Chris Conrad was born and raised in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. He is the third out of four brothers—big brother Steve is a script writer, big brother Tim, and baby brother Mike. He started performing in grade school. He improvised a comedy skit in high school, which he followed by enrolling in Florida's Funniest Man competition during his sophomore year with his brother Mike; they won $500 and a trip to New York City to open at the Improv.
After graduating high school, Chris enrolled at Florida State University where his two older brothers, Tim and Steve, were also students. He signed up for an acting class during the freshman year, but was quickly turned off by the serious academic tone of the course and dropped out. His acting teacher persuaded him to return to the acting profession.
Following his sophomore year, Chris moved to Chicago, where his brother Steve had moved to study at the Northwestern University. Chris spent a year studying at the Piven Theatre Workshop then signed with an agent and landed his first acting role in the television movie Mario and the Mob. Later, he moved to Hollywood with Steve and started getting jobs in movies.