Don Adams dies at age 82

Don Adams, star of the 1960s spy parody series Get Smart, died yesterday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. The actor succumbed to a lung infection, though he had been in ill health since breaking a hip a year ago. He was 82.

Adams was born to Hungarian-Jewish parents in New York City on April 13, 1923. He joined the Marines in World War II, and after the war he became a Marine drill instructor. He made a living as an artist in New York city before stumbling upon his niche: comedy.

He began performing stand-up comedy in New York nightclubs and became half of a short-lived comedy duo. His talent for mimicry got him some spots on late-night talk shows and eventually landed him a role on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts, an early television sketch comedy/variety show. After Talent Scouts, he became a regular on The Perry Como Show.

In 1965, comedy giants Mel Brooks and Buck Henry were shopping a series to the networks about a bumbling spy named (or numbered) Agent 86, aka Maxwell Smart...who was anything but. Smart battled the forces of the evil KAOS along with his partner, Agent 99, and a host of wacky gadgets, including a shoe that housed a phone, a telephone booth that was secretly an elevator, and a finger that doubled as a gun, to name but a few.

NBC wanted the show but insisted that Brooks and Henry cast Adams in the role of Smart. For once, network suits had it right, and Get Smart became a hit comedy as well as a lasting pop-culture icon. The show ran for five years and launched the Smart phrases "Would you believe?"; "Missed it by that much!"; and "Sorry about that, Chief!" into the American lexicon.

After the show ended its run, Adams guest-starred on many popular shows, including Love Boat, Fantasy Island, and The Fall Guy.

In 1980, a film version of Get Smart was released to poor reviews and equally poor box-office receipts. Titled The Nude Bomb, it pitted Agent Smart against a sadistic maniac whose plan was to destroy the world's clothing. Agent 99's Barbara Feldon was traded up to Agent 34's Sylvia Kristel. The film grossed an amemic $14.6 million, and everyone involved lost their shirts.

In 1983, Adams voiced the title character of the animated series Inspector Gadget, itself a quasi-parody of Get Smart. Adams imbued Gadget's catchphrase, "Go, go Gadget [insert Inspector Gadget gadget here]!" with a Smart amount of mirth and mischeviousness that helped Gadget become one of the top animated hits of the time period.

In 1995, Fox aired a reimagined Get Smart series that lasted seven episodes.

Like many actors who create such a memorable character, Adams felt both grateful for and hemmed in by Get Smart's legacy.

"It was a special show that became a cult classic of sorts, and I made a lot of money for it," he said in a 1995 interview. "But it also hindered me career-wise, because I was typed."

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This was one of my favorite shows all time. I was 4 years old in 1965 when the series started. But boy did I watch all the reruns. I just bought the full dvd 5 seasons box set and I am enjoying the heck out of it. I am playing this to my 20 year old son and 18 year old daughter and a few of there friends and I have there undivided attention watching show after show. Not bad for this gaming generation. One kid said out loud......"why dont they make them like this anymore"......that said it all!!!!
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Don Adams will be always on our minds!!!
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Sorry about that, Chief!
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that's sad. he was cool.
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Goodbye Don Adams,
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I was very sad to hear this Don Adams had one of those one of a kind voices. I grew up watching "Inspector Gadget" and reruns of "Get smart" which I loved. Also I loved that one episode of the "New Scooby Doo movies" that had him as the guest stars. I will miss you Mr. Don Adams you were one of the greats.
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who is don adams?
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in addition to what i was saying earlier: first jhonny carson, then bob denver, and now this. he will live on in our memories and dvds as well.
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Goodbye old friend... we shall miss you
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R.I.P. Don Adams.

"Missed it by that much..."
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I never knew that he was the voice of Inspector Gadget. Oh dear. It seems like many of our television family are leaving us far too soon. He and Bob Denver will both be sorely missed.
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To the family of Don Adam I was really saddened to here this really sad news I grew up watch Mr. Adams on Tv in the 60's and have many found memories of him as Get Smart. Please know that my prayers and thoughts are with your family today as you go through this painful time in your lives.
Signed with great sympathy
Rose Bastin
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first gilligan, now agent 86. boy all our legendary funny icons of americana seem to be taking their final bows. Adams, like Mr. Denver were underappreciated and misused in their career. Maybe now they both have found some peace and maybe a little vindication. RIP, agent86/gadget/tennessee tuxedo. you will be most certainly missed :(
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RIP Don Adams :(
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May he rest in peace. These respects come from me and my children (2nd generation Get Smart fans). His characterization of the bumbling secret agent with the best collection of tongue-in-cheek gadgets,remember the "Cone of Silence", will go down in memorable tv history.
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A wonderful actor, I will remember him forever.
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They forgot to mention Tennessee Tuxedo.
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I grew up with Get Smart. He was a great actor and it really grieves me to see that he has passed on.
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r.i.p.
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Let all the doors be open to Maxwell Smart, just as in the series. RIP, dude.
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...Guess Claw finally got 'em then...
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:(
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A very funny man...he will be missed.
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NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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R.I.P

Don Adams
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