Last Updated: March 18, 2024
Richest CelebritiesRichest Comedians
Net Worth:
$4 Million
Apr 13, 1923 - Sep 25, 2005 (82 years old)
5 ft 8 in (1.75 m)
Comedian, Actor, Voice Actor, Television Director, Screenwriter, Television producer, Film Editor, Film director
United States of America
💰 Compare Don Adams' Net Worth

What is Don Adams's Net Worth?

Don Adams was an American actor and comedian who had a net worth of $4 million at the time of his death in 2005. That's the same as around $6 million in today's dollars. Don Adams is best known for playing bumbling secret agent Maxwell Smart on the television sitcom "Get Smart." He also voiced characters on various animated television shows, most notably "Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales," "Inspector Gadget," and "Pepper Ann." Adams's other credits include lead roles on the sitcoms "The Partners" and "Check it Out!"

Early Life

Don Adams was born as Donald Yarmy on April 13, 1923 in New York City to Consuelo and William. He was of Irish-American descent on his mother's side and Hungarian-Jewish descent on his father's side. While Don was raised in his mother's Catholic faith, his brother Dick was raised in the Jewish faith of their father. The brothers had an older sister named Gloria.

Education and Military Service

Adams attended DeWitt Clinton High School, but ended up dropping out and working as a theater usher. In late 1941, he enlisted in the US Marine Corps and was sent to San Diego. The next year, Adams and his unit were transported to Samoa, and subsequently participated in the Battle of Guadalcanal. Having contracted the deadly blackwater fever, Adams was evacuated and hospitalized for over a year at a Navy hospital in Wellington, New Zealand. Following his recovery, he served as a Marine drill instructor back in the US. Adams was discharged in 1945.

Career Beginnings

After his discharge from the military in 1945, Adams worked as a comic in a strip club in Florida. However, for his refusal to do obscene material, he was fired. He went on to work as a commercial artist and as a restaurant cashier. In 1954, Adams broke into television with his winning stand-up comedy act on the variety show "Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts"; his act was written by his boyhood friend Bill Dana. Later in the decade, Adams appeared several times on "The Steve Allen Show," where Dana was a writer. From 1963 to 1964, he starred alongside Dana on "The Bill Dana Show," playing bumbling hotel detective Byron Glick.

Get Smart

Adams became widely known to the American viewing public when he began starring on the NBC sitcom "Get Smart" in 1965. The show was created by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry as a parody of such popular television spy dramas as "The Avengers" and "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." Adams starred as bumbling secret agent Maxwell Smart, with his young partner, the unnamed Agent 99, played by Barbara Feldon. "Get Smart" was a hit, running for five seasons until its cancellation in 1970 following its move to CBS. During the run of the show, Adams earned four consecutive Emmy Award nominations for his role, and won twice. The show went on to spawn myriad films, revival series, remakes, and even novels.


Further Television Career

After the end of "Get Smart," Adams starred as Detective Sergeant Lennie Crooke on the short-lived NBC sitcom "The Partners," with Rupert Crosse. From 1975 to 1976, he hosted the short-lived syndicated game show "Don Adams' Screen Test," in which audience members attempted to act out scenes from Hollywood movies as accurately as possible. During the remainder of the decade, Adams made guest appearances on such shows as "The Love Boat" and "Fantasy Island." He continued appearing on "The Love Boat" in the 1980s, and also starred as supermarket manager Howard Bannister on the Canadian sitcom "Check it Out!" from 1985 to 1988.

Adams was also well-known for his many voice roles on animated television shows, starting with his role as the titular penguin on the Saturday morning cartoon "Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales," which ran from 1963 to 1966. He had his next main voice role from 1983 to 1985, playing the titular character on the animated superhero science-fiction series "Inspector Gadget." Adams would reprise the role in the 1992 television special "Inspector Gadget Saves Christmas" and the live-action/animated spinoff series "Inspector Gadget's Field Trip," which aired from 1996 to 1998. He also voiced the bionic kid-detective Gadget Boy in the animated series "Gadget Boy & Heather." Adams's final role on television was as Principal Hickey in the animated series "Pepper Ann" from 1997 to 2000.

Personal Life and Death

Adams was married and divorced three times, and had seven children from his marriages. He married his first wife, singer Adelaide Efantis, in 1947. She performed as Adelaide Adams, and it was from her that he took his surname. The couple later divorced in 1960. Adams subsequently wed actress Dorothy Bracken, whom he eventually divorced in 1976. He was married to his third and final wife, actress Judy Luciano, from 1977 until their divorce in 1990.

On September 25, 2005, Adams passed away from lymphoma and a lung infection. He was 82 years of age. Adams's funeral was attended by such close friends and collaborators as Barbara Feldon, James Caan, Bill Dana, and Don Rickles.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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