Happy 100th Birthday, William Conrad!

JimInks

Well-known member
Old Ted Award Winner
#1
Today would have been William Conrad's 100 birthday. He was the original Matt Dillon on radio's Gunsmoke, the narrator of my favorite cartoon, Rocky & Bullwinkle, The Fugitive, and Tales of the Unexpected. He starred in Nero Wolfe, Jake and the Fatman, and of course, Cannon. Not to mention he did a ton of movies, radio shows, commercials, etc. He was one of the most important and most heard voices on radio in the post-WWII era.

Conrad owned around 660 Charatans, some Dunhills, Petersons and GBDs. I am fortunate to have two of his Charlatans as many of you already know. I’ve been paying tribute to him all day on my Facebook page. Happy birthday, WC!

This Charatan dublin William Conrad was smoking is owned by me.
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Conrad-Dublin copy.jpg

This is the Charatan apple.
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Here's Conrad and Rich Little parodying old time radio:
 

JimInks

Well-known member
Old Ted Award Winner
#3
very cool that you own some of his pipes, you must be very happy about that
They are the pride of my collection, along with a couple other special pipes. Once I had seen a photo of Conrad and a rack of his Charatans, I wanted one of his Charatans. That was in the early 1980s. @sablebrush52 bought the two from Gus' Pipe Shop in the mid-90s. He said there was a lot of them for sale at that time. Knowing how much it meant to me, Jesse gifted me the pipes a few years back. After more than thirty years of figuring I'd never own one, I end up owning two. Some days, it's still hard to believe how lucky I am to have such a generous friend, and great pipes that I never thought I would own.
 

tfdickson

Well-known member
Sales
Patron
#5
Today would have been William Conrad's 100 birthday. He was the original Matt Dillon on radio's Gunsmoke, the narrator of my favorite cartoon, Rocky & Bullwinkle, The Fugitive, and Tales of the Unexpected. He starred in Nero Wolfe, Jake and the Fatman, and of course, Cannon. Not to mention he did a ton of movies, radio shows, commercials, etc. He was one of the most important and most heard voices on radio in the post-WWII era.

Conrad owned around 660 Charatans, some Dunhills, Petersons and GBDs. I am fortunate to have two of his Charlatans as many of you already know. I’ve been paying tribute to him all day on my Facebook page. Happy birthday, WC!

This Charatan dublin William Conrad was smoking is owned by me.
View attachment 73960

View attachment 73961

This is the Charatan apple.
View attachment 73962

Here's Conrad and Rich Little parodying old time radio:
Its a terrific story and a fine tribute. How big of a pipe is the dublin? From the pic you provided, looking at the size of the nomenclature and the CP stamp as my only point of reference, I’d guess about a group 5- not at all unusual for Charatan. But in the TV Guide pic, in Conrad’s paw, it looks much smaller, positively diminutive. Was Conrad just that big of a guy?
 

JimInks

Well-known member
Old Ted Award Winner
#8
Its a terrific story and a fine tribute. How big of a pipe is the dublin? From the pic you provided, looking at the size of the nomenclature and the CP stamp as my only point of reference, I’d guess about a group 5- not at all unusual for Charatan. But in the TV Guide pic, in Conrad’s paw, it looks much smaller, positively diminutive. Was Conrad just that big of a guy?
The bowl is two and a quarter inches long on the dublin, and pipe is a shade less than six inches long. Conrad was 5'7", but he was a stocky fella with big hands. The bowl of the apple is one and three quarters inches long, and the pipe is five and three quarters inches long.
 

sablebrush52

Well-known member
#9
They are the pride of my collection, along with a couple other special pipes. Once I had seen a photo of Conrad and a rack of his Charatans, I wanted one of his Charatans. That was in the early 1980s. @sablebrush52 bought the two from Gus' Pipe Shop in the mid-90s. He said there was a lot of them for sale at that time. Knowing how much it meant to me, Jesse gifted me the pipes a few years back. After more than thirty years of figuring I'd never own one, I end up owning two. Some days, it's still hard to believe how lucky I am to have such a generous friend, and great pipes that I never thought I would own.
Jim,
I couldn't think of anyone more deserving of those pipes. The joy they bring to you gives me joy in return.
 

Deus Ex Fumus

Well-known member
#13
I could never get into the Gunsmoke TV series with James Arness because he paled in comparison to the booming, gruff, tones of Conrad’s rendition of Matt Dillon. Hell, he basically created the character. Knowing when to let the right amount of emotion show through, he rivaled, if not topped the Duke’s own tough-guy-with-a-heart tone.

Let’s face it, no one could yell “CHESTER!” like Conrad.
 

JimInks

Well-known member
Old Ted Award Winner
#15
I used to watch Cannon as a kid in the 70's. I loved that Lincoln Mk IV he drove.
I always thought it amazing that there was no supporting character in Cannon for Conrad to talk to. His presence and voice were so powerful that the creators didn't think he needed one. I can't think of another TV series like that. Even The Fugitive (which Conrad narrated) had occasional supporting players.
 

JimInks

Well-known member
Old Ted Award Winner
#16
I could never get into the Gunsmoke TV series with James Arness because he paled in comparison to the booming, gruff, tones of Conrad’s rendition of Matt Dillon. Hell, he basically created the character. Knowing when to let the right amount of emotion show through, he rivaled, if not topped the Duke’s own tough-guy-with-a-heart tone.

Let’s face it, no one could yell “CHESTER!” like Conrad.
I agree. I did like the TV Gunsmoke, and Arness looked the part, but the radio Conrad version was grittier, more emotional at times, and certainly more human. I remember one episode where he was forced in to a shoot out with an old friend. Dillon wins the battle, and at the end of the episode, he cries, although we don't hear him. Chester's comment, "Oh, my!", let's the listener know that.
 

Timj219

Well-known member
#17
My father loved Cannon. He said it was because Conrad always huffed and puffed and got red in the face after having to run or wrestle around. My old man inhaled his pipe and carried a good sized beer belly and said he identified with the character.

I was a big rocky & bullwinkle fan myself. Still am I guess.