Article from: "How Do You Get Smart? Don Adams Revives His Bumbling Spy in a
Movie?" People, June 9, 1980, p. 111(3 pages)
By Bob Lardine
Would you believe, to revive the catchphrase from
TV's long-running spy spoof Get Smart, that Don Adams, now 54,
has surfaced a decade later as Macbeth? No? Well, would you believe
he's back as a scarcely old, and certainly no wiser, Maxwell Smart in a new
movie called The Nude Bomb? Sorry about that, Chief, as Adams would
say, but he once again is fumbling with sinister KAOS.
This time, the baddies have a bomb that will knock
the pants and all other garments off anyone in range. Though Barbara
Feldon, the TV show's curvaceous Agent 99, is not in the $10 million
movie, three new numbers have joined Don.
The film may be as funny as its TV predecessor, but
it is serious business for Adams. He's hoping his first movie will revive
a career that has lost its luster after Get Smart folded in
1970. The show is still rerunning on 39 U.S. stations and in over 50
"Producers felt I couldn't do anything
else," Adams complained. "Every time I've gotten a script , it's
another Maxwell Smart-type character."
That was all the more galling because Don never
particularly liked the series.
"The first few episodes I saw angered me so
much I felt like throwing the TV through a window," he fumed. "I
couldn't stand the laugh track."
Besides winning Don three Emmys in five years, the
show accustomed him to a lavish life that included three houses (one in Palm
Springs), oil wells, airplanes and weekly tennis parties for 60 on his private
court. After Get Smart, Adams cashed in with TV commercials, but he
flopped in two other TV series and his $40,000-a-week headliner dates in Las
Vegas began to dry up.
"I almost felt guilty about getting that
money, except I was usually giving it back at the blackjack tables," he
remembers. "I'd go to the table between shows and drop my
entire week's salary," he remembers.
Adams further blames his financial problems on his
admittedly "screwed-up" personal life.
"I'm no longer independently wealthy," he
claims. "I guess it's the result of two many wives (He's on his third),
too many kids (six daughters, one son), and too much alimony. I've been paying
alimony since I was 14 and child support since I was 15. That's a joke, but
not by much."
Don had four children in his nine-year marriage
to singer Dell Adams and two more with Dorothy Bracken, a onetime June Taylor
dancer and his wife for 16 years. Three years ago Adams wed Judy Luciano, 29,
a sometime actress who appeared with last year in summer stock, after giving
birth to their daughter, Beige Dawn.
"At the time, I don't know whether it's on or
off. What time is it?", asked Adams, when asked about his present
"I like getting married, but I don't like
being married," he quipped.
Since his children are spread all over, Adams says
he doesn't hear from them too often. But Judy and his still- friendly ex-wives
and all his kids gathered in Miami for the marriage of his
third daughter in
One of three kids of William Yarmy, a Hungarian
Jewish New York restaurateur, and an Irish-Catholic housewife, Don quit school
in the eighth grade and left home at 15. He worked in construction and steel
mills before lying his way into the Marine Corps and World War II as a
16-year-old. He made it to Guadalcanal but got shipped home after he
contracted blackwater fever and nearly died.
After the war, Adams struggled as a stand-up comic
and impressionist before scoring on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts in
1954.Then came guest shots, followed by a regular spot on the TV show of Bill
(Jose Jimenez) Dana, who co-wrote and acted in Bomb. Then came Get
Smart, created and written by the then-unknown team of Mel Brooks and
These days, Don and Judy live in a leased
three-bedroom Spanish-style home in Beverly Hills. Still a teetotaler, though
he smokes half a pack a day, Adams has added only five pounds to his 154-pound
5'9" frame, despite giving up his once-compulsive devotion to golf and
"I just got saturated with those sports,"
Adams also has revised his opinion of Maxwell
Smart. There's fresh talk of resurrecting the show or launching an annual
series of Smart films. if The Nude Bomb makes noise at the
"I didn't think so at the time I was making
them, but some of episodes are funny, funny shows," Adams said, who has
obviously gotten wise to Get Smart's commercial appeal. "Some
of them are classics. I actually laugh out loud at them now."
WEBMASTER'S NOTE: I
think to say that Mr. Adams never liked the series is a gross exaggeration.
I'd like to give a big tip
o' the hat to Ryan Schroer who
provided this article!!! J