Robert Conrad had strong feelings about being called a star

The Wild Wild West actor didn't even want a star on the sidewalk out of fear people would spit on it.

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Being a star is something a lot of people dream about. It's one reason why many choose to become actors, for example. The four-letter word means they've made it big, and it's mainly used as a compliment. Yet, Robert Conrad did not want to be associated with it.

Why? Because there were a few misconceptions people had about the Wild Wild West actor. In an interview with the Daily Press in 1977, Conrad talked about how people viewed him.

"I'm not as abrasive and cocky as people think," he said. People thought Conrad was arrogant because of his fictional television characters. The actor was in a commercial where he dared viewers to knock a battery off his shoulders and seemed to relish the moment.

Some viewers noticed that his roles always had "a quality of rough-edged arrogance." Despite what people may have thought, Conrad believed he was the opposite. There was only one type of star in his eyes. "There aren't any stars unless you're talking about the solar system. I'm a man who makes a living as an actor," he said.

Maybe people thought he was arrogant because Conrad always spoke his mind.

"When I have something on my mind, I say it. I hope my life's ambition isn't to have a star on the sidewalk for people to spit on and walk on," he said. "Chamber of Commerce here, if you give a few bucks, they'll give you a star on the sidewalk. But, I'm not going to come up with the money for people to walk on and spit on me."

Although people made assumptions about the actor, his success resulted from his hard work. According to Conrad, he never missed a day of work and was never late to the set. He always had talks with his son about the impact of working for what you want. 

"So I told him, 'Get your nose in a book and get your... act together.'"

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37 Comments

Alo1234 16 months ago
Outstanding actor, and ive enjoyed www as much today, as when it originally aired. He had the golden touch in all his performances.
Nala92129 16 months ago
Was the character, "Barry Conrad," on Perry Mason, a slap at Robert Conrad?
Runeshaper 16 months ago
Working hard and being timely is important. My grandfather, father, and I would all agree!
iluvwesterns 16 months ago
I used to watch Wild Wild West every Friday night with my brother. It was a great action western and pretty unique at the time. Robert Conrad was a great tough guy actor. Liked him in Baa Baa Black Sheep also.
Alo1234 iluvwesterns 16 months ago
Me (and my brother) too!
InaGold1 16 months ago
What a wonderful actor in everything he did! He was also a realist, and came from the Midwest (Chicago, to be exact) and so he saw acting as his profession, as opposed to being a big "star", which is why he was so great in everything. I loved him in the Wild, Wild, West, but I also loved him as Pasquinell in Centennial. I miss him as a wonderful actor and risk-taker...and as a good person as well.
sunage 16 months ago
He was the most unpretentious famous person I've interacted with. No raised voice, no self love and much patience. It's really good to see him on the Wild Wild West on Metv.
Andybandit 16 months ago
I never saw TWWW. I am sure Robert Conrad was good in it. He was good in Black Sheep squadron and an episode of Columbo.
Coldnorth Andybandit 16 months ago
To me, he was eye candy first. I liked the characters he played, but he was also very handsome.
sunage Andybandit 16 months ago
It's a very good show, as original as Star Trek or Lost in Space, with as many guest actors in common.
Alo1234 sunage 16 months ago
Wow, 3 of my top 5 shows!
bfp_ny Andybandit 9 months ago
Episodes of WWW available on You Tube now!
Pacificsun 16 months ago
The one quote I always remember, cutting a thin line between between all the interviews actors give and who we assume they are. Meaning how the public's perception is shaped by them. Is what Robert Conrad said (probably in print and confirmed when he turned to radio).

Is that no one was ever going to really know him, except those with whom he wanted to be close. The reason being (he said) was because 𝑰 𝒂𝒎 𝒂𝒏 𝒂𝒄𝒕𝒐𝒓.

And, as entertaining as are all the stories we read here, and throughout the decades from so many other sources - it's the one thing I keep in mind.

They are in the business of perception!
justjeff Pacificsun 16 months ago
...or as another celebrity or such once stated: "They all get paid for playing pretend..."
JERRY6 Pacificsun 16 months ago
more like deception , , he was one of a kind , spoke his mind . He played his parts well , helps that he had a good cast in the WWW , sTILL WATCH THE SHOW , ALWAYS ENTERTAINING don't forget Hawaaian Eye OR 77 Sunset Strip He played his parts well
Pacificsun JERRY6 16 months ago
😉 Better said!
TonkerBell 16 months ago
Nice article, but I met Robert Conrad back in the mid 70s and he was indeed arrogant and cocky. I used to LOVE the WWW as a kid but after meeting him in person, I quit watching it. He was also quite the male chauvinist.
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QuintBatiatus TonkerBell 16 months ago
He was never a chauvinist.
sunage QuintBatiatus 16 months ago
I've noticed that on other forums. It's my understanding that he had a local enemy in Bear Valley and this individual is the source of the more outrageous nonsense.
TonkerBell QuintBatiatus 16 months ago
According to HIM he was!
TonkerBell Mac2Nite 16 months ago
Yes, and that wasn’t the first time either.
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