At 8, I Wanted to Be Maxwell Smart
When I was eight, I decided that I wanted to change my name to Max. The reason was simple: I wanted to be like Agent Maxwell Smart, of the Get Smart TV Series in the late ’60s. My namesake passed away today, here are some memories of Don Adams, by Bob Thomas of the AP.
“Smart’s beautiful partner, Agent 99, played by Barbara Feldon, was as brainy as he was dense, and a plot romance led to marriage and the birth of twins later in the series.
“He had this prodigious energy, so as an actor working with him it was like being plugged into an electric current,” Feldon said from New York. “He would start and a scene would just take off and you were there for the ride. It was great fun acting with him.”
Adams was very intelligent, she said, a quality that suited the satiric show that had comedy geniuses Mel Brooks and Buck Henry behind it.
“He wrote poetry, he had an interest in history … He had that other side to him that does not come through Maxwell Smart,” she said. “Don in person was anything but bumbling.”
Adams had an “amazing memory” that allowed him to take an unusual approach to filming, Feldon said.
Instead of learning his lines ahead of time he would have a script assistant read his part to him just once or twice. He invariably got it right but that didn’t stop people from placing bets on it, she recounted.
“Get Smart” twice won the Emmy for best comedy series with three Emmys for Adams as comedy actor.