Robert Conrad had strong feelings about being called a star
The Wild Wild West actor didn't even want a star on the sidewalk out of fear people would spit on it.
Being a star is something a lot of people dream about. It's one reason why many choose to become actors, for example. The four-letter word means they've made it big, and it's mainly used as a compliment. Yet, Robert Conrad did not want to be associated with it.
Why? Because there were a few misconceptions people had about the Wild Wild West actor. In an interview with the Daily Press in 1977, Conrad talked about how people viewed him.
"I'm not as abrasive and cocky as people think," he said. People thought Conrad was arrogant because of his fictional television characters. The actor was in a commercial where he dared viewers to knock a battery off his shoulders and seemed to relish the moment.
Some viewers noticed that his roles always had "a quality of rough-edged arrogance." Despite what people may have thought, Conrad believed he was the opposite. There was only one type of star in his eyes. "There aren't any stars unless you're talking about the solar system. I'm a man who makes a living as an actor," he said.
Maybe people thought he was arrogant because Conrad always spoke his mind.
"When I have something on my mind, I say it. I hope my life's ambition isn't to have a star on the sidewalk for people to spit on and walk on," he said. "Chamber of Commerce here, if you give a few bucks, they'll give you a star on the sidewalk. But, I'm not going to come up with the money for people to walk on and spit on me."
Although people made assumptions about the actor, his success resulted from his hard work. According to Conrad, he never missed a day of work and was never late to the set. He always had talks with his son about the impact of working for what you want.
"So I told him, 'Get your nose in a book and get your... act together.'"
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Is that no one was ever going to really know him, except those with whom he wanted to be close. The reason being (he said) was because 𝑰 𝒂𝒎 𝒂𝒏 𝒂𝒄𝒕𝒐𝒓.
And, as entertaining as are all the stories we read here, and throughout the decades from so many other sources - it's the one thing I keep in mind.
They are in the business of perception!