TV actor Robert Conrad, star of 'The Wild Wild West,' dead at 84

He was known for his leading work on TV, including his role as Jim West on "The Wild Wild West" in the 1960s.

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By Dennis Romero and Diana Dasrath

Actor Robert Conrad, best known for 1960s and '70s television series "The Wild, Wild West," "Baa Baa Black Sheep" and "Hawaiian Eye," died Saturday in Malibu, California, of heart failure, a spokesman for his family said. He was 84.

"He lived a wonderfully long life and while the family is saddened by his passing, he will live forever in their hearts," spokesman Jeff Ballard said in a statement.

Conrad's star was catalyzed when he was cast as Tom Lopaka on the ABC hit "Hawaiian Eye" in 1959.

Actor Robert Conrad died Saturday in Malibu, California, at age 84.

In 1965 he landed the lead role, that of Jim West, on CBS' "The Wild, Wild, West." The next decade he starred in "The D.A." and "Assignment: Vienna."

In 1978 he was nominated for a Golden Globe for his work on the NBC action series "Baa Baa Black Sheep." The previous year he won a People’s Choice Award for the role.

The disco era saw Conrad in TV commercials for Eveready, daring people to "knock this battery off my shoulder."

In the coming decades, he moved into directing movies and TV shows.

Born in Chicago on March 1, 1935, Conrad sang in a club at night while delivering milk during the day, according to Ballard. In 1958 he moved to Hollywood to pursue show business, he said.

He was signed to Warner Brothers, which put him to work on "Hawaiian Eye" through 1963.

Conrad's trophy shelf includes the Distinguished Service Award in Broadcasting and membership in the Stuntman's Hall of Fame, Ballard said.

Conrad, who was married twice, is survived by eight children and eighteen grandchildren, Ballard said.

Michelle Acevedo and Joe Studley contributed.