Conrad Janis

Conrad Janis ( born February 11, 1928 in New York City ) is an American actor and jazz trombonist of the Oldtime Jazz. He is a son of art dealer Sidney Janis.


Janis ' father was a shirt manufacturer and his mother Harriet Janis was the co-author of the book They all played ragtime by Rudi Blesh. Janis learned early guitar and relatively late trombone ( The inspiration for this came when he Kid Ory heard regularly in the 1940s in Los Angeles. ) And played it next to his acting jobs. He first played in San Francisco in a New Orleans revival band with art students, starting in the late 1940s in New York with numerous swing and New Orleans jazz musicians, where he also took short lessons including among Herbie Nichols. With its Tailgate Jazz Band he took in New York several albums, for example, at Circle on (the label was Rudi Blesh and his mother ), as Conrad Janis and his Tailgate Jazz Band in 1951, Danny Barker, Pops Foster, Freddy Moore in the Rhythm Section. His first Broadway role in 1942 in Junior Miss, his first film role in 1945 in the comedy Snafu, after which he received a 20th Century Fox contract. For his role in The Brass Ring on Broadway, he received the New York Theatre Award Theatre World Award. Another Broadway success was Janis A visit to a small planet. Janis has starred in numerous television productions, including in the series Mork & Mindy with Robin Williams (1978-1982) and the science fiction comedy series Quark (1977 /78 as Otto Palindrome ). As he often played musicians on television, he succeeded repeatedly musicians from his Jazz environment to accommodate there. In 1994 he directed the political thriller The death list with George Segal and Elliott Gould. Janis also played roles in films such as the Buddy Holly Story, Margie and Cable Guy with Jim Carey.

Janis parents had a well-known modern art gallery in Manhattan, the Sidney Janis Gallery, which also Janis from 1957 worked part-time. They bequeathed their extensive art collection in 1966 ( Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, Piet Mondrian, Jackson Pollock, and others) to the Museum of Modern Art

Since 1980 he is head of the popular Beverly Hills Unlisted Jazz Band, whose members are mostly actors and filmmakers. Members were George Segal ( banjo), the producer Paul Maslansky and Sheldon Keller (guitar) and on one occasion Jack Lemmon (piano) and Dudley Moore. About the band, which also made ​​several recordings, a documentary on PBS was filmed.

Janis has MiraCon Pictures with his own production company.

Filmography (selection)