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Edie Adams (April 16, 1927 – October 15, 2008) was an Americanmarker singer, Broadwaymarker, television and film actress and comedienne. Adams, a Tony Award winner, "both embodied and winked at the stereotypes of fetching chanteuse and sexpot blonde."


Adams was born as Edith Elizabeth Enke in Kingston, Pennsylvaniamarker, and grew up in Tenafly, New Jerseymarker.

She earned a vocal degree from the Juilliard School of Musicmarker, and then graduated from Columbia School of Drama. In 1950, she won the "Miss U.S. Television" beauty contest, which led to an appearance with Milton Berle on his television show. Her earliest television work billed her as Edith Adams.

Adams began working regularly on television with comedian Ernie Kovacs and talk show pioneer Jack Paar. Kovacs was a noted cigar smoker, and Adams did a long-running series of TV commercials for Muriel Cigars. She remained the pitch-lady for Muriel well after Kovacs' death, intoning in a Mae West style and sexy outfit, "Why don't you pick one up and smoke it sometime?" Another commercial for Muriel cigars, which cost ten cents, showed Adams singing, "Hey, big spender, spend a little dime with me" (based on the song, "Hey Big Spender" from the musical "Sweet Charity.")

Kovacs' network, ABC, gave Adams a chance with her own show, Here's Edie, which received five Emmy nominations but nevertheless was on for only one season. In 1960, she and husband Ernie portrayed themselves as the guest stars in the final Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz "Lucy/Ricky Ricardo" coupling hour-long TV special on the Columbia Broadcasting System network. In subsequent years, Adams made sporadic television appearances, including on Fantasy Island, The Love Boat, Murder, She Wrote, and Designing Women.

Adams starred on Broadwaymarker in Wonderful Town (1953) opposite Rosalind Russell (winning the Theatre World Award), and as Daisy Mae in Li'l Abner (1956), winning the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. She played the Fairy Godmother in Rodgers and Hammerstein's original 1957 Cinderella broadcast.

Adams played supporting roles in several films in the 1960s, including the bitter secretary of two-timing Fred MacMurray in the Oscar-winning film The Apartment (1960) and the wife of presidential candidate Cliff Robertson in 1964's The Best Man. In 2003, as one of the surviving headliners from the all-star comedy It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, she joined actors Marvin Kaplan and Sid Caesar at a 40th anniversary celebration of the movie. She was also a favorite nightclub headliner.

Adams married Ernie Kovacs on September 12, 1954, in what was Kovacs' second marriage; they remained together until his death in a car accident on January 13, 1962, after which she won a "nasty custody battle" over her stepdaughters, Elizabeth ("Bette") and Kip Raleigh "Kippie" Kovacs (1949-2001), married Bill Lancaster, son of Burt Lancaster). She also worked for years to pay off Kovacs' massive back-taxes debt to the IRS.

Adams had two later marriages, briefly to photographer Martin Mills and then to trumpeter Pete Candoli. She gave birth to two children: a daughter, Mia Susan Kovacs, who was born in 1959 and killed in an automobile accident in 1982, and a son, Joshua Mills.

Edie Adams died in Los Angeles, Californiamarker at age 81. According to her son, the causes were cancer and pneumonia.

She is also known for her work in archiving her husband's television work. She later testified on the status of the archive of the short lived DuMont Television Network, where both she and husband Kovacs worked during the early 1950s. Adams claimed that so little value was given to the film archive that the entire collection was loaded into three trucks and dumped into Upper New York Bay.



  • Ernie in Kovacsland (1951) (canceled after 2 months)
  • The Ernie Kovacs Show (1952–1956)
  • The Guy Lombardo Show (1956)
  • Cinderella (1957)
  • The Gisele MacKenzie Show (1958)
  • I Love Lucy (1960)
  • Take a Good Look (panelist from 1960–1961)
  • Here's Edie (1963–1964)
  • Evil Roy Slade (1972)
  • Cop on the Beat (1975)
  • Superdome (1978)
  • Fast Friends (1979)
  • The Seekers (1979)
  • Make Me an Offer (1980)
  • Portrait of an Escort (1980)
  • A Cry for Love (1980)
  • The Haunting of Harrington House (1981)
  • As the World Turns (cast member in 1982)
  • Shooting Stars (1983)
  • Ernie Kovacs: Between the Laughter (1984)
  • Adventures Beyond Belief (1987)
  • Jake Spanner, Private Eye (1989)
  • Tales of the City (1993) (miniseries)



  1. Born Edith Elizabeth Enke as per 1930 US census

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