Monday, September 26, 2005

Yet another face from my TV childhood has died. Don Adams was 82. Get Smart, a spoof of spy movies that appeared as part of the "spy boom" let loose in the 1960s by the success of the James Bond franchise, made Adams an icon to millions of TV viewers as the bumbling Maxwell Smart, Agent 86 of CONTROL. Many of the show's catch phrases, such as "Missed me by that much!" became common lingo. However the show also typecast Adams, as is often the case when a show is so successful. Adams would go on to be the voice of cartoon detective Inspector Gadget in the early '80s, a character very obviously based on Maxwell Smart. Adams starred in the mid '80s Canadian sitcom Check It Out, about the goings on in a grocery store his character managed. (The show also featured NYPD Blue's Gordon Clapp as the dumber than dumb janitor Viker.) He reprised the Smart role in a 1995 revival of the series which was poorly done and only lasted 7 episodes, the best of which was the final episode aired in which Smart once more encountered his arch nemesis, veteran KAOS agent Siegfried, played by Bernie Kopell.

It was interesting to read in Adams' obituary that he was a US Marine who fought in the battle of Guadalcanal, and that a jungle illness resulted in him being set home to be a drill instructor. Its hard to imagine Maxwell Smart convincingly bossing around a bunch of Marines, but as always we shouldn't confuse the actor with his roles.

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