Conrad Bain of "Diff'rent Strokes" died at the age of 89 Monday in Livermore, Calif., his daughter revealed. The actor, famous for playing the wealthy white father who adopted two African-American children from Harlem on "Diff'rent Strokes," was three weeks away from his 90th birthday.
Conrad Bain died of natural causes while at a comfort-care facility, his daughter, Jennifer Bain, revealed Wednesday. The actor was best known for his stiff, but nurturing character on "Diff'rent Strokes," and according to Todd Bridges, who played Bain's adopted son on the show, he was that way in real life as well.
"This is probably one of the most heart-wrenching days I've had in a long time," Bridges told The Hollywood Reporter. "That Conrad's not going to be around anymore to talk to. Whenever I needed advice, I'd call Conrad."
Bridges said that Bain's character, Mr. Drummond, was a testament to the man's character- he was loving and helped Bridges through dark times, including a crack cocaine addiction and a murder of a drug dealer, for which he was later acquitted.
"He really was like Mr. Drummond. Just an all-around nice guy. He treated me better than my own father treated me," explained Bridges. "I cried all day. … I'll truly miss that man."
Conrad Stafford Bain was born in Lethbridge Alberta, Canada, and served in the Canadian Army during World War II before coming to the United States and attaining his citizenship in 1946. From there, he had a successful career in theatre and on the small screen, acting in movies, daytime show "Dark Shadows," and, after the success of sitcom "Diff'rent Strokes," starring in "All in the Family" spin-off "Maude."
He is survived by his three children, Jennifer, Mark and Kent, and his twin brother, Bonar. His wife of 60 years, art collector and painter Monica Bain, died in 2009.