Conrad Bain

Conrad Stafford Bain (February 4, 1923 January 14, 2013) was a Canadian/American actor and comedian and character actor. His television credits include a leading role as Phillip Drummond in the sitcom Diff'rent Strokes and as Arthur Harmon on Maude.

Conrad Bain
Bain as Arthur Harmon in Maude, 1975.
Conrad Stafford Bain

(1923-02-04)February 4, 1923
DiedJanuary 14, 2013(2013-01-14) (aged 89)
EducationBanff School of Fine Arts
Alma materAmerican Academy of Dramatic Arts
Years active1952–1996
Known forDr. Arthur Harmon on Maude,
Phillip Drummond on Diff'rent Strokes
TelevisionDiff'rent Strokes,
Monica Sloan
(m. 1945; died 2009)
RelativesBonar Bain (brother, deceased)

Early life

Conrad Bain was born in Lethbridge, Alberta, the son of Jean Agnes (née Young) and Stafford Harrison Bain, who was a wholesaler.[1] He studied at the Banff School of Fine Arts before serving in the Canadian Army during World War II.[2] He later studied in New York at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, graduating in 1948; one of his classmates was comedian Don Rickles. Bain became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1946.[3]


After a stint at the Stratford Festival in Canada, Bain had further success as a stage actor in the 1956 revival of Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh.[4] The New York Times reviewer noted that his role was "especially well acted."[5] Bain's Broadway theatre credits include Candide, Advise and Consent, An Enemy of the People, Uncle Vanya, and On Borrowed Time.[6] Off Broadway, he appeared in the original run of Steambath. While doing stage work in New York City, Bain also found work on television, appearing in the cult supernatural soap opera Dark Shadows as the town innkeeper, Mr. Wells, during seasons 1 and 2. His character was killed off by werewolf Chris Jennings (Don Briscoe).

In the early 1960s, Bain was one of the principal organizers of the Actors Federal Credit Union. In an article in the Credit Union Times, he recalled that "the effort grew out of the fact that, at least in the world of financial services, actors and other performers got no respect and, more importantly, no access to credit."[7]

It was at a meeting of the Actors' Equity [Union] where a member stood up and asked why we didn't do something about actors not being able to get any credit, much less a mortgage or anything like that. Someone else stood up and echoed what the first member said, pointing out that the issue really was one of equity and actors didn't have any when it came to the banks.[7]

He wrote:

Remember this: no share payment is too small. The main objective should be to establish a consistent habit of saving. In return, you can have the security of knowing that there is a place to turn to when you need a loan, a place where you will be met with dignity and respect, rather than suspicion and prejudice.[7]

Bain served as the credit union's first president.[8]

In the early 1970s, Bain appeared in New York–based films like Lovers and Other Strangers and Woody Allen's Bananas before achieving national recognition for his work in television.[4] He is best known for his roles as Dr. Arthur Harmon, Bea Arthur's title character's conservative nemesis, who married her best friend, Vivian, in Maude (1972–78) and as Park Avenue millionaire Phillip Drummond in Diff'rent Strokes (1978–86), in which he adopted two African-American orphaned boys from Harlem, Willis and Arnold, to live with him and his daughter, Kimberly, and housekeeper, Mrs. Garrett. In 1979, he played Phillip Drummond in an episode of The Facts of Life. In 1996, Bain reprised his role of Phillip Drummond along with Gary Coleman as Arnold Jackson on the series finale of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Personal life

Bain had two sons and a daughter with Monica Sloan (1923-2009), to whom he was married in 1945 until her death in 2009. His identical twin brother was actor Bonar Bain (1923-2005),[6] who once played Arnold Harmon, the twin brother of Conrad's Maude character, Arthur Harmon.


Bain died from complications following a stroke on January 14, 2013, in Livermore, California, three weeks before his 90th birthday.[9] His body was cremated.



1967The Borgia StickLawyerTV Movie, Uncredited
1968MadiganHotel Clerk
1968A Lovely Way to DieJames Lawrence
1968Star!Salesman at Cartier'sUncredited
1968Coogan's BluffMadison Avenue Man
1969Last SummerSidneyUncredited
1970Lovers and Other StrangersPriest in ConfessionalUncredited
1970I Never Sang for My FatherRev. Sam Pell
1971Fury on WheelsLester JumpAlternate title: Jump
1971A New LeafProfessor HeinrichUncredited
1971The Anderson TapesDr. Rubicoff
1971Who Killed Mary What's 'Er Name?Val Rooney
1971Men of Crisis: The Harvey Wallinger StoryPresident Richard M. NixonShort film
1972A Fan's NotesPoppy
1972Up the SandboxDr. Gordon
1975TwigsSwedeTV movie
1979C.H.O.M.P.S.Ralph Norton
1979A Pleasure Doing BusinessHerb
1981Child Bride of Short CreekFrank KingTV movie
1990Postcards from the EdgeGrandpa


1952Studio One in HollywoodDr. CaldwellEpisode: "The Hospital"
1956Studio One in HollywoodEvansEpisode: "Family Protection"
1961Naked CityMillerEpisode: "The Day the Island Almost Sank"
1961The DefendersD.A. Fred MonahanEpisode: "Gideon's Follies"
1965The Trials of O'BrienDistrict AttorneyEpisode: "Dead End on Flugel Street"
1966Dark ShadowsHotel ClerkEpisodes #1.1, #1.11, #1.61
1967N.Y.P.D.ManagerEpisode: "Shakedown"
1968Dark ShadowsMr. WellsEpisode #1.632
1970The Edge of NightDr. Charles Weldon #1Unknown episodes
1972–1978MaudeDr. Arthur HarmonMain cast (121 episodes)
1978The Waverly WondersTate Sr.Episode: "Tate vs. Tate"
1978Grandpa Goes to WashingtonRobert GreenEpisode: "Kelley at the Bat"
1978The Love BoatLesEpisode: "Till Death Do Us Part-Maybe/Locked Away/Chubs"
1978–1986Diff'rent StrokesPhilip DrummondMain cast (189 episodes)
1979Hello, LarryEpisode: "The Trip: Part 2"
1979The Facts of LifeEpisode: "Rough Housing"
1979Hello, LarryEpisode: "Feudin' and Fussin': Part 2"
1979Hello, LarryEpisode: "Thanksgiving Crossover: Part 2"
1980The Beatrice Arthur SpecialHimselfTV special, Uncredited
1980CHiPsHimselfEpisode: "The Great 5K Star Race and Boulder Wrap Party: Part 2"
1985The Love BoatLeslie CampbellEpisode: "Instinct/Unmade for Each Other/BOS"
1985The Love BoatCharles CustersEpisode: "A Day in Port"
1987–1988Mr. PresidentCharlie RossMain cast (24 episodes)
1993The Adventures of the Black StallionTobias DoyleEpisode: "Legends Never Die"
1996The Fresh Prince of Bel-AirPhilip DrummondEpisode: "I, Done: Part 2", (final appearance)


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