Michael Conrad was a powerfully built, towering New York-born American character actor, best known for his role as the pompous but beloved desk sergeant Phil Esterhaus on Hill Street Blues (1981), for which he won two Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Emmy Awards (1981, 1982). He also played Michael Stivic (Rob Reiner)'s uncle on an early episode of All in the Family (1971), who objects to his nephew's non-religious marriage ceremony to a non-Catholic. Conrad did a stint of military service with the U.S. Army Field Artillery before attended New York City College and later drama school. He made his television debut in 1955, moving to Hollywood in 1963. Conrad remained busy for almost 30 years, appearing in 25 TV movies. He was a familiar supporting player in films, including The Longest Yard (1974), and, early in his career, on stage. Conrad died from urethral cancer during the shooting of the police drama's fourth season, five weeks after his 58th birthday.
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