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Robert Conrad

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For the U.S. judge, see Robert J. Conradwho cares
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{{Infobox actor
|image = Replace this image male.svg <!-- only free-content images are allowed for depicting living people. Non-free and "fair use" images, e.g. promo photos, CD/DVD covers, posters, screen captures, etc., will be deleted - see WP:NONFREE --> |
|imagesize   = 150px |
| birthdate  = Template:Birth date and age
| birthplace = Chicago, Illinois
| birthname  = Konrad Robert Falkowski
| spouse     = Joan Kenlay Conrad (1952 - 1983)<br>LaVelda Fann Conrad (1983 - present)
}}
Robertconrad


Robert Conrad (born March 1, 1935) is an American actor and director of film and television. He is primarily known for the 1965-1969 CBS television series The Wild Wild West, in which he played the sophisticated Secret Service agent James West. He currently hosts a weekly 2 hour national radio show ("The PM Show with Robert Conrad") on CRN Digital Talk Radio.

==Biography==
===Early life===
Conrad was born as Konrad Robert Falkowski or Konrad Robert Folk<ref>Robert Conrad Biography<!-- Bot generated title --></ref> in Chicago, Illinois. During his early career one of Conrad's best friends was actor Nick Adams, who by many accounts helped him get work in Hollywood.<ref>Elvispresleynews, In an interview, Red West, member of Elvis Presley's Memphis Mafia, says that in Hollywood, Adams helped Conrad to "get into the first door". According to West, he, Adams, Presley, and Conrad "played football every Sunday"</ref>

===Career===
Before The Wild Wild West, Conrad played Tom Lopaka in ABC's Hawaiian Eye opposite Anthony Eisley and Connie Stevens. In the 1970s, he played such roles as prosecuting attorney Paul Ryan in a short-lived 1971 TV series, The D.A., and American spy Jake Webster in the series Assignment Vienna. With his muscular build and cigarette-induced gravelly voice, Conrad found ratings success playing legendary tough-guy World War II fighter ace Pappy Boyington in Baa Baa Black Sheep on NBC (later known in syndication as Black Sheep Squadron), from 1976 to 1978.

In the late 1970s, Conrad served as the captain of the NBC team for six editions of Battle of the Network Stars. In the first edition, his race against ABC's team captain Gabe Kaplan in the final event to settle a dispute regarding a technical foul (raised by CBS's team captain Telly Savalas) in the earlier co-ed track relay became one of the most memorable in the series. An infraction by NBC teammates during a baton hand-off had caused NBC to suffer a 2-second penalty, giving the victory to Kaplan's ABC team. But to appease the emotional Conrad, who challenged Kaplan in good sportsmanship, the tall gawky Groucho-moustached Kaplan agreed to run one last time.  The race was held on the same regulatory clay track soon after the disputed relay had been completed. As Conrad knelt in the starting blocks in the traditional sprinter's form, Kaplan stayed upright like a cross-country runner.  At the sound of the gun, Conrad sprinted to an early lead and led going into the turn with Kaplan close behind. As the pair came out of the turn, Kaplan drew even with Conrad, who was beginning to show his fatigue.  As they entered the straight-away, Kaplan began his finishing kick and out-sprinted Conrad to take a commanding lead and crossed the finish line well ahead of a winded Conrad, who was some 20 yards behind. Unbeknownst to Conrad and many of the other competitors, Kaplan had run track in high school.

Conrad also played a modern day variation of James West in the short-lived secret agent series A Man Called Sloane in 1979, about the same time he reprised the role of West in a pair of made-for-TV films. He also starred in the 1978 TV miniseries Centennial on NBC.

Conrad was widely identified in the late 1970s for his television commercials for Eveready batteries, particularly his placing of the battery on his shoulder and prompting the viewer to challenge its long-lasting power: "Come on, I dare ya". The commercial was frequently parodied on Johnny Carson's The Tonight Show and The Carol Burnett Show.

In 1988, Conrad starred in a short-lived TV series called High Mountain Rangers with two of his sons. He also starred in that show's one season spin-off Jesse Hawkes. In 1992, Conrad played the role of the sheriff in Richard Marx's Hazard video.

Conrad took over hosting The History Channel's Weapons At War (later Tech Force) in 2000 following George C. Scott's 1999 death. In 2006, Conrad recorded audio introductions for every episode of the first season of The Wild Wild West for its North American DVD release on June 6. The DVD set also included one of Conrad's Eveready battery commercials; in his introduction, Conrad stated that he was flattered to be parodied by Carson.

He was inducted into the Stuntman's Hall of Fame<ref>http://www.stuntmen.org/members.html Stuntmen's Hall of Fame (listed as Bob Conrad)</ref> for his work on The Wild, Wild West series.

He appears in the documentary film "Pappy Boyington Field", where he recounts his personal insights about the legendary Marine Corps Aviator that he portrayed in the television series.

===Personal life===
Conrad is the father of nine children by 2 marriages, he has one daughter, Tammy, out of wedlock.Robert Conrad was married to Joan Kenlay, February 23, 1952 (divorced, 1984); married LaVelda Fann, 1987; children: (first marriage) Nancy (an actress), Joan, Christy, Christian (an actor), Shane (an actor); (second marriage)


. He lived in Bear Valley, California in the High Sierras until 2006, and now lives in Southern California with his wife, LaVelda Fann and their children.

In a 2008 interview, Conrad described the late Chicago Mafia associate and burglar Michael Spilotro as his "best friend".<ref>http://www.tonymedley.com/Articles/One_on_One_With_Robert_Conrad.htm One on One with Robert Conrad </ref>  Spilotro's mob slaying is portrayed in the movie Casino.

Well placed sources in Bear Valley say that Conrad was involved with a volunteer organization in that small Sierra community, Bear Valley Search and Rescue. The rescue organization formed the basis of the television series High Mountain Rangers which aired briefly in 1988. Bear Valley Search and Rescue is known to locals as Bear Valley Slurp and Recline.

Locals also recall an incident involving an extremely inebriated Conrad getting lost in a snowstorm one winter night in Bear Valley and breaking into a local cabin to take cover. He was later overheard at the local bar bragging about his drunk break-in, yet he never paid to have the window repaired.

Conrad has been out of the public eye since 2003, when he was involved in a devastating car accident. Conrad was driving his Jaguar drunk on Highway 4 in the California Sierra foothills near his Calaveras County home, when he crossed over the center median and slammed head-on into a Subaru being driven by 26-year-old Kevin Burnett. Both men suffered serious injuries.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref><ref>Template:Cite web</ref> Conrad was convicted of drunk driving (his blood-alcohol level was 0.22 percent, nearly three times the legal limit) and was sentenced to six months of house arrest. He also lost his driver's license for one year. During his DUI trial, court documents listed his year of birth as 1930, not the year 1935 listed in most entertainment biographies. <ref>http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/archive/index.php/t-45751.html%7C (2003-05-08) Actor Robert Conrad Partially Paralyzed </ref>

==References==


==External links==
*Template:Imdb


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