Don Adams Biography

Television Actor, Comedian, Actor (1923–2005)
American actor and comedian Don Adams is best known for his role as secret agent Maxwell Smart on NBC's hit 1960s sitcom Get Smart.


Born in New York City on April 13, 1923, Don Adams was a stand-up comedian before landing his breakout role as Maxwell Smart on NBC's hit sitcom Get Smart in the 1960s. Later in his career, he was the voice of Inspector Gadget on the popular 1980s cartoon of the same name. Adams died in Los Angeles, California, on September 25, 2005.

Early Life

Famed television actor Don Adams was born Donald James Yarmy on April 13, 1923, in New York City. Born of Irish-Hungarian heritage, Adams served in the U.S. Marine Cops during World War II. Although he started his post-war career as an engineer, Yarmy turned to stand-up comedy in the 1950s, changing his name to Adams because he got tired of being last during alphabetical auditions.

Acclaimed TV Actor

Don Adams's comedy act soon segued into appearances on The Perry Como Show. He later landed a role on NBC's hit sitcom Get Smart, for which he won three Emmy Awards for his portrayal of bumbling secret agent Maxwell Smart. The show ended in 1970, and Adams signed on for the short-lived comedy series The Partners.

Adams's next project was Don Adams' Screen Test, which only lasted one season, followed by better success with Canadian Broadcasting's Check it Out.

Later Years

Later in life, Adams continued making nightclub and television guest appearances. He also lent his voice for the 1980s animated cartoon Inspector Gadget. He has been married three times and has seven children. Adams died on September 25, 2005, at the age of 82, in Los Angeles, California.

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