Famed actor Robert Conrad, most popular for his 1960s and ’70s television series “The Wild, Wild West,” “Baa Baa Black Sheep” and “Hawaiian Eye,” passed away Saturday in Malibu, California, due to heart failure, according to his family’s spokesperson.
He was 84 years old.
Spokesman Jeff Ballard said in his statement:
“He lived a wonderfully long life and while the family is saddened by his passing, he will live forever in their hearts.”
Conrad was born in Chicago on March 1, 1935. Ballard said that he used to sang in a club at night while delivering milk during the day. It was only in 1958 where he moved to Hollywood to pursue show business.
Conrad’s fame started when he was cast as Tom Lopaka on the ABC hit television series “Hawaiian Eye” in 1959.
In 1965 he got the lead role as Jim West, on CBS’ TV series “The Wild, Wild, West.” The next decade he was cast in “The D.A.” and “Assignment: Vienna.”
He was nominated for a Golden Globe in 1978 for his work on the NBC action hit series “Baa Baa Black Sheep,” where he also won People’s Choice Award from the previous year.
Conrad also starred in several TV commercials in the disco era. The most notable one where he served as a national spokesman for Eveready batteries, with his catchphrase:
“I dare you to knock this off.”
From being a huge action star on television, he moved into directing movies and TV shows for the next decades.
According to Ballard, Conrad also supported many organizations to help those in need.
He supported the Wounded Warriors Project, Paralyzed Veterans of America, the United States Marine Corps and the Jimmie Heuga Endowment for a long time, which gives support to those affected with multiple sclerosis. He was also one of the proponents of amateur boxing.
Conrad also received the Distinguished Service Award in Broadcasting and an inductee of the Stuntman’s Hall of Fame.
According to several news outlets. Rober Conrad took delight in the fact that there are reruns and retrospectives of “The Wild Wild West”. He told them that because of these, the hit series attained a certain cult status with fans who weren’t yet born when it was originally on TV.
He told the Los Angeles Times in 1994:
“The show that wasn’t supposed to work, works.”
“I feel like the battery I used to represent. I feel like the Energizer. I am going on and on and on.”