Adam Williams (actor)
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November 26, 1922
Queens, NY, U.S.
|Died||December 4, 2006
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death
|Occupation||Film and television actor|
|Spouse(s)||Marilee Phelps (?-2000) (her death) 1 child|
Life and career
A veteran "bad guy" actor of 1950s film and TV who began his career after distinguished World War II military service as a United States Navy pilot, for which he received the Navy Cross. In 1952, Williams played the lead, a Los Angeles woman killer, in the film, Without Warning! In 1953, he was cast as Larry, a car bomber, in The Big Heat. He had a leading role in the 1958 science fiction movie The Space Children. Other notable roles include the psychiatrist in Fear Strikes Out (1957) and Valerian in North by Northwest (1959).
An accomplished pilot, Williams also worked as an examiner for the FAA.
During the 1950s and 1960s, he appeared on dozens of television series, including the syndicated Sheriff of Cochise, set in Arizona and starring John Bromfield, and CBS's Have Gun – Will Travel in the episode entitled, "The Reasonable Man". He portrayed private detective and murderer Jason Beckmeyer in the 1957 Perry Mason episode, "The Case of the Runaway Corpse." In 1961, he was cast as Jim Gates in the episode "Frontier Week" on Joanne Dru's ABC sitcom, Guestward, Ho!, set on a dude ranch in New Mexico. He appeared in 1961 as Adam in "A Rope for Charlie Munday" in the ABC adventure series, The Islanders. He was cast as Burley Keller in the 1961 episode "The Persecuted" of the ABC/Warner Brothers western series, Lawman. He also guest starred in an episode of the NBC series The Americans, based on family conflicts stemming from the American Civil War. One of his last roles was in the 1976 television movie, Helter Skelter.
Adam Williams died in Los Angeles of lymphoma in 2006 at the age of eighty-four. He is interred in California.
- Schallert, Edwin (March 25, 1953). "Big-Game Hunter Brings African Film; Top Heavy Goes to Adam Williams". Los Angeles Times. p. 25.
- Childress, Fred (October 30, 1953). "Direction Adds Tense Excitement To 'Big Heat' on Palace Screen". Youngstown Vindicator. p. 14.
- "Actor 'Rocketing' Up". The Miami News. July 26, 1958. p. 7A. "Adam Williams, one of the industry's fastest-rising actors, portrays a rocket expert in Paramount's "The Space Children.""
- "Victor Jory 'Shot' by Western Actor". Los Angeles Times. November 11, 1961. p. 19. "Observers said a gun in the hands of actor Adam Williams discharged accidentally at a range of 6 in., inflicting powder burns."
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