Phillip Drummond

Diff’rent Strokes Actor Conrad Bain Dies

Actor Conrad Bain, who is perhaps best known for starring as Phillip Drummond on Diff’rent Strokes, has died. The 89-year-old passed away peacefully Monday at a retirement home in Livermore, California, his daughter Jennifer confirmed to People magazine.

“He’d been unconscious for a couple of days, but he was comfortable and it was very peaceful. I was able to be with him very close to the end [and] able to put my ear to his heart and sing him songs,” Jennifer told People.

“My father really was a lot like his character in Diff’rent Strokes,” she added. “He had that warmth and stability. He also was a very intellectual person.”

Bain got his start on Broadway starring in plays like The Iceman Cometh, Candide and On Borrowed Time. His first big TV role came alongside Bea Arthur and Rue McClanahan on Maude. He starred as Dr. Arthur Harmon from 1972 to 1978. Bain landed the Diff’rent Strokes role in 1978. He played a Manhattan millionaire who adopts two African-American boys, Willis (played by Todd Bridges) and Arnold (played by the late Gary Coleman). Diff’rent Strokes ran from 1978 to 1986.

In addition to his daughter Jennifer, Bain is survived by three sons.