Remember William Conrad from the 'Fatman' and 'Cannon' series'? It was his birthday today
William Conrad is best remembered for his acting roles in television series like ‘Jake and the Fatman’ and ‘Cannon”. He stood out because of his portly nature and deep baritone voice but there was more to William Conrad.
Born John William Cann in Louisville, Kentucky September 27, 1920, William Conrad’s family moved to California when he was still young, There he became interested in literature and drama and after graduating school Conrad enrolled at Fullerton College. Conrad then started working for Los Angeles radio station KMPC as a writer-director-announcer in the late 1930s.
ALL IN THE FAMILY kicks off our First Families block from 6–8p ET!#Trivia Which of these 4 actors was offered the role of Archie before #CarrollOConnor?— getTV (@gettv) September 26, 2018
A. Jackie Gleason
B. Mickey Rooney
C. Jack Klugman
D. William Conrad
The @getTV Blog has the answer:https://t.co/7nNWGPNIMm pic.twitter.com/d4lLHYOuKw
He married his sweetheart, June Nelson before enlisting with the United States Army Air Corps during World War II in 1943 where he served as a fighter pilot, rose to the rank of captain while he performed duties as producer-director with the Armed Forces Radio Service.
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A unfazed William Conrad smokes a pipe and looks from afar after being disqualified for wearing a speedo injuring 5. pic.twitter.com/YTMUdBx5q6— Larry The Cable Guy (@GitRDoneLarry) January 26, 2016
When he returned from the war he went back to radio and having a resonant, deep baritone voice made him a busy actor. Conrad first appeared on the popular mystery-thriller series ‘Suspense’(CBS Radio, 1942-1962) he also regularly featured in the adventure program ‘Escape’ (CBS Radio, 1947-1952). He also landed the iconic role of Marshal Matt Dillon on the Western ‘Gunsmoke’ (CBS Radio 1949-1960)
Conrad made his first notable appearance as an actor as one of the titular gunmen sent to take out Burt Lancaster in the classic film noir ‘The Killers’ (1946). Conrad had many television appearances, probably the most remembered role in the series ‘Cannon” (CBS, 1971-1975) as a former police detective that decided to solve crimes in L.A. as a private investigator.
Another role they would remember him for is while starring in ‘Jake and the Fatman’ (CBS,1987-88; 1989-1992)where he played a portly district attorney who loved his pet bulldog. When ‘Jake and the Fatman’ ended after it’s five years run Conrad retired.
A conservationist and animal lover, Conrad died of heart failure in Los Angeles in February 1994 at 73.
Today would have been Conrad's 98th birthday and in the spirit of birthday celebrations the couple Catherine-Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas, who share the same birthdate on September 25, celebrated in a special way. Jones made a romantic tribute video for Douglas for his 74th birthday and posted it online. Follow the story here.
Conrad may not have been a movie star like Catherine-Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas but was well known for starring in certain television series. But this talented man played the voice behind action figures from Starwars, The Lone Ranger and others you may not be aware of. To find out more on this follow the link.