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Mork & Mindy star Conrad Janis has passed away at age 94.
His business manager, Dean A. Avedon, confirmed Janis died on March 1 in a statement to People. Avedon said the actor passed due to organ failure from old age.
Janis appeared opposite Robin Williams in the sitcom Mork & Mindy, playing Fred McConnell, the father of Mindy McConnell (played by Pam Dawber) in 70 episodes from 1978 to 1982.
Mork & Mindy star Conrad Janis has passed away at age 94; Conrad pictured far L
A spin-off of Happy Days, Mork & Mindy followed the antics of an alien named Mork (Williams) who lives with a woman named Mindy McConnell
Janis passed just six months after the death of his wife Maria Grimm, who died in September 2021.
‘Conrad and his wife Maria were clients of mine for over 35 years. They were two of the nicest, respectful, and generous people I know,’ Avedon said in the statement. ‘I have many fond memories of Conrad telling me stories from his past. He was an amazing man that led a truly amazing life.’
Janis was born February 11, 1928 to Sidney and Harriet Janis, well known art collectors and gallerists in New York, according to Deadline.
Janis appeared opposite Robin Williams in the sitcom Mork & Mindy, playing Fred McConnell, the father of Mindy McConnell (played by Pam Dawber)
Janis played the character for 70 episodes from 1978 to 1982
His acting resume spans from the 1940s to 2012.
His career began in the mid-1940s, when he landed a role in the 1945 production of Dark Of The Moon. It would be the first of 12 Broadway shows he would appear in during his career.
His career on Broadway included roles in 1957’s A Visit to a Small Planet and a 1969 revival of The Front Page, according to the New York Times.
He also starred in the 1945 wartime comedy Snafu, followed by roles in Margie, The Brasher Doubloon, That Hagen Girl and Beyond Glory.
Janis pictured with Williams, Elizabeth Kerr and Pam Dawber in Mork & Mindy
His acting resume spans from the 1940s to 2012
The actor also had roles in Murder, She Wrote, The Cable Guy, Baywatch, L.A. Heat, Frasier, and Bad Blood.
In addition to his work as an actor, Janis was also an accomplished jazz trombonist who performed with the Beverly Hills Unlisted Jazz Band, even at the peak of his Mork & Mindy fame, according to Deadline.
According to the New York Post, Janis was a voracious listener of trombonist Kid Ory and his New Orleans jazz band in the 1940s, leading to his lifelong passion for music.
‘In the course of going eight or nine months and listening to him every night, I inadvertently memorized every one of his solos,’ he said in an interview with film historian Alan K. Rode in 2012.
‘When I finally got hold of a trombone [sometime later], I started playing and could play — very badly and stumbling — but I had it in my ear.’
In addition to his acting career, Conrad was also an accomplished jazz trombonist
‘The producers wouldn’t go for it’: Janis, whose character managed a music store on Mork & Mindy, said he regretted not being able to play his trombone on the serie
Janis, whose character managed a music store on Mork & Mindy, said he regretted not being able to play his trombone on the series.
‘The producers wouldn’t go for it,’ the actor told The Albany Democrat-Herald of Oregon in 1990, according to the NY Times. ‘We had a really cute script where I got together with my old Dixieland jazz band, but they didn’t think it was funny enough.’
Once Janis’ father Sidney Janis turned 90, he relinquished his gallery, the Janis Gallery, to Conrad and his brother Carroll, according to the NY Times. They kept it running until 1999.
According to the NY Post, he is survived by his children Christopher and Carin, two grand children and two great-grandchildren.
Fans paid tribute to the actor on Twitter after news of his death broke.
‘R.I.P. to another talent man – Conrad Janis was a jazz trombonist and actor who played the role of Mindy’s father on Mork & Mindy… but, he also led the Beverly Hills Unlisted Jazz Band for a while and worked with my father down at Drum City and Clover Studios,’ tweeted one fan.
‘Aww damn. #RIP to an old friend. Conrad Janis, Father on ‘Mork & Mindy’ & Much More, Dies at 94… I knew Connie for years… big flirt! Funny, talented guy,’ another tweeted.
‘Very sorry to learn that Conrad Janis has passed. Always a classy character actor – best known for Mork & Mindy – but appeared in a host of other things as well and someone you would always recognise,’ another posted.