Conrad, who was known for his baritone voice through radio play and synchronous roles in radio, film and television, began his career in the late 1930s in California. After the Second World War, in which he had served as a fighter pilot, he returned to broadcasting. This was followed - by its own account Conrads - over 7000 speaking roles for radio productions.
His deep, resonant voice earned him many roles in radio plays a radio; especially his portrayal of Marshal Matt Dillon in the production of Gunsmoke (English Gunsmoke ), which aired 1952-1961, made him famous. When the series was adapted for television in 1955, Conrad was also for the title role in the conversation. But his corpulent physique was the reason that James Arness won the role after John Wayne had previously rejected.
Other series in which Conrad was able to show his talent, were, inter alia, Escape, Suspense and The Damon Runyon Theater. Despite many film roles in which he played often menacing characters, was perhaps his most prestigious role of a gangster in the 1946 film avenger of the world alongside Burt Lancaster. It was followed by other performances, inter alia, in Body and Soul (1947 ), Sorry, Wrong Number, Joan of Arc (both 1948) and When the Marabunta threatens (1954).
With the change to television in the 1960s, its first decade was largely influenced in the new medium again through synchronous and speaking roles. During this time, Conrad in 1965 directed the film Brainstorm. In addition, Conrad synchronized 1961-1973 the " Bullwinkle " cartoons and lent 1980 in animated TV version of JRR Tolkien's The Return of the King the character of Denethor his voice.
In the 1970s, his detective TV series Cannon introduced a high level of awareness. The series aired from 1971 to 1976, and Conrad was awarded in Germany with a Bambi. It went on to star in the short-lived detective series Nero Wolfe ( 1981) and in the crime series Jake and McCabe - Through thick and thin (English Jake and the Fatman ), which ran from 1987 to 1992.
1994 William Conrad died at the age of 73 years in North Hollywood of a heart attack and was interred in the Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Forest Lawn in Los Angeles. In 1997 Conrad, who is listed in some of his films under the pseudonym William Darnoc was posthumously honored by inclusion in the Radio Hall of Fame.