Edie Adams

Edie Adams


4/16/1927, Kingston, Pennsylvania, USA



Birth Name

Elizabeth Edith Enke



Also Known As

Edith Adams
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Redheaded actress, singer, and dancer who hosted her own variety show, Here's Edie, on ABC during the 1963-64 television season. Ms. Adams is probably best remembered today for her many commercials for Muriel Cigars and for her roles as Monica Crump in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Edie made her film debut in the 1960 classic The Apartment.

    • Edie made her Broadway debut in the 1953 musical Wonderful Town.

    • Edie's catchphrase on her Muriel Cigar commercials was "Pick one up and smoke it sometime."

    • Husband Ernie Kovacs always referred to her as "Miss Edie Adams" when she appeared on one of his shows.

    • Edie was nominated three times for Emmys in 1957, 1962, and 1963, but she never won.

    • In 1957, Edie co-starred with Julie Andrews in the first musical written for television, Cinderella. She played the Fairy Godmother.

    • In 1959, Edie released an album entitled The Charming Miss Edie Adams which included a couple of songs written by husband Ernie Kovacs.

    • Edie portrayed Mae West in Ernie Kovacs: Between the Laughter, a 1984 made-for-TV biopic about her late first husband.

    • In 1990, Edie published her autobiography entitled Sing a Pretty Tune.

    • After receiving news of the death of her husband, Ernie Kovacs, Edie reportedly became hysterical so family friend Jack Lemmon went to the morgue and identified the body.

    • Before breaking into show business, Edie attended both the Juilliard School of Music and the Columbia University School of Drama.

    • In 1957, Edie won a Tony Award as Best Supporting Actress in a Musical for her performance as Daisy Mae in Li'i Abner.

    • In 1950, Edie was named Miss U.S. Television.

    • When first husband Ernie Kovacs died, he owed a large tax debt to the IRS. Edie spurned all offers of charity and worked hard on her own for many years until she paid off his tax debt.

    • Edie was supposed to co-star with husband Ernie Kovacs in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World but when he got killed Sid Caesar was cast in Kovacs' role. Nevertheless, Edie stayed in the picture.

    • In a tragic bit of irony, Edie's daughter, Mia Susan, was killed in an automobile accident in 1982 not far from the location where her first husband, Ernie Kovacs, was killed.

    • In 1954, Edie and Ernie Kovacs were married in Mexico City. The ceremony was conducted by former New York City Mayor William O'Dwyer.

    • Edie was married to Pete Candoli from 1972 until they divorced in 1989.

    • Edie was married to Marty Mills from 1964 until they divorced in 1971. They had a son named Josh.

    • Edie was married to Ernie Kovacs from 1954 until his death in 1962. They had one child--a daughter named Mia Susan.

    • Edie was the spokesperson for Muriel Cigars for 19 years.

    • Edie stood 5 feet, 5 inches tall when she appeared in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.

  • Quotes

  • Over the years, she strove to keep Kovacs' comedic legacy alive by buying rights to his TV shows and repackaging them for television and videocassettes.

    Edie Adams, the actress and singer and wife of comedian Ernie Kovacs, has died at the age of 81 from pneumonia and cancer. Ms. Adams won a Tony Award for playing Daisy Mae on Broadway in Li'l Abner.

    She was born Elizabeth Edith Enke in 1927 in Kingston, Pa., and grew up in Tenafly, N.J. She first attracted notice on the TV show "Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts." Kovacs was then performing his innovative comedy show on a Philadelphia TV station, and his director saw her and invited her to audition. With her innocent face and refreshing manner, Adams became the ideal partner for Kovacs' far-out humor. They eloped to Mexico City in 1954.

    She and Kovacs moved to Hollywood in the late 1950s, and both became active in films.

    In Billy Wilder's classic "The Apartment," the 1960 Oscar winner for best picture, Adams played the spurned secretary to philandering businessman Fred MacMurray. Among her other movies were "Lover Come Back," "Call Me Bwana" (with Bob Hope), the all-star comedy "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" (as Sid Caesar's wife), "Under the Yum Yum Tree," "The Best Man" and "The Honey Pot."

    In early 1962 Kovacs crashed his car into a light pole, dying instantly. Adams now a widow was faced with debts of $520,000, trouble with the Internal Revenue Service and a nasty custody battle over Kovacs' daughters, Betty and Kippie, from his first marriage. She and Kovacs also had a daughter Mia, born in 1959 (Mia Kovacs was killed at 22 in a 1982 car accident). Milton Berle, Frank Sinatra, Jack Lemmon, Dean Martin and other stars organized a TV special to raise money for her and her daughters.

    "Adams said, "No, I can take care of my own children." For a solid year, she worked continuously. After her widowhood, she had two brief marriages to photographer Martin Mills and trumpeter Pete Candoli.

    In the 1980s and 1990s, she made appearances on such TV shows as "Murder, She Wrote" and "Designing Women." She also played Tommy Chong's mother, Mrs. Tempest Stoner, in the first Cheech and Chong movie, "Up in Smoke," in 1978.

    Over the years, she strove to keep Kovacs' comedic legacy alive by buying rights to his TV shows and repackaging them for television and videocassettes.

    To quote Ms. Adams, "Here was this guy with the big mustache, the big cigar and the silly hat, I thought, `I don't know what this is, but it's for me."

    I heard that Ernie used to have a light up sign outside his home office that said "NOT NOW!" So if anyone in heaven tonight sees a sign that says "NOT NOW!", please do not disturb the happy reunion.

    Good Night Mr. & Mrs Kovacs.

    Stay Tuned

    Tony Figueroamoreless