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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    12.11.17 @ 04:37 PM
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    Default Don Adams of 'Get Smart' Dies at 82

    LOS ANGELES - Don Adams, the wry-voiced comedian who starred as the fumbling secret agent Maxwell Smart in the 1960s TV spoof of James Bond movies, "Get Smart," has died. He was 82.


    Adams died of a lung infection late Sunday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, his friend and former agent Bruce Tufeld said Monday, adding that the actor broke his hip a year ago and had been in ill health since.

    As the inept Agent 86 of the super-secret federal agency CONTROL, Adams captured TV viewers with his antics in combatting the evil agents of KAOS. When his explanations failed to convince the villains or his boss, he tried another tack:

    "Would you believe ... ?"

    It became a national catchphrase.

    Smart was also prone to spilling things on the desk or person of his boss the Chief (actor Edward Platt). Smart's apologetic "Sorry about that, chief" also entered the American lexicon.

    The spy gadgets, which aped those of the Bond movies, were a popular feature, especially the pre-cellphone telephone in a shoe.

    Smart's beautiful partner, Agent 99, played by Barbara Feldon, was as brainy as he was dense, and a plot romance led to marriage and the birth of twins later in the series.

    "He had this prodigious energy, so as an actor working with him it was like being plugged into an electric current," Feldon said from New York. "He would start and a scene would just take off and you were there for the ride. It was great fun acting with him."

    Adams was very intelligent, she said, a quality that suited the satiric show that had comedy geniuses Mel Brooks and Buck Henry behind it.

    "He wrote poetry, he had an interest in history ... He had that other side to him that does not come through Maxwell Smart," she said. "Don in person was anything but bumbling."

    Adams had an "amazing memory" that allowed him to take an unusual approach to filming, Feldon said.

    Instead of learning his lines ahead of time he would have a script assistant read his part to him just once or twice. He invariably got it right but that didn't stop people from placing bets on it, she recounted.

    Adams, who had been under contract to NBC, was lukewarm about doing a spy spoof. When he learned that Brooks and Henry had written the pilot script, he accepted immediately. "Get Smart" debuted on NBC in September 1965 and scored No. 12 among the season's most-watched series and No. 22 in its second season.

    "Get Smart" twice won the Emmy for best comedy series with three Emmys for Adams as comedy actor.

    CBS picked up the show but the ratings fell off as the jokes seemed repetitive, and it was canceled after four seasons. The show lived on in syndication and a cartoon series. In 1995 the Fox network revived the series with Smart as chief and 99 as a congresswoman. It lasted seven episodes.

    Adams never had another showcase to display his comic talent.

    "It was a special show that became a cult classic of sorts, and I made a lot of money for it," he remarked of "Get Smart" in a 1995 interview. "But it also hindered me career-wise because I was typed. The character was so strong, particularly because of that distinctive voice, that nobody could picture me in any other type of role."

    He was born Donald James Yarmy in New York City on April 13, 1923, Tufeld said, although some sources say 1926 or '27. The actor's father was a Hungarian Jew who ran a few small restaurants in the Bronx.

    In a 1959 interview Adams said he never cared about being funny as a kid: "Sometimes I wonder how I got into comedy at all. I did movie star impressions as a kid in high school. Somehow they just got out of hand."

    In 1941, he dropped out of school to join the Marines. In Guadalcanal he survived the deadly blackwater fever and was returned to the States to become a drill instructor, acquiring the clipped delivery that served him well as a comedian.

    After the war he worked in New York as a commercial artist by day, doing standup comedy in clubs at night, taking the surname of his first wife, Adelaide Adams. His following grew, and soon he was appearing on the Ed Sullivan and late-night TV shows. Bill Dana, who had helped him develop comedy routines, cast him as his sidekick on Dana's show. That led to the NBC contract and "Get Smart."

    Adams, who married and divorced three times and had seven children, served as the voice for the popular cartoon series, "Inspector Gadget" as well as the voice of Tennessee Tuxedo. In 1980, he appeared as Maxwell Smart in a feature film, "The Nude Bomb," about a madman whose bomb destroyed people's clothing.

    Tufeld said funeral arrangements were incomplete.
    Last edited by voivod; 09.26.05 at 12:55 PM.
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack. -- Gen. George S. Patton

  2. #2
    Baluchitherium sisca's Avatar
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    used to love that show! RIP Don Adams.
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  3. #3
    Eruption lal5150's Avatar
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    he was also good friends with hugh hefner always hanging out at the mansion.. tenn tuxedo will not fail.
    Last edited by lal5150; 09.26.05 at 01:08 PM.

  4. #4
    Baluchitherium
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    Donor

    Damn, that sucks. Seems like alot of actors have been going onto the Happy Hunting Ground lately like Bob Denver and Don Adams. I remember growing up and watching Get Smart reruns. Loved the end where he was walking through the doors and the final one he smashed his nose/face.
    Rock the Red!!!

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  5. #5
    Atomic Punk ZeoBandit's Avatar
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    RIP Don......
    "What we are dealing with here, is a complete lack of respect for the law" - Jackie Gleason, Smokey and the Bandit

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  6. #6
    Sinner's Swing! emm5150's Avatar
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    RIP Don.....thanks for the laughs!!!!

  7. #7
    Baluchitherium JWS_5150's Avatar
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    Inspector Gadget was my favorite cartoon growing up. I'm a little young for Get Smart, but I did catch the reruns and I loved those too.

    Sad day.
    I'm one of those crazies on your block.

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  8. #8
    Atomic Punk smithjc's Avatar
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    Another one's gone. How sad.
    RIP - Classic Van Halen

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  9. #9
    Atomic Punk
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    12.11.17 @ 04:37 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buschman
    Damn, that sucks. Seems like alot of actors have been going onto the Happy Hunting Ground lately like Bob Denver and Don Adams. I remember growing up and watching Get Smart reruns. Loved the end where he was walking through the doors and the final one he smashed his nose/face.
    Who's going to be the third??? Mr. Cunningham?

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  10. #10
    On Fire aceface9's Avatar
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    RIP Don

  11. #11
    Atomic Punk smithjc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by voivod
    Who's going to be the third??? Mr. Cunningham?

    VHLINKS' DEAD POOL
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    The Dead Pool.

    Clint Eastwood? J/K. Don't wanna be losing him next. He's still Dirty.
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  12. #12
    Baluchitherium Rovus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by emm5150
    RIP Don.....thanks for the laughs!!!!
    Indeed. RIP Don.
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  13. #13
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    I loved "Get Smart" re-runs when I was kid. RIP Agent 86.
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  14. #14
    Baluchitherium BOMBER's Avatar
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    Get Smart was/is great.
    82 is a pretty good innings,still a shock though.
    RIP Don Adams.
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  15. #15
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    Ah man....I loved that show. You'll be missed Agent Smart.
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