TV tough guy Robert Conrad is perhaps best known as Secret Service Agent James West on The Wild Wild West, but has been seen in numerous TV shows and films throughout his career. His physicality and tough demeanor are forever associated with the actor and the roles he…more
He was offered the role of Hannibal Smith on The A Team but turned it down.
Robert Conrad was seriously injured in a head-on car crash in 2003 in which he sustained head injuries and neuro damage that left his right hand and arm paralyzed, and slowed his speech. Convicted of DUI, he was sentenced to six months of house arrest, five years probation and alcohol counseling. He also lost his driver's license for one year.
Robert Conrad was a star football and basketball player in middle and high school.
Robert Conrad was approached by director Barry Sonnenfeld to make a cameo appearance as President Ulysses S. Grant in Wild Wild West. Conrad turned down the offer after reading the script due to poor quality and lack of respect for the original series the movie was based on.
Robert Conrad was nominated for a Golden Globe as Best Actor in a TV Drama in 1978 for Baa Baa Black Sheep.
Robert Conrad tested for the part of Maj. Tony Nelson on I Dream of Jeanie. The part went instead to Larry Hagman, and Conrad was cast in The Wild Wild West.
Robert Conrad attended Northwestern University.
In 2006, Robert Conrad recorded audio introductions for all 28 episodes of the first season of The Wild Wild West for its DVD release. He also contributed an audio commentary for the show's pilot episode.
At the time of co-star Ross Martin's death in 1981, Robert Conrad and Martin had been planning a revival Wild Wild West series. The plans were scrapped after Martin passed away.
In the Wild Wild West episode "The Night of the Fugitives", James West (Robert Conrad) was supposed to jump off a balcony, grab a chandelier, and land on a villain below. When he attempted the stunt, the timing was off, and Conrad fell 12 feet, landing on his neck and head. Conrad was seriously hurt, and his recovery delayed production for almost three months. From the released film, it appears that the original fall was kept on, and not re-done with a stuntman. The landing appears painful, and Conrad gets up quite slowly.
For his stunt work on The Wild Wild West, Robert Conrad was inducted into the Stuntman's Hall of Fame.
Robert Conrad had a professional boxing record of 4-0-1.
Robert Conrad addressed The Republican National Convention in 2004.
Actor Larry Manetti is his half brother.
Robert Conrad worked as a California Highway Patrol officer near Palmdale, California after the end of Baa Baa Black Sheep.
When the 1999 movie remake of Wild Wild West swept the 20th Annual Razzie Awards, "winning" five statuettes (including Worst Picture) Robert Conrad, who played James West in the original 1960s TV series, accepted three of the awards in person as his way of expressing his low opinion of what had been done with his source material.
Robert Conrad: (on comparisons between himself and James West) Oh, that character was light years away from me. I'm not debonair. I'm not suave. I did wear tight pants, though, because I found out that it worked. I think we were selling, at that time, not any different than they're selling today. You know, this whole thing about Ricky Martin, and how successful that young man is. He's 27, I was 29. I mean, we merchandised conditioning and sex. You can do all the things with innuendo. You don't have to show me things I don't really need to see. It's so much sexier to be subtle, to maybe have tight pants and take your shirt off and see these beautiful women on the train every week.
Robert Conrad: (describing "The Wild Wild West") It was just so elaborate and so luxurious. We had every gadget imaginable. You know, I had the little gun that came out [of my sleeve], and I had the little gun in the heel of the shoe. You name it, we had it. It won't happen again. You're not going to duplicate this show.
Robert Conrad: If one of [his daughters] came to me before she had finished high school and announced that she had intended to marry a boy with no job and little education, I'd forbid it - just like a stern father in a melodrama.
Robert Conrad: I neither condemn nor condone the mores of others. I think there are very few really, whose conduct reflects unfavorably on the rest of us in this mythical kingdom of Hollywood. There are men who need many women in order to bolster their egos - half the time, they don't remember the girl's name afterward. But I've got a good ego to start with, and I'm too sensitive for a quick relationship with a dame and sex alone would never be enough for me. Marriage is something that goes way beyond the flesh. Each human being has his own need for security. It's great to have someone to lean on, it's great to have someone lean on you.
Robert Conrad: (on battles with the censors over "The Wild Wild West") We always put in lot more (fighting) than we really wanted to see. (The censors) would say "We're going to take out two punches, two of this, three of that." So when they finished,we were still left with what we really wanted anyway.
Robert Conrad: Sometimes, I'm so preoccupied you have to drop a bomb to communicate with me and most of the time I only average four hours sleep. I don't mind. I wanted to work this hard.