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.
- 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.
- Father of 'Cecily Adams' (qv) and 'Stacey Adams (I)' (qv).
- In 1999 he started to play Maxwell Smart once again, this time in a successful series of Canadian TV commercials for the "Buck-a-Call" long-distance service.
- Dropped out from DeWitt Clinton High School in 1941 (which was his senior year).
- Shares birthday with 'Ron Perlman' (qv).
- Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald L. Smith; pg. 4-5. New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387
- Served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II, and took part in the landings and battle at Guadalcanal, where he contracted malaria.
- Had stopped performing in the postwar years and became a commercial artist because he had trouble finding stand-up work. In 1954, on a fluke, he auditioned and became a winner on 'Arthur Godfrey' (qv)'s _"Talent Scouts" (1948)_ (qv). This led to TV appearances with 'Steve Allen (I)' (qv) and 'Ed Sullivan (I)' (qv), among others, and stardom.