William Conrad

Actor, Announcer, Director
With his imposing physical presence and sonorous baritone voice, actor-director-producer William Conrad enjoyed a vibrant career on and off screens across several mediums, spanning more than five decades. Although he ... Read more »
Born: 09/26/1920 in Louisville, Kentucky, USA

Filmography

Actor (58)

Pioneers of Television 2011 (Tv Show)

Interviewee

Hudson Hawk 1991 (Movie)

(Narrator)

Of Moose and Men: The Rocky and Bullwinkle Story 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Narrator

Murder, She Wrote 1979 - 1980, 1984 - 1985 (Tv Show)

Actor

Killing Cars 1984 (Movie)

Mahoney (Actor)

Manimal 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Narrator

Police Squad! 1981 - 1982 (TV Show)

Actor

The Tarzan/Lone Ranger/Zorro Adventure Hour 1981 - 1982 (TV Show)

Voice

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century 1979 - 1980 (Tv Show)

Narrator

The Murder That Wouldn't Die 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Actor

How the West Was Won 1976 - 1979 (TV Show)

Narrator

The Rebels 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)

Narrator

The City 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)

Narrator

Moonshine County Express 1976 (Movie)

Starkey (Actor)

The Flip Wilson Special 1974 - 1975 (TV Show)

Actor

Wild Wild World of Animals 1973 - 1974 (TV Show)

Narrator

Cannon 1970 - 1971 (TV Show)

Actor

The D.A.: Conspiracy to Kill 1970 - 1971 (TV Show)

Actor

The Fugitive 1963 - 1967 (TV Show)

Narrator

Alfred Hitchcock Presents 1955 - 1965 (TV Show)

Actor

Battle of the Bulge 1965 (Movie)

Narration (Narrator)

-30- 1958 (Movie)

Jim Bathgate (Actor)

The Ride Back 1957 (Movie)

Hamish (Actor)

Johnny Concho 1956 (Movie)

Tallman (Actor)

The Conqueror 1956 (Movie)

Kasar (Actor)

Five Against the House 1955 (Movie)

Eric Berg (Actor)

The Naked Jungle 1954 (Movie)

Commissioner (Actor)

Cry of the Hunted 1953 (Movie)

Goodwin (Actor)

The Desert Song 1952 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Racket 1951 (Movie)

Turck (Actor)

Joan of Arc 1950 (Movie)

(Actor)

Any Number Can Play 1949 (Movie)

(Actor)

Body and Soul 1947 (Movie)

Quinn (Actor)

Arch of Triumph (Movie)

Official (Actor)

Cannon (TV Show)

Actor

Cry Danger (Movie)

Castro (Actor)

In Like Flynn (TV Show)

Actor

Jake and the Fatman (TV Show)

Actor

Just the Facts (TV Show)

Narrator

Keefer (TV Show)

Actor

Nero Wolfe (TV Show)

Actor

Night Cries (TV Show)

Actor

Shocktrauma (TV Show)

Actor

Side Show (TV Show)

Voice

Sorry, Wrong Number (Movie)

Morano (Actor)

Tension (Movie)

Lt. Edgar Gonsales (Actor)

The Brotherhood of the Bell (TV Show)

Actor

The Killers (Movie)

Killer (Actor)

The Macahans (TV Show)

Narrator

The Milkman (Movie)

Mike Morrel (Actor)

The Power (Movie)

(Actor)

The Rebels (TV Show)

Actor

The Return of Frank Cannon (TV Show)

Actor

The Sword of Monte Cristo (Movie)

Maj. Nicolet (Actor)

Turnover Smith (TV Show)

Actor
Producer (9)

Assignment to Kill 1968 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Countdown 1968 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

A Covenant With Death 1966 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

An American Dream 1966 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

First to Fight 1966 (Movie)

(Producer)

Brainstorm 1965 (Movie)

(Producer)

My Blood Runs Cold 1965 (Movie)

(Producer)

Two on a Guillotine 1965 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Ride Back 1957 (Movie)

(Producer)
Director (8)

77 Sunset Strip 1958 - 1964, 1968 - 1972, 1979 - 1980, 1984 - 1985 (Tv Show)

Director

Route 66 1958 - 1964, 1968 - 1972, 1979 - 1980, 1984 - 1985 (Tv Show)

Director

Target: The Corrupters 1958 - 1964, 1979 - 1980, 1984 - 1985 (Tv Show)

Director

The Name of the Game 1958 - 1964, 1968 - 1972, 1979 - 1980, 1984 - 1985 (Tv Show)

Director

Brainstorm 1965 (Movie)

(Director)

My Blood Runs Cold 1965 (Movie)

(Director)

Two on a Guillotine 1965 (Movie)

(Director)

