Robert Conrad Price – Conrad McLaren
Robert Conrad Price, who acted professionally under the name of Conrad McLaren, passed from this earth, peacefully and surrounded by loved ones, at his home in Litchfield Park, Arizona, on Saturday, January 25, 2020.
He is survived by his domestic partner of more than fifty years, Daniel Kruger, and his beloved friend David Nunamacher; his children Robert C. Price II (Caralee), San Clemente, California; Robbin Jean Price (David Dana), Bellevue, Washington; and Jennie Lee Price Voyce (Jonathan), Casa Grande, Arizona. He was a proud grandfather to seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a brother and sister.
He was born November 13, 1926, in Greenfield, Illinois, to Leo Kinser and Florence Edna Price. Valedictorian of his graduating class of Greenfield (IL) High School, 1944, he served in the U.S. Army as a paratrooper in 1944/1945, and upon his return, earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre Arts from Illinois Wesleyan University (IWU) in 1950, followed by post-graduate studies at the University of Iowa.
He married Billie Lou Brummell of Alton, Illinois in 1953, and although they ended their marriage in 1970, they remained close friends for many years until his passing.
He worked for the U.S. Army in Europe throughout the mid-1950s as Field Entertainment Director, staging a variety of productions in support of military personnel stationed in Germany, receiving the Commendation for Meritorious Civilian Service. He eventually returned to Bloomington, where he taught and served as an advisor in the IWU Theatre Department, and later worked as an advertising executive for State Farm Insurance. During this time, he was extremely active in community and professional theatre in Bloomington and throughout central Illinois, directing, producing, and acting in more than a dozen productions staged by the Community Players, and serving as Director of the American Passion Play for five years.
Adopting the stage name of Conrad McLaren, he began a career as a professional actor in the late 1960s, relocating to New York City and building an extensive resume of theatre, film, television, and commercial work. His career highlights included roles in the Broadway productions of “Guys and Dolls” and the award-winning “Ragtime,” in which he originated the role of Grandfather. His film and television credits included “Green Card,” “Stephen King’s Silver Bullet,” “Reversal of Fortune,” “Addicted to Love,” “Ironclads,” “Summer Heat,” “The Cosby Show,” and “Kate and Allie.”
He had a song, a story, and a ready quip for any occasion and will be remembered forever in the hearts of all who knew and loved him. A celebration of his life will be scheduled later in the spring.
He took his final bows with this quote by Noel Coward, which guided his life: “I never cared who scored the goal, or which team won the silver cup. I never learned to bat or bowl, but I heard the curtain going up.” Condolences for the family may be left below.