GET SMART! TV legend Don Adams Dies at 82
Don Adams, the comedic actor who won three consecutive Emmys for his role as Agent Maxwell Smart in the hit comedy series Get Smart, died yesterday in Los Angeles; he was 82. The actor died of a lung infection at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and had apparently been in ill health for the past year, after suffering a broken hip.
Adams began his Hollywood career after World War II, working as a stand-up comedian and writing and performing for television. Changing his last name from Yarmy to Adams, reportedly because he wanted to be called first and not last at auditions, the actor provided the voice of animated character Tennesee Tuxedo, and his numerous appearances on talk shows provided him with the opportunity to star in Get Smart. A spy spoof created after the surging popularity of the James Bond films, the show wasn't something that interested Adams initially, until he found out that Mel Brooks and Buck Henry had written the pilot. As the snappy but not-quite-intrepid secret agent Maxwell Smart, he was paired with the much smarter and much sexier Agent 99 (Barbara Feldon), and his standard line "Would you believe?!" became a national catchphrase; fans will also remember Smart's infamous "shoe phone" and the agency names CONTROL (the good guys) and KAOS (the bad guys). Adams became an instant star, and the show ran from 1965-1970, winning the Outstanding Comedy Series Emmy award in 1968 and 1969. Adams himself won three Emmys and received a fourth nomination. After the series ended, Adams continued to make numerous television appearances, and even starred in a Maxwell Smart movie, The Nude Bomb (1980), after the show became a hit in syndication. In the 80s, Adams also provided the lead voice for the popular animated series Inspector Gadget, which spawned another well-known phrase, "Go, go, Gadget!" After a failed attempt to revise the Get Smart show in 1995, Adams worked mainly offscreen, providing Inspector Gadget's voice and others for various animated shows. Adams was married and divorced three times, and had a total of seven children from the three marriages