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 Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
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 TV writing partner in 1954 was comedian 'Bill Dana' (qv). Dana used Adams on his own TV show, _"The Bill Dana Show" (1963)_ (qv) from 1963 to 1965, by incorporating one of Adams' stand-up characters, inept house detective Byron Glick.
- Father-in-law of 'Jim Beaver (I)' (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.
- 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.
- One of his duties while serving in the Marine Corps was a drill instructor.
- 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.
- Did not like the (badly timed) laugh track in _"Get Smart" (1965)_ (qv).
- Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald L. Smith; pg. 4-5. New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387