Don Adams

Don AdamsDon Adams (April 13, 1923 – September 25, 2005) was an American actor, comedian, game show panelist and occasional director, who in his five decades of television was best known for his role as Maxwell Smart (Agent 86) in the TV situation comedy Get Smart (1965–1970, 1995), for which he also directed and wrote. Adams won three consecutive Emmy Awards for his portrayal of Smart (1967–1969). He also provided the voices for the animated series Tennessee Tuxedo (1963-1966) and Inspector Gadget (1983-1986) as their respective title characters.
Creators Mel Brooks and Buck Henry, prompted by producers Dan Melnick and David Susskind[1], wrote Get Smart as the comedic answer to the successful 1960s spy television dramas such as The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Avengers, I Spy and It Takes a Thief. They Don Adams oldwere asked to write a spoof that combined elements from two of the most popular film series at the time: the James Bond and Pink Panther (Inspector Clouseau) movies.
Get Smart had been written for Tom Poston, to be piloted on CBS; when CBS turned it down, the show was picked up by NBC, which cast Adams in the role because he was already under contract. When Get Smart debuted in 1965, it was an immediate hit.
Adams gave the character a clipped, unique speaking style. Co-star Barbara Feldon, who played Smart’s partner, Agent 99, said, “Part of the pop fervor for Agent 86, was because Don did such an extreme portrayal of the character that it made it easy to imitate.” Adams created many popular catch-phrases (some of which were in his act prior to the show), including “Sorry about that, Chief”, “Would you believe…?” and “Missed it by ‘that much.’” These helped make the series a hit in over 100 countries.
Don AdamsIn addition to acting, Adams also produced and directed several episodes of the show. Off the set, he occasionally feuded with Jay Sandrich, who served as writer. He was nominated for Emmys four seasons in a row, between 1966 and 1969, for Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Comedy Series. He won the award three times.
The show moved to CBS for its final season, with ratings declining as spy series went out of fashion. Get S Adams was married and divorced three times, to Adelaide Efantis Adams, Dorothy Bracken Adams and Judy Luciano. Don had two siblings, actor Dick Yarmy (1932–1992) and writer Gloria Yarmy Burton.
Adams was an avid gambler—according to his longtime friend Bill Dana, “He could be very devoted to his family if you reminded him about it, [but] Don’s whole life was focused around gambling.”mart was canceled in 1970, after a total of 138 episodes.