Sunday, March 1, 2015


For this Video Sunday, we're celebrating the 80th birthday of Robert Conrad.  At 5'8", he is one of the giants of Toobworld for his portrayal of James T. West in 'The Wild Wild West'.  

Secret Service agent West and his partner Artemus Gordon kept the Old West safe from megalomaniacs who were hoping to use the last frontier as a base to take over the country after the Civil War.  And among their nemeses was my all-time favorite TV character, Dr. Miguelito Loveless.

For more about the man, check out these two biographies from ever reliable sources Wikipedia and the IMDb:



West and Gordon were inducted into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame in 2002 (with Dr. Loveless preceding them in 1999 as one of the first three special inductees.)  But James West contributed more to the TV Universe than the TV series and its two sequel movies.  In that first sequel, it was established that West had many children with his many "wives" in a village south of the border.  And of course there are those children he probably sired with some of those beautiful women he had dalliances with at the end of most episodes of the TV show.  And from all of those offspring many future TV characters can trace their lineage:

  • Thomas Jefferson Lopaka - 'Hawaiian Eye' & '77 Sunset Strip'
  • Thomas Remington Sloane III - 'A Man Called Sloane'
  • Griffin "Tooter" Campbell - 'High Sierra Search And Rescue'
  • Jesse Hawkes - 'Jesse Hawkes' & 'High Mountain Rangers'
  • Oscar Ramsey - 'The Duke'
  • Jake Webster - 'Assignment: Vienna'
  • Paul Ryan - 'The D.A.' & 'Adam 12'
There are two TV characters whom I'm keeping out of the West family tree - Greg "Pappy" Boyington of 'Black Sheep Squadron' and Nick Carter from the TV movie/pilot "The Adventures Of Nick Carter".  

Boyington was a real life WWII hero and even though there are fictional TV characters who are related to real world people, I don't want to push the concept too far.  As for Nick Carter, his origins lie in BookWorld and so is a better fit for the Wold Newton Universe.  My companeros Win Scott Eckert and Sean Lee Levin are the guardians of Philip Jose Farmer's vision of a shared universe inhabited by pulp characters, and they are better suited to handle any possible genealogical connections for Carter.

By the way, my reasons for excluding Boyington would extend to other historically based characters like G. Gordon Liddy and Bob Dalton.

At any rate today we're celebrating Robert Conrad and not his characters, so these videos are geared towards him as a man.  I hope you enjoy them.

First up, here's an interview for the ages done by the Archive of American Television.

Public Broadcasting has been showcasing the Pioneers of Television......

In advance of their pick-up of the series, TNT broadcast a mini-documentary on 'The Wild Wild West':

Robert Conrad and Ross Martin (who played Artemus) appeared on a local morning talk show......

Every two weeks, Mr. Conrad hosts a two hour cyber radio show.  Here are three examples of the show.  In the second one, he talks about meeting Elvis.  And in the third he shares his memories of the late great Michael Dunn.

For our final entry, here's a special video nearly two hours long: Robert Conrad and his friends participated on a panel at the Hollywood Show.

And just for bleeps and giggles......

Happy birthday, Robert Conrad.  Thank you for all the years you've provided us with entertainment on our screens.


1 comment:

Lisa said...

Great clips! I can't wait to watch all of them, especially that two hour appearance! I am so glad that he is still active in the business and being his usual feisty self!

Happy Birthday to a fella who could rock a pair of tight pants like nobody else!!