Conrad Bain, who played the role of the Manhattan widower Philip Drummond in the popular sitcom Different Strokes, passed away on 16th January in his hometown Livermore in California. His daughter Jennifer Bain said that he died of natural causes at 89. He served the Canadian army during World War II and went to New York in 1948 after the war. He married Monica Sloan, who was an artist, in 1945 and had three children named Jennifer, Kent and Mark. He took to acting in his mid 50s.
Diff’rent Strokes was a very popular sitcom which ran eight seasons on NBC and two seasons on ABC. The prominent characters in the sitcom were Gary Coleman, Todd Bridges, Conrad Bain and Dana Plato. Philip promises his dying housekeeper that he will take care of her children. After her death, he adopts them and the comedies revolve around the conflicts that arise during the growing up and the race and class relations. Dana Plato played Kimberly, who was the biological daughter of Philip. Eventually, the three of them became like real children to him. He expressed it during an interview later in 1999 when Plato passed away due to a drug overdose.
He had been helping them whenever they needed and Bridges spent a whole day crying when Bain passed away. All the three of them had tragic lives, Coleman dying of a congenital kidney disease in 2010, Dana and Bridges were arrested and Dana passed away at an early age due to a drug overdose. Bridges, who is now 47 said, “This is probably one of the most heart-wrenching days I’ve had in a long time, that Conrad’s not going to be around anymore to talk to. Whenever I needed advice, I’d call Conrad.” All of them bonded so well that their relationship lasted until the end of their lives.
Bridges was known for his severe cocaine addiction and Bain helped him recover. Bridges, the sole survivor of the four is now out of jail and his son Spencir Bridges is now an actor. Diff’rent Strokes caught on so quickly because it was a time when race relations in America were not as good. Bain was as real a father as he was in Diff’rent Strokes, lavishing his co-workers with fatherly love.