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.
- 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.
- Uninterested in doing the James Bond spoof _"Get Smart" (1965)_ (qv) series at first, he got on board after learning that 'Mel Brooks' (qv) and 'Buck Henry' (qv) were involved with the pilot script. 'Tom Poston' (qv) was the first name being considered for the role, but Adams, under contract to NBC at the time, was promoted for the job by the network.
- Shares birthday with 'Ron Perlman' (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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Dropped out from DeWitt Clinton High School in 1941 (which was his senior year).
- 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.