‘Mork & Mindy’ actor is 94 years old – The Hollywood Reporter

Conrad Janis, trombonist and Dixieland actor best known for playing the father of Pam Dawber’s character on the sitcom Robin Williams Mork & Mindy, has died. He is 94 years old.

Janis died March 1 in Los Angeles, his business manager Dean Avedon told New York Times.

Despite being a young player, Janis was already a Broadway veteran when he appeared in the 20th Century Fox noir. The Brasher Doubloon (1947) opposite George Montgomery (then husband of Dinah Shore) in the Philip Marlowe film.

Above Frasier, Janis portrays a character named Albert who lives in the same apartment building as Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer) and his father (John Mahoney). He is also a KAOS agent on Get smart and a space station resident on Quark (Buck Henry got his hands on both of those series.)

Janis has played trombone in several appearances on Tonight’s show and at Carnegie Hall, and he’s recorded several albums with his group, Tailgate Five. He has also performed with actor George Segal banjo in the Beverly Hills Unlimited Jazz Band.

Janis had a recurring role as Mindy’s father, Fred McConnell – the owner of a music store, in a good touch – in all four seasons (1978-82) of ABC. Mork & Mindy. The bald actor often has to receive silly statements from Mork (Williams).

He was born in Manhattan on February 11, 1928. His mother, Harriet, was a writer who co-authored the 1950 book. They all play Ragtimeand his father, Sidney, were an art dealer who, in 1967, donated a private collection of 103 works, then worth $2 million, including a Picasso, to Bao. New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

Janis made her Broadway debut at the age of 13 Youth and stuck with comedy through a long run in New York and then a tour until he was 16. “I wanted to leave school for the rest of my life,” he told film historian Alan K. Rode in 2012. “I never went to high school. It went perfectly. ”

He went to California to make his feature film debut, playing a 16-year-old enlisted in the US Army in Snafu (In 1945).

After co-starring Jeanne Crain in Margie (1946), he signed with Fox for a salary of $750 a week; most people get $75 a week to start, but he commands a much higher salary because he’s been on Broadway, he notes.

He then appeared in Warner Bros. That Hagen girl (1947) in a much mocked TV series featuring Ronald Reagan and Shirley Temple. (Spoiler alert: Those two were presumably married by the end of the movie.)

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Conrad Janis (left) with Jonathan Winters on an episode of ABC’s ‘Mork & Mindy’
Courtesy Everett Collection

Fox didn’t give him much to do, and he was eventually replaced by Robert Wagner, he said. Janis then worked extensively in television, appearing on shows like Nervous, Starlight Theater and Studio One in Hollywood.

“It was an exciting time because everything was live,” he said in 2015. “You have to memorize the whole show for the night. We would do one-hour shows six or seven nights a week, with very little time for rehearsals. If people forget their lines or the prop gun doesn’t fire, just try to find a way out of it. “

He also continued to be busy on Broadway, appearing in Brass ring, Time out for ginger and Sunday in New Yorkamong other products.

Then Janis appeared on Inviolable and My favorite Mars and in movies like Airport ’75 (1974), The Happy Hooker (1975), The Duchess and the Water Fox (1976),The Story of Best Friend Holly (1978), Oh my God! Book II (1980), Brewster’s Millions (1985), Sonny Boy (1989), Saturday night of Mr. (1992) and Cable Guy (1996).

He also produced, directed, and starred alongside Piper Laurie in Bad blood (2012), written by his third wife, actress Maria Grimm.

Survivors include his children, Christopher and Carin, and two grandchildren.

In the late 1940s, Janis said he spent endless hours listening to famed trombonist Kid Ory and his New Orleans jazz band at the Beverly Cavern nightclub in LA.

“During the course of eight or nine months and listening to him every night, I unwittingly memorized every single one of his solos,” he told Rode. “When I finally got hold of a trombone [some time later]I started playing and was able to play – badly and tripped – but I let it go. ”

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