Ann Oldenburg, USA TODAY
Actor Conrad Bain, who played dad Phillip Drummond on the 1980s sitcom Diff'rent Strokes, died Monday in Livermore, Calif., reports TMZ. He was 89.
AP reports that Bain's daughter, Jennifer, says he died of natural causes.
On the show, Bain played a wealthy Manhattan widower, who promised his dying housekeeper he would raise her sons, played by Gary Coleman and Todd Bridges. Race and class relations became topics on the show, along with the typical parenthood challenges.
It made a star of Coleman, who died in 2010, as it showcased his personality and gift for comedy. Bain, who was a Broadway star before turning to TV, was an ideal straight man. Dana Plato, who played Bain's teenage daughter, died of an overdose in 1999 at age 34. The series lasted six seasons on NBC and two on ABC.
Jennifer tells TMZ that her father "was an amazing person. He was a lot like Mr. Drummond, but much more interesting in real life. He was an amazing father."
Bain is survived by his three sons and one daughter, and a twin brother. His wife, Monica Sloan, died in 2009.