One of television's favorite dads, actor Conrad Bain, has passed away at the age of 89. Better known as Mr. Drummond, he played a single white father who adopted two African-American boys on the popular sitcom Diff'rent Strokes, which ran from 1978-1986.
According to sources, he died of natural causes in a California retirement home. By all accounts he was as great as he seemed on TV. His daughter Jennifer told TMZ: "He was an amazing person. He was a lot like Mr. Drummond, but much more interesting in real life. He was an amazing father."
So it's sad to hear of his passing, but fortunately he had a nice long life. The rest of his co-stars weren't so fortunate, and now -- much to many people's surprise -- Todd Bridges, who played Willis Drummond and battled drug addiction for years, is the only Drummond family member still living.
If you recall, Dana Plato, who played Kimberly Drummond, died in 1999 after a drug overdose. Gary Coleman, who played Arnold Drummond, died in May 2010 after a brain hemorrhage.
Bridges is devastated to lose his friend and father figure. He told The Hollywood Reporter: "He treated me better than my own father treated me." He said he had just spoken to him last week.
I am deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Conrad as we were looking forward to celebrating his 90th birthday next month. In addition to being a positive and supportive father figure both on and off-screen, Conrad was well-loved and made going to work each day enjoyable for all of us. He will be missed, but never forgotten.
No, never forgotten. I have so many memories of watching that show as a child. He was funny, kind, and compassionate, and it's not surprising that he carried those qualities over to his real life was well as they seemed so genuine. R.I.P.
Were you a fan of Diff'rent Strokes?
Image via YouTube