Michael Conrad
Conrad in The Twilight Zone, 1964
Born(1925-10-16)October 16, 1925
DiedNovember 22, 1983(1983-11-22) (aged 58)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Years active1937–1983
  • Denise McCluggage
    (m. 1953; div. 1954)
  • Emilie Demille
    (m. 1963; div. 1967)
  • Sima Goldberg
    (m. 1974)

Michael Conrad (October 16, 1925 – November 22, 1983) was an American actor perhaps best known for his portrayal of veteran cop Sgt. Phil Esterhaus on Hill Street Blues. He won two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for Hill Street Blues in 1981 and 1982.

Life and career

Conrad served in the United States Army during World War II.

Conrad had a long acting career in television from the 1950s to the 1980s. In 1962 he appeared in the television series Car 54, Where Are You? in an uncredited part as a construction worker. He played Felton Grimes, the title character and murder victim, in the 1963 Perry Mason episode "The Case of the Bigamous Spouse", and in 1965 played the role of a villain named AC in My Favorite Martian, "Martin's Revoltin' Development", and played the role of Paul in The FBI (season 1, episode 24), "The Man Who Went Mad by Mistake".

In 1972, Conrad played Michael Stivic's conventional Polish-American Uncle Casimir on two episodes of All in the Family.[2] The same year, he appeared, together with Richard Crenna and Alain Delon, in the French-language film Un flic, directed by Jean-Pierre Melville. He also had a memorable role in the 1974 film The Longest Yard, playing Nate Scarboro, a retired NFL tight end (New York Giants) who was also the head coach for "the Mean Machine", the team of prisoners put together by Burt Reynolds' character Paul Crewe to play the team of guards. During the 1976–77 season of Delvecchio, Conrad was a regular as Lt. Macavan.

Conrad is perhaps best known for his role as Sgt. Philip Freemason Esterhaus on the 1981-1987 police drama Hill Street Blues, a role he played for 71 episodes until his death.[3]


Conrad died from urethral cancer in November 1983[4] during the fourth season of Hill Street Blues. The show's writers wrote his death into the show, although they credited the character's death to a different reason.[5]


Television and filmography


  1. ^ Kerr, Peter (November 23, 1983). "Michael Conrad, 58; Won Emmy for Role In 'Hill Street Blues'". The New York Times – via www.nytimes.com.
  2. ^ "All in the Family (TV Series 1971–1979) - IMDb". IMDb.
  3. ^ "Hill Street Blues (TV Series 1981–1987) - IMDb". IMDb.
  4. ^ a b "Michael Conrad, 58, Sgt. Esterhaus on 'Hill Street Blues,' Dies". The Washington Post. November 23, 1983 – via www.washingtonpost.com.
  5. ^ "When a TV show loses an actor". today.com. 15 September 2003. Retrieved 29 October 2018.