Happy birthday, Robert Conrad

March 1 is the birthday of actor Conrad Robert Falk (or Konrad Robert Falkowski, according to some sources). So we’ll wish a happy 82nd (at least according to his IMDB.COM profile) or a happy 76th (see information from a reader below) to the man better known as Robert Conrad.

Conrad has had a long acting career. But for many readers of this blog, he’s best known for playing ace U.S. Secret Service man James T. West in The Wild, Wild West. The 1965-69 show was a combination of spies and cowboys. CBS commissioned the show to cash in on the mid-1960s James Bond craze but it established its own flavor, and featured stories even more fantastic (albeit on a television budget) than the 007 films in movie theaters are the time.

A friend of ours once said Conrad had an acting range of “oak to pine.” We think that’s harsh. Regardless, Conrad had something that clicked with audiences. One thing that Conrad had was the ability to do many of his own stunts and action sequences, giving his character a believeability despite the fanciful tales. When James West fought a roomful of thugs, there was no mistaking that the show’s star was fully participating.

Here’s an excerpt from the first-season episode, The Night of the Burning Diamond:

Conrad’s James West also sometimes lost his shirt:

Of course, Conrad wasn’t exactly new at this sort of thing. Here’s the main titles of Hawaiian Eye, a show that was on Conrad’s resume at the time he was cast as James West.

Conrad’s co-star in Hawaiian Eye, Anthony Eisley, would show up in an episode of The Wild, Wild West (The Night of the Eccentrics) as a villain assisting Count Manzeppi (Victor Buono). Here’s a look:

Happy birthday, Mr. C.

7 Responses

  1. Happy Birthday Mr Conrad. Thanks for all the entertaining moments you have given us over the years

  2. Mr. Conrad,

    I will be 20 in June and have always been a fan of yours. You are my Mother’s Hollywood Hearthrob so I grew up watching the “Wild West” for as long as I can remember. My earliest T.V. memory is of watching a “Wild West” episode in which Dr. Lovelace and one of his ladies are singing Brahms Lullaby on somekind of staricase and Jim is in what I think is a cellar.
    There aren’t many decent shows to watch on T.V. these days but Jim West never falls under that catagory. My twin brother bought the complete “Wild West” series and our 6 younger siblings all love it; especially the 4 year old girl who always says “Artie and Jimmy are so handsome and sweet and nice, but Jimmy is the best.”
    Thank you for being part of such a wonderful show and for all the other great shows/movies you played in. We love you!
    Happy 82 and may the Lord bless you and yours with many more wonderful memories.

  3. Mr. Conrad,

    My sister is the post above. I just wanted to wish you a happy 82 birthday and let you know our prayers are with you and your family.

  4. Robert Conrad I just want to wish you a very Happy Birthday.You have given many years with your t.v. series and movies.And caught your talk radio show.A Fan…Bye

  5. Robert Conrad had the acting range of “oak to pine”? Hmmm. I’m watching the 1978 miniseries, “CENTENNIAL” right now. His acting range struck me as a lot wider than that.

    Happy birthday, Mr. Conrad!

  6. There’s a nice moment during a Robert Conrad commentary track on The Wild, Wild West DVDs. Conrad is talking while watching the pilot episode. He notes that co-star Ross Martin predicted Conrad would have a breakthrough in acting.

    Conrad said, years later, he realized the breakthrough had occurred, that he had reached a new level of acting. He just wished that Martin was around to share it with.

  7. Robert Conrad is 76 and NOT 82. He even showed his birth certificate for the world see on his radio show on CRN. It’s on public record he was born March 1. 1935. The reason he is thought to be 82 is because he lied about his age when he was a teen to get a truck driving job. He never changed that from his drivers license.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: