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Conrad Janis
Born: February 11, 1928
Birth Hometown: New York
Died: March 1, 2022
Place of death: Los Angeles, California
Occupation: Actor
Years active: 1945–2012

Conrad Janis (February 11, 1928 – March 1, 2022) was an American jazz trombonist and actor. He played the role of Mindy McConnell's father, Frederick, on television's Mork & Mindy.

Early life[]

Janis was born in Manhattan on February 11, 1928. His father, Sidney, was an art dealer and writer; his mother, Harriet (Grossman), was also a writer. He had one brother, Carroll. Janis successfully auditioned for a road company at the age of 13 and consequently spent the next two years with them. He also began doing radio voice work during this time.


Janis secured a role in the play Dark of the Moon during its pre-Broadway run, in which he was spotted by a Hollywood talent scout. He stayed with the production when it ran in New York City, consequently making his Broadway debut in March 1945. He then made his film debut later that year as Ronald Stevens in the film Snafu. He then played "Johnikins" in Margie (1946) with Jeanne Crain. He starred in the film noir The Brasher Doubloon with George Montgomery the following year.

Janis's work on television included starring in "Fit to Kill" on The Web on November 19, 1950. He played eldest son Edward on the sitcom Bonino in 1953. He subsequently appeared in an episode of Get Smart as a KAOS agent; guest-starred as a dance marathon emcee on The Golden Girls; and appeared in the sci-fi sitcoms Quark and Mork and Mindy. He also featured in The Buddy Holly Story and the Goldie Hawn / George Segal comedy The Duchess and the Dirtwater Fox. Janis made a brief appearance as himself in the jazz bar scene from Nothing in Common.

Janis was a longtime advocate of traditional jazz. He assembled a band of aging jazz greats in 1949 ("all of the guys that I idolized"), consisting of James P. Johnson (piano), Henry Goodwin (trumpet), Edmond Hall (clarinet), Pops Foster (bass), and Baby Dodds (drums), with himself on trombone. During the late 1970s, he formed the Beverly Hills Unlisted Jazz Band, which appeared multiple times on the Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and gave eight sold-out performances at Carnegie Hall.

Personal life[]

Janis's first marriage was to Vicki Quarles. Together, they had two children: Christopher and Carin. They later divorced. His second marriage to Ronda Copland also ended in divorce. Janis married his third wife, Maria Grimm, in 1987. They remained married until her death in September 2021.

Janis died aged 94 on March 1, 2022, in Los Angeles.

Shows appeared[]