By Jane Nambi
Remember Diff’rent Strokes actor, Conrad Bain who acted as a white millionaire who adopted two African-American boys? He has died at the age 89.
According to his daughter, Jennifer, Bain died of natural causes in Livermore. Bain is survived by three children, daughter, Jennifer, and sons, Mark and Kent.
The show which made Bain famous, “Diff’rent Strokes” showed on NBC in 1978 and ended in 1986 on ABC. It was popular mainly due to young co-star, Gary Coleman who acted as the mischievous Arnold Jackson, one of the two sons adopted by Bain’s character, the patient widower Phillip Drummond.
Most of the show’s actors however have passed on. Coleman and Dana Plato all died. Coleman died after a brain hemorrhage in 2010. Plato died in 1999 after an apparent drug overdose while Todd Bridges is the sole surviving member of the trio. “It’s painful,” he said. “It is really painful. It leaves you with such a helpless feeling. I have been asked to go on all these talk shows and I just think the continued public discussion … I can’t bear the thought. I love them all.”
In 1991, Bain appeared at the Pasadena Playhouse in a production of A.R. Gurney’s “The Dining Room,” playing various roles from a dying father to a a senile old man to a 5-year-old child. “Somebody said to me, ‘You were the father of all those children on ‘Diff’rent Strokes’ and now you are playing the children.’”
Talking about the death of Bain, Bridges said, “This is probably one of the most heart-wrenching days I’ve had in a long time,” Bridges, now 47, said. “That Conrad’s not going to be around anymore to talk to. Whenever I needed advice, I’d call Conrad.” He went on to add saying, “He was a really good man. He really was like Mr. Drummond. Just an all-around nice guy. He treated me better than my own father treated me.”