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Thread: R.I.P. Edie Adams

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    R.I.P. Edie Adams

    The former singer, actress, and wife of Ernie Kovacs passed away on Wednesday the 15th.

    Another member of that wonderful group of comics who starred in IT'S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD has left us. So few remain now: Sid Caesar, Mickey Rooney, Jonathan Winters, Dorothy Provine, Jerry Lewis (cameo), Carl Reiner, Stan Freiberg . . . .

    No dishevelled woman ever looked sexier than Edie. PeteLeo.

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    Re: R.I.P. Edie Adams

    The Ernie Kovac Show was a great mix for a male juvenile. Humor that blended hip with the 3 Stooges, and then there was Edie....

    If somebody with humor like Ernie's could get someone like Edie, there was hope out there...somewhere.

    "Why don't you pick one up and smoke it sometime..."
    Last edited by don1234; 10-16-2008 at 08:39 PM.

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    Re: R.I.P. Edie Adams

    Edie Adams, Actress and Singer (and Flirt With a Cigar), Dies at 81
    By BRUCE WEBER

    Edie Adams, an actress, comedian and singer who both embodied and winked at the stereotypes of fetching chanteuse and sexpot blonde, especially in a long-running series of TV commercials for Muriel cigars, in which she poutily encouraged men to “pick one up and smoke it sometime,” died Wednesday in the West Hills section of Los Angeles. She was 81 and lived in Los Angeles.

    The cause was pneumonia and cancer, said her son, Josh Mills.

    Ms. Adams had a remarkably varied career in show business, performing on stage, in nightclubs and on the large and small screens. A classically trained singer who graduated from Juilliard, she won the Miss U.S. Television beauty pageant in 1950 after singing a coloratura version of “Love Is Where You Find It” in the talent competition. The prize was an appearance in Minneapolis onstage with Milton Berle, which led to an appearance on his television show, which in turn led to her being featured on television with the cigar-smoking comedian Ernie Kovacs, who would become her husband.

    Ms. Adams made her Broadway debut in 1953, playing Rosalind Russell’s sister in the Leonard Bernstein musical “Wonderful Town,” directed by George Abbott.

    By the time she took her second Broadway role, in the musical version of the comic strip “Li’l Abner” in 1956, she was already known for her comic, vocal and physical gifts. Though not as spectacularly curvy as Marilyn Monroe, Ms. Adams bore some resemblance to her and was known to do a wicked Monroe impersonation. So the part of the voluptuous and loyal Daisy Mae was a perfect fit, and for her performance she won a Tony.

    In the 1960s she took her talents to the movies, appearing largely in supporting roles in battle-of-the-sexes films including “The Apartment” (1960), with Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine; “Lover Come Back” (1961), with Doris Day and Rock Hudson; and “Under the Yum Yum Tree” (1963), with Mr. Lemmon and Carol Lynley. She was part of the enormous ensemble — including Sid Caesar, Jonathan Winters, Spencer Tracy, Phil Silvers, Mickey Rooney and Ethel Merman — in Stanley Kramer’s “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” (1963), and she played the wife of a ruthless presidential candidate (Cliff Robertson) in the screen adaptation of Gore Vidal’s political drama “The Best Man.”

    In 1962 she appeared on ABC with Duke Ellington. In 1963 she also began a variety show, “Here’s Edie,” in which she performed with the likes of Count Basie and Sammy Davis Jr. The show received five Emmy nominations, but was short-lived.

    “It was one of the first times that a black man and a white woman could be seen together on a stage, singing,” Mr. Mills said. “And that was her choice. That was her doing.”

    In the 1970s and ’80s she returned to television, appearing frequently as a guest star on myriad series, from “Fantasy Island” and “The Love Boat” to “Murder, She Wrote” and “Designing Women.”

    But of all her incarnations, she will be best remembered as the face (and the legs and the body) of Muriel cigars. In a series of commercials that ran over 19 years while sales of the brand increased more than tenfold, Ms. Adams, usually clad in the highest heels and the slinkiest dresses, danced with giant cigars, caressed them and extolled their virtues, often with a come-hither moue and a wink, and the whispered slogan adapted from Mae West’s famous invitation to come up and see her.

    “One thing about my mom; she was keenly aware of her sex appeal,” said Mr. Mills, whose father was Ms. Adams’s second husband, the photographer Marty Mills. “She knew men would be happy to spend time with her. But she was smarter than the average bear.”

    Edith Elizabeth Enke was born on April 16, 1927, in Kingston, Pa. — Adams was her mother’s maiden name — and spent her childhood partly in Grove City, Pa., and partly in Tenafly, N.J. Her father was a banker until the stock market crash of 1929; then he became a salesman. Her mother was a music teacher and an English teacher who quit after American soldiers returned from World War I out of a belief, born of her Welsh heritage, Ms. Adams once said, that a woman should not take a job from a man. It was also part of the Welsh heritage, she added, that young women were expected to sing.

    Ms. Adams’s life was flecked with sorrow. Kovacs died in an automobile accident in Los Angeles in 1962 and left her with an enormous debt to the Internal Revenue Service, which she eventually paid off with performance dates and commercial work. Their daughter, Mia Kovacs, died in another automobile accident in 1982. Ms. Adams’s marriage to Mr. Mills ended in divorce, as did a third marriage, to the jazz trumpeter Pete Candoli. Her son, of Los Angeles, is her only survivor.

    Among the most memorable performances of her career was a song she sang on the final episode of “The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour” in April 1960. The show was the last in the long partnership of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz; their marriage had crumbled and they were no longer speaking on the set. As part of the convoluted plot of the episode, Ms. Adams, with Vivian Vance at the piano, performed a bell-clear, heartbreaking rendition of the Alan Brandt-Bob Haymes classic “That’s All,” which reduced the entire crew to tears.

    “Say it’s me that you adore, for now and evermore,” Ms. Adams sang. “That’s all, that’s all.”

    NYTimes

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    Re: R.I.P. Edie Adams

    This is sad to hear. I was a big fan of Edie and Ernie. He has been gone of us for many years. I loved his show. Her passing is an end of a era. I had a crush on her when I was a kid. R.I.P.

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    Re: R.I.P. Edie Adams

    That is sad. I rememember the Ernie Kovak's show well, all the skits and of course Edie Adams. One by one the greats go. She lasted so much longer than him and always speaking with great respect and love for her husband.
    Can't they find a cure for cancer instead of spending Billions on the Iraq war?
    So many wonderful people would have been saved.

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    Re: R.I.P. Edie Adams

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Lipton
    Can't they find a cure for cancer instead of spending Billions on the Iraq war? So many wonderful people would have been saved.
    You know Ron, I lost an aunt and and uncle within days of each other last week to cancer. Last month it was a 44 year old friend of mine. My grandparents, as well as my father-in-law all have been claimed by cancer.

    It causes me to raise suspicion regarding pharmacuetical companies, cancer research and the billion dollar industry that fighting this dreaded disease has become.

    Why is it that so much time, money and resources yet it seems that despite all of this as well as the known dangers ie: smoking, eating habits etc....it still seems to have little impact on the numbers of people who die from cancer?

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    Re: R.I.P. Edie Adams

    10-8

    Don't be "suspicious" about the pharmacutical companies. What you suspect is actually a stone, cold, fact. There is too much $$$ to be made with all these toxic drugs of theirs whose effects are sometimes actually worse than the illness itself.

    They don't want to cure cancer, They'd be killing a Golden Goose. Nobody slaughters a cash cow.

    GorDoom

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