Don Adams, the comic-actor who played bumbling secret agent Maxwell Smart on the hit 1960s spy-spoof series "Get Smart," has died. He was 82.
Adams, who honed his comedy skills as a post-World War II stand-up comic and impressionist, died of a lung infection late Sunday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, his friend and former agent Bruce Tufeld said today. He said the actor had broken his hip a year ago and had been in ill health since.
It was the height of the Cold War and the James Bond spy craze when "Get Smart" debuted on NBC-TV in 1965 with Adams as Maxwell Smart, Agent 86 for CONTROL, a Washington-based counter-intelligence agency.
It was the job of Smart and beautiful Agent 99 (co-star Barbara Feldon) to destroy KAOS, an international organization of evil. Edward Platt, who died in 1974, played their long-suffering boss, who was known simply as "Chief."
The clever and satirical sitcom, created by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry, was filled with sight gags (one character, Agent 13, hid in mailboxes, water fountains and clocks) and ingenious gimmicks (Smart famously phoned headquarters with a dial phone implanted in the sole of his shoe.)
Playing the vain but inept secret agent, Adams used the nasal voice and clipped delivery that he had perfected as a stand-up comic years before - his grossly exaggerated take-off of William Powell, who portrayed the sophisticated private detective Nick Charles in "The Thin Man" movie series, Los Angeles Times reports.