82 (passed away Sep. 25th, 2005)
Apr. 13th, 1923
New York City, New York, USA
5' 8 1/2"
Don Adams' Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles1999 - Inspector Gadget
1987 - Back to the Beach
1982 - Jimmy the Kid
1980 - The Nude Bomb
Guest TV Roles
Himself - Guest
Don Gibson Jr. (Voiced)
Of Irish-Hungarian heritage, New York-born Don Adams had a sister, Gloria, and a brother, Dick Yarmy. He served in the U.S. Marines in World War II and contracted malaria during the fighting on Guadalcanal island. After the war he began a career as a stand-up comic. He married singer Adelaide Adams and adopted her last name as his stage surname. They had seven children: Carolyn, Christine, Catherine, Cecily Adams, Stacey Adams (I), Sean, Beige. His television career began when he won the "Ted Mack & the Original Amateur Hour" (1948) talent contest. His most famous role, of course, is as bumbling, incompetent, clueless yet endearing secret agent Maxwell Smart in the classic sitcom/spy spoof "Get Smart" (1965), although he also had a career as a television director and a Broadway and theatrical dramatic actor.
- Claims he changed his last name from Yarmy to Adams because he was tired of having to go last at auditions, which, he said (inaccurately), usually went in alphabetical order. In reality, he took his stage name from his first wife, singer Adelaide Adams, with whom he shared a bill on the nightclub circuit.
- According to former _"Get Smart" (1965)_ (qv), co-star, 'Barbara Feldon' (qv), Adams had an amazing memory that allowed him to take an unusual approach to filming.
- Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald L. Smith; pg. 4-5. New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387
- Best remembered by the public for his starring role as "Maxwell Smart/Agent 86" on _"Get Smart" (1965)_ (qv).
- His two best known roles -- Maxwell Smart and Inspector Gadget -- were both James Bond parodies. _"Get Smart" (1965)_ (qv) parodied the secret agent stories, while Inspector Gadget featured the unseen villain The Claw, who is shown as an arm stroking his cat, an obvious reference to Bond villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
- Instead of taking a large paycheck per episode ($12,500 per week) of _"Get Smart" (1965)_ (qv), Adams decided to take a smaller salary and 33% share. It paid off in spades--the show has been running in syndication for decades.
- Won three Emmys for bumbling secret agent Maxwell Smart in _"Get Smart" (1965)_ (qv) and the show itself won two awards for "Best Comedy," but he was severely typecast after this and never did find another proper showcase to display his comic range.
- Buried at the beautifully restored Hollywood Forever Cemetery located at 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, California, USA. Plot 8, Northeast pond.