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Edie Adams

Edie AdamsAKA Elizabeth Edith Enke

Born: 16-Apr-1925 [1]
Birthplace: Kingston, PA
Died: 15-Oct-2008
Location of death: Los Angeles, CA
Cause of death: Cancer - unspecified
Remains: Buried, Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery, Hollywood Hills, CA

Gender: Female
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Actor, Comic, Singer

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Lover Come Back

Edie Adams -- Tony-winner, classically trained as a singer, and a gifted comedienne -- was probably best known as Ernie Kovacs's wife and widow. She was crowned Miss U.S. Television in 1950, winning a talent competition on the DuMont Television Network. In the early 1950s, she appeared on Ernie in Kovacsland and The Ernie Kovacs Show, while he was married to a troubled woman who had kidnapped his two children. Kovacs and Adams and married after his divorce, in 1954.

Adams is remembered as the "cigar girl" from Muriel commercials, where she suggestively said, "Why don't you pick me up and smoke me sometime?" While Kovacs almost always had a cigar in his mouth, Adams was allergic to smoke, a fact she did not share with the makers of Muriels.

In 1962, Kovacs died in a car accident following a party at Milton Berle's home. He had switched cars with Adams only moments before, the streets were wet and he had been drinking, but she believes he was probably lighting one of his beloved cigars when he lost control of the vehicle. Following his death, it was discovered that Kovacs owed $500,000 in back taxes -- he had simply refused to pay income taxes, maintaining that the tax system was unfair. Adams' lawyers urged her to file for bankruptcy, but she hated that idea and refused offers of help from many of their celebrity friends. Instead she told her managers to accept whatever roles would garner the most money. Once the IRS was paid off, she began purchasing the rights to recordings of Kovacs' work. Otherwise it almost certainly would have been lost, since some of it had already been destroyed.

Her first major film was 1960's The Apartment. In most of her films, she played comedic supporting roles, as in Lover Come Back, where she played "the other woman", and Love With a Proper Stranger, where her character Barbie refused to lend Steve McQueen the money he needed to get his lover an abortion. In the late 1960s Adams cut back on her work schedule, but continued to appear in some surprising roles. She played Tommy Chong's mother, Mrs. Stoner, in Up in Smoke, and in 1980 she appeared in the soft-core sequel The Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood. Adams also made the rounds as a TV guest star, on shows from The Love Boat to Murder, She Wrote.


[1] Her year of birth has been listed as 1925 and 1927, although Adams seems to prefer the year 1929.

Husband: Ernie Kovacs (m. 12-Sep-1954, d. 13-Jan-1962 automobile accident, one child)
Daughter: (d. 1982, automobile accident)
Husband: Pete Candoli (musician, The Candoli Brothers, m. 1972, div. 1989)
Husband: Marty Mills (photographer, m. 1964, div.)
Son: Josh Mills

    University: Juilliard School of Music
    University: Columbia University

    Tony 1957 for Li'l Abner
    Beauty Contest Miss U.S. Television 1950

    FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
    Harlan Ellison: Dreams with Sharp Teeth (May-2008)
    Broadway: The Golden Age (Apr-2003) · Herself
    Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City (8-May-1993)
    Ernie Kovacs: Between the Laughter (14-May-1984)
    A Cry for Love (20-Oct-1980) · Tessie
    The Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood (May-1980) · Rita Beater
    Up In Smoke (15-Sep-1978)
    Superdome (9-Jan-1978)
    Evil Roy Slade (18-Feb-1972)
    The Honey Pot (21-Mar-1967) · Merle McGill
    The Oscar (4-Mar-1966) · Trina Yale
    Made in Paris (9-Feb-1966) · Irene Chase
    The Best Man (5-Apr-1964) · Mabel Cantwell
    Love with the Proper Stranger (25-Dec-1963)
    It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (7-Nov-1963) · Monica Crump
    Under the Yum Yum Tree (23-Oct-1963) · Irene
    Call Me Bwana (14-Jun-1963) · Frederica
    Lover Come Back (20-Dec-1961) · Rebel Davis
    The Apartment (15-Jun-1960) · Miss Olsen
    Cinderella (31-Mar-1957)


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