "Television . . . . . . Highlights of the Week". Detroit Free Press. November 19, 1950. p. 22. Retrieved April 13, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  7. ^ "Conrad Janis". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 9, 2022.
  8. ^ "The Scene", L.A. Jazz Scene, p. 14, Sunland, CA (November 2001).
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Conrad Janis". American Film Institute. Retrieved March 9, 2022.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g "Conrad Janis". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on May 27, 2020. Retrieved March 9, 2022.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Conrad Janis List of Movies and TV Shows". TV Guide. Retrieved March 9, 2022.
  12. ^ "Conrad+Janis"+Banacek TV Guide. Triangle Publications. 1972. p. 88.
  13. ^ Maltin, Leonard (1999). Leonard Maltin's Family Film Guide. Penguin Group. p. 91. ISBN 978-0-451-19714-6.

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