The Man From Galveston 1963 (Movie)

(Director)
Other (3)

The Fall Guy 1981 - 1986 (TV Show)

Other

Masquerade 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Other

Trauma Center 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Other

Biography

With his imposing physical presence and sonorous baritone voice, actor-director-producer William Conrad enjoyed a vibrant career on and off screens across several mediums, spanning more than five decades. Although he made early onscreen appearances in noirs like "The Killers" (1946), Conrad achieved early fame as the voice of Marshal Matt Dillon on the long-running radio show "Gunsmoke" (CBS Radio, 1949-1960), helping to define the role later portrayed by James Arness for 20 years on television. His resonant voice made Conrad a favorite for narration work in efforts as diverse as the indelible cartoon classic "Rocky and Bullwinkle" (ABC/NBC, 1959-1964) and the wartime docudrama "The Battle of the Bulge" (1965). A deal with Warner Bros. also allowed Conrad to produce and direct B-movie potboilers like "Brainstorm" (1965), as well as executive produce director Robert Altman's feature debut, "Countdown" (1968). It was, however, a pair of late-career roles for which the portly performer would be most fondly remembered. First as the hard-nosed private eye "Cannon" (CBS, 1971-75) and then as the larger half of the investigative team of "Jake and the Fatman" (CBS, 1987-88; 1989-1992), Conrad at last achieved the fame denied him after losing out to Arness all those years before. One of the hardest working professionals in the entertainment business for decades, Conrad more than made his mark in Hollywood by the time of his 1994 passing.

Relationships

Tippy Conrad

Wife

Christopher Conrad

Son

EDUCATION

Excelsior High School

Bellflower , California

Fullerton College

Fullerton , California

Fullerton College

Fullerton , California

Milestones

1991

Final feature credit, narrator of "Hudson Hawk"

1991

Final TV voice credit, provided the narration for "Of Moose and Men: The Rocky and Bullwinkle Story", a PBS special

1986

Played the recurring role of Art Patterson on "Hotel"

1986

Played the recurring role of District Attorney Brackett on "Matlock"

1981

Starred as Rex Stout's literary detective "Nero Wolfe" on an NBC detective series

1980

Recreated his most celebrated role for "The Return of Frank Cannon", a CBS TV-movie

1977

Hosted and narrated "Tales of the Unexpected", a QM-produced suspense anthology

1968

Final producing credit, executive produced "Countdown", the first studio-backed fiction film directed by Robert Altman

1966

Feature executive producing debut, "An American Dream", based on a Norman Mailer novel

1965

Final directing credit, "Two on a Guillotine", a Gothic melodrama (also produced)

1964

Feature directing debut, "The Man From Galveston", a Western

1957

Feature producing debut, "The Ride Back", a Western

1950

TV debut, narrated the CBS-TV version of the anthology radio series, "Escape"

1946

Feature acting debut, "The Killers"

Produced some seasons of "77 Sunset Strip", a popular detective series on ABC from the late 50s through the mid-60s

Narrated the "Dudley Do-Right" segments of "The Bullwinkle Show"

Directed 35 episodes of "General Electric True Theater/General Electric True/True", a dramatic anthology series that emphasized true suspense stories

Worked as a writer-announcer-director at L.A. radio station KMPC

Starred as Marshall Matt Dillon for the 11-year run of the CBS radio series, "Gunsmoke" (dates approximate)

Provided the voice of the Lone Ranger on "The Tarzan/Lone Ranger/Zorro Adventure Hour", an action-packed Saturday morning cartoon

Starred as J L 'Fatman' McCabe, a tough district attorney who teamed with a smooth private investigator on the CBS series "Jake and the Fatman"

Returned to radio and became a mainstay of network radio drama

Spent 15 years under contract as a producer-director for Warner Bros.

TV producing and directing debut, "Klondike", a period adventure series set in Alaska

Served in WWII with the US Air Force as a fighter pilot; eventually attained the rank of captain

Reprised TV role on "Jake and the Fatman"

TV series debut as a star, "Cannon", a QM production about a suave private investigator

Narrated the "Rocky and Bullwinkle" segments of ABC's cartoon classic, "Rocky and His Friends"

Narrated the hugely successful drama series, "The Fugitive"; first work in a Quinn Martin (QM) Production

Served as a producer-director for the Armed Forces Radio Service

Narrated "The Invaders", a QM-produced sci-fi series

Introduced the sci-fi series "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century"

Bonus Trivia

.

We have found three different starting dates for the CBS Radio "Gunsmoke" series: 1954 (from "Radio's Golden Years" by Vincent Terrace); 1952 (from "The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows" by Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh); and 1949 (from Marquis' "Who's Who in Entertainment"). We have chosen the latter as it seems to jibe best with his other credits.

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