Family & Companions
The definition of a working actor, David Conrad honed his craft on the stages of New York and in a number of unsuccessful television shows before landing his breakout role as a regular on the hit series "Ghost Whisperer" (CBS, 2005-2010). The young actor first gained attention on the critically-acclaimed, albeit short-lived, series "Relativity" (ABC, 1996-1997) and in the affecting drama "Return to Paradise" (1998), starring Vince Vaughn. Although he continued to land minor roles in high-profile films like the Robert De Niro naval drama "Men of Honor" (2000), another role on the ill-fated television series "Miss Match" (NBC, 2003) seemed to be becoming an unwanted career trend. However, another turn alongside Vaughn in the smash hit comedy "Wedding Crashers" (2005) signaled a change of fortune for the talented actor. That same year, Conrad joined the cast of the supernatural-drama series "Ghost Whisperer" on which he portrayed Jennifer Love Hewitt's stalwart husband for the entirety of the show's five-year run. Equally convincing as a leading man or a supporting player, Conrad remained a reliable performer in a wide array of television and film projects.
Born Aug. 17, 1967 in Pittsburgh, PA, Conrad was raised in Pittsburgh by parents Jim Conrad, an engineer, and Margaret Conrad, a librarian. Growing up the youngest of three boys, Conrad attended the all-boys preparatory school, The Kiski School, in nearby Saltsburg. Conrad went on to attend Brown University in Providence, RI as an undergrad student, where he focused on drama and theater. He later went on to study at New York's prestigious Julliard School. While a student at there, the young actor appeared in a stage adaptation of John Irving's novel The Cider House Rules, written by Peter Parnell and co-directed by actor Tom Hulce.
After making his feature film debut with a small role in the family drama "Under Heat" (1994), Conrad continued with the arduous task of auditioning for the next two years before landing a breakout role on the Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz-produced series "Relativity" (ABC, 1996-97). As Leo Roth, a twenty-something Jewish house painter and aspiring architect who wins over the high-strung Isabel (Kimberly Williams), Conrad found his leading man niche with his first starring role on the dramatic series. Though Conrad and Williams' chemistry propelled the show to critical raves, the series lasted only one season due to poor ratings. Undaunted, Conrad went on to appear opposite Sigourney Weaver in "Snow White: A Tale of Terror" (Showtime, 1997), a dark, modern retelling of the classic fairy tale, and opposite Vince Vaughn and Anne Heche in the tragic cautionary tale "Return to Paradise" (1998), which also starred Joquin Phoenix as an American tourist sentenced to death for drug possession in Malaysia.
Continuing with his stage career, Conrad made his Broadway debut as Blythe Danner's much younger lover in a revival of Terrence Rattigan's "The Deep Blue Sea" in 1998. Turning down roles in more than one major motion picture so that he could continue his stage work, Conrad went on to appear in off-Broadway productions of "Troilus and Cressida," "Richard II" and Tom Stoppard's "Indian Ink." Returning to screens both big and small, Conrad appeared in the ensemble drama "The Weekend" (1999) with Gena Rowlands and Brooke Shields, as well as the Hallmark Hall of Fame comedy-drama "A Season for Miracles" (CBS, 1999), an inspirational holiday tale, co-starring Carla Gugino.
Conrad later portrayed a naval lieutenant alongside Robert De Niro and Cuba Gooding, Jr. in the biographical naval drama "Men of Honor" (2000) and also appeared in recurring roles on the popular adventure series "Roswell" (WB, 1999-2002) and the critically-acclaimed dramatic series "Boston Public" (Fox, 2000-05). Conrad also landed a small role in the Woody Allen comedy "Anything Else" (2003) and was cast as Detective Ed Exley in the network adaptation of "L.A. Confidential" (Fox, 2003), a television pilot that was not picked up for series. Cast as Michael Mendelsohn on the romantic-comedy "Miss Match" (NBC, 2003), Conrad did his best to win the heart of professional matchmaker Kate Fox (Alicia Silverstone). Though the series showed promise with viewers, its Friday-night time slot eventually led to the show's demise before the end of its first season.
Two years later, things began to turn around for the hard-working actor when Conrad was reteamed with Vince Vaughn in the hit comedy "Wedding Crashers" (2005), co-starring Owen Wilson. Even more fortuitous was his being cast as a series regular on the supernatural drama "Ghost Whisperer" (CBS, 2005-2010). In what proved to Conrad's first role on a successful series, he portrayed Jennifer Love Hewitt's paramedic husband, Jim Clancy. Though the series was also given a Friday-night slot, unlike Conrad's previous ill-fated projects, it proved a major success, becoming one of CBS' top-rated shows. Despite his busy schedule, the actor made time for several lower-profile projects, including a supporting role in the indie biopic "Crazy" (2008), which chronicled the turbulent life and brief career of legendary guitarist Hank Garland (Waylon Payne). He later played a misguided father willing to sacrifice his daughter to the leader of a polygamy cult in "Follow the Prophet" (2009), a crime-thriller seen in limited release. With "Ghost Whisperer" ending in 2010, Conrad remained a reliable TV presence with guest turns on such series as "CSI: Miami" (CBS, 2002-12) and "The Good Wife" (CBS, 2009-16).
By Bryce Coleman
Cast (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Feature film debut, small role in "Under Heat"
Had first major film role, a supporting part, opposite Sigourney Weaver in "Snow White in the Black Forest"; shown on Showtime in 1997 under the title "Snow White: A Tale of Terror"
TV series debut as regular "Relativity" (ABC)
Broadway acting debut opposite Blythe Danner in a revival of "The Deep Blue Sea"
Co-starred with Vince Vaughn and Joaquin Phoenix in "Return to Paradise"
Acted in the ensemble drama "The Weekend"
Appeared in a slightly villanous role in "Men of Honor"