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
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.
- When the pilot of _"Get Smart" (1965)_ (qv) was shooting for CBS, the producers wanted 'Tom Poston' (qv) for the role of Maxwell Smart, but when they sold it to NBC, Adams was already under contract with the network, hence, he was immediately cast in the role.
- One of his duties while serving in the Marine Corps was a drill instructor.
- 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.
- His clipped Maxwell Smart voice came from a much exaggerated takeoff on 'William Powell (I)' (qv)'s "The Thin Man." He used to get laughs using the exact same voice years earlier on the stand-up circuit in different character set pieces - a baseball umpire, a football coach, a defense attorney.
- His Agent 86 catchphrase, "Would you believe...?", became the slogan for commercials for the White Castle hamburger chain in 1992, in which he also acted.
- Best remembered by the public for his starring role as "Maxwell Smart/Agent 86" on _"Get Smart" (1965)_ (qv).
- Father-in-law of 'Jim Beaver (I)' (qv).
- In 1984, played as himself in Miller Lite Beer commercials, poking fun at his Maxwell Smart fame.