Diff’rent Strokes: TV Dad Conrad Bain Dies at 89

Diff'rent StrokesActor Conrad Bain has died at the age of 89. According to his daughter Jennifer, he passed away from natural causes on Monday in Livermore, CA. He was three weeks shy of his 90th birthday.

Bain was born and Canada, served in the Canadian Army during World War II, and began his career on Broadway.

He appeared on many shows on television but was best known for playing Phillip Drummond on Diff’rent Strokes. A wealthy resident of Park Avenue, Mister Drummond adopts two African American boys from Harlem (Gary Coleman and Todd Bridges) after the death of their mother, Drummond’s former housekeeper.

The series ran for seven seasons on NBC (1978-1985) and one season on ABC (1985-1986). In 1996, Bain and Coleman reprised their roles for the series finale of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Prior to Diff’rent Strokes, Bain was a regular on Maude, playing Doctor Arthur Harmon, Bea Arthur’s conservative neighbor and Rue McClanahan’s husband. The show aired on CBS from 1972-1978.

Of bain’s passing, Bridges told THR, “This is probably one of the most heart-wrenching days I’ve had in a long time. That Conrad’s not going to be around anymore to talk to. Whenever I needed advice, I’d call Conrad… He was a really good man. He really was like Mr. Drummond. Just an all-around nice guy. He treated me better than my own father treated me… I cried all day. I can’t even cry anymore. I’ll truly miss that man.”

Bain’s daughter Jennifer told TMZ, “He was an amazing person. He was a lot like Mr. Drummond, but much more interesting in real life.” In addition to his daughter, Bain is survived by two sons and a twin brother. His wife of more than 60 years, painter Monica Sloan, passed away in 2009.

What do you think? What are your memories of Conrad Bain and his work?

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