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|Also Known As:||Conrad Robert Falk||Died:|
|Born:||March 1, 1935||Cause of Death:|
|Birth Place:||Chicago, Illinois, USA||Profession:||Cast ... producer actor screenwriter director nightclub singer milk truck driver boxer custodian|
A ruggedly handsome leading man for over three decades on American television, Robert Conrad first gained audiences' attention as detective Tom Lopaka on the light-hearted crime series "Hawaiian Eye" (ABC, 1959-1963). But his true breakout series came as the 19th-century secret agent James T. West in the tongue-in-cheek Western adventure "The Wild, Wild West" (CBS, 1965-69). The series helped to establish Conrad as an actor who enjoyed doing his own stunts - occasionally to his own physical detriment. In the 1970s, Conrad starred as real-life World War II flying ace Gregory "Pappy" Boyington on the action-comedy series "Baa Baa Black Sheep" (NBC, 1976-78), which he helped to rescue from oblivion by directly lobbying TV station managers after the network canceled the series. He broke out of the tough guy mold on several occasions, most notably in the epic miniseries "Centennial" (1979) and in the title role of the TV-movie "Will: The Autobiography of G. Gordon Liddy" (1981), but audiences preferred him in the masculine vein of his previous screen incarnations. He enjoyed greater small-screen success as the pitchman for Everyready batteries - where he virtually challenged the viewer to knock the battery off his shoulder - than in any series or TV-movie. Still remarkably fit in his fifth and sixth decades, he continued to star as hard-nosed types in TV-movies and short-lived television shows throughout the 1990s before largely retiring at the turn of the millennium, leaving behind a legacy of tough guy roles fans could never forget.
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