Conrad Bain of TV's 'Diff''rent Strokes' dies at 89
Was ""Diff'rent Strokes" a warm, family TV situation comedy that cut across social and racial lines to impart a message of love and acceptance? Or was it a dastardly, implicitly racist program that fostered the notions of a "benevolent white patriarchy?" Conrad Bain, the distinguished actor who played dad Phillip Drummond on that show has died at the age of 89.
The "Diff'rent Strokes" TV series would become notorious for the real-life problems the three child actors suffered once the series ended. Seeing the dashed fortunes of herself and her costars, Dana Plato, left is believed to have quipped at one time, "That Mr. Drummond sure was a lousy father!"
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Born in Alberta, Canada Bain attended the Banff School of Fine Arts in Alberta and served as a sergeant in the Canadian Army from 1943 to 1946. He then moved to New York, and spent the next 30 years in the theater, making his New York debut Off Broadway in 1956 in "The Iceman Cometh."
Bain scored his first real television success as Dr. Arthur Harmon, a neighbor of Bea Arthur's title character on "Maude." He joined the cast of "Diff'rent Strokes" in 1978, the beginning of an eight-season run. Bain played a wealthy Manhattan widower Mr. Drummond who had promised his dying black housekeeper that he would rear her sons, Arnold (Gary Coleman) and Willis (Todd Bridges).
Drummond had a biological daughter, Kimberly, played by Dana Plato. The show's plotlines centered on the life of a racially mixed family. The show was criticized by some as simplistic and patronizing.
"Diff'rent Strokes" followed a tradition of "domestication" and "cultural dwarfism" of black men in mainstream entertainment, "in which small black 'boys' (arrested adolescents who were much older than the characters they played) were adopted by tall, successful white males," who "represented the myth of the benevolent paternalism of the white upper class," according to critic Henry Louis Gates Jr. in The New York Times in 1989.
Actor Gary Coleman, small due to treatments related to a congenital kidney disease said he had come to dislike the scenes in which, even when he had become a teenager in real life, his character continued to hop into Mr. Bain's lap for yet another lecture.
The "Diff'rent Strokes" TV series would become notorious for the real-life problems the three child actors suffered once the series ended. Coleman died in 2010 at 42 after a lengthy illness, broke and recently fired from his position as a security guard. Dana Plato led a rollercoaster ride of bad life and career decisions that ended when she died of a drug overdose in 1999 at 34. Todd Bridges, the only surviving child actor was acquitted of attempted murder in 1990.
Seeing the dashed fortunes of herself and her costars, Plato is believed to have quipped at one time, "That Mr. Drummond sure was a lousy father!"
Bain is survived by two sons, Mark and Kent, and a twin brother, Bonar. His wife of more than 60 years, Monica Bain died in 2009.
Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for OCTOBER 2017
Workers and the Unemployed. That all workers may receive respect and protection of their rights, and that the unemployed may receive the opportunity to contribute to the common good.
You may have seen them online, in a novelty store, on even in a friend's home. They look like candles dedicated to the Catholic saints, but ... continue reading
His greatest accomplishment was his family - Jerry Lewis passes away at 91 after a lifetime of achievement Watch
Family man, comedian and filmmaker, Jerry Lewis died on Sunday at his home in Las Vegas, surrounded by loved ones. He was 91. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading
Kim Kardashian may be one of the most famous American celebrities, and she is worth a fortune. That's why it's baffling she would desecrate ... continue reading
Ron Howard and Henry Winkler mourn the loss of 'Happy Days' costar Erin Moran, who passed away at only 56-years-old Watch
Erin Moran, the beautiful actress best known for her role as Joanie Cunningham in "Happy Days" has passed away at only 56-years-old. LOS ... continue reading
On her fifth anniversary of sobriety, singer/songwriter Demi Lovato posted a message thanking God for breaking the curse of addiction from ... continue reading
by Catholic Online
- St. Rufus: Saint of the Day for Monday, December 18, 2017
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, December 19th, 2017 HD Video
- Steps on how to be a good journalist from Pope Francis
- Four priests martyred for powerful reasons
- Daily Readings for Monday, December 18, 2017
- REJOICE! Gaudete Sunday Calls us to Live as Joyful Christians in All ...
- Commission recommends Church end priestly celibacy and confession to ...
- Daily Reading for Monday, December 18th, 2017 HD
- Daily Reading for Sunday, December 17th, 2017 HD
- Daily Reading for Saturday, December 16th, 2017 HD
- The Net Neutrality Scam: Get ready to pay a lot more for a lot less HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
The California Network
Inspiring streaming service
Learn the Catholic way