Chicago-born actor Robert Conrad, who starred in the steampunk western TV series The Wild, Wild West as secret agent James West has died of heart failure at the age of 84.

Robert Conrad as Agent James West and Michael Dunn as mad scientist Dr. Miguelito Loveless on The Wild Wild West {image via CBS}

Conrad spent most of his career playing men of action on TV: spies, detectives, pilots, and rangers. He was born Konrad Robert Falkowski in Chicago on March 1, 1935. He died Saturday, February 8, 2020, in Malibu, California, and the family is planning a memorial service on March 1, which would have been his 85th birthday. He was married and divorced twice, and had eight children and eighteen grandchildren.

Robert Conrad as WWII ace Major Greg Boyington in Baa Baa Black Sheep {image via Stephen J. Cannell Productions}

Robert Conrad started in Hollywood as a stunt man and progressed to bit parts, coming to fame with the role of Tom Lopaka in 77 Sunset Strip, reprising the role in Hawaiian Eye. He continued doing his own stunts for years.

His three most famous roles were Tom Lopaka, Jim West, and Greg Boyington. He also starred in The D.A. as Deputy D.A. Paul Ryan,in Assignment: Vienna as Jake Webster, High Mountain Rangers as Jesse Hawkes, High Sierra Search and Rescue as Griffin Campbell, and A Man Called Sloane as Thomas R. Sloane.

He starred in the horror movie Dead Above Ground. He starred, co-wrote, and co-directed in the western The Bandits and starred in and co-wrote the movie Hard Knox.


Susan Macdonald
Susan Macdonald

Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as 26 short stories, mostly fantasy in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress ”, Swords &Sorceries Vols. 1, 2, & 5, “Cat Tails” “Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions,  Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.