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Adams in 1977
February 26, 1919|
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
|Died||April 26, 2005
Manhattan, New York, U.S.
Cause of death
|Alma mater||University of Michigan|
|Spouse(s)||Margot Feinberg (1957-2005; his death)|
Adams was born in Brooklyn, New York. He earned an MA degree from the University of Michigan in Theatre Arts and Speech and also attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison, studying theater arts. He made his stage debut in 1940, appearing in summer stock at Baltimore's Hilltop Theater.
Adams was heard on many radio programs during Radio's Golden Age. A notable recurring role was that of Pepper Young in Pepper Young's Family, which aired from 1947 to 1959. He also portrayed the deadly Nazi Atom Man in a classic 1945 serial on the radio version of The Adventures of Superman.
He was also in the original 1976 Broadway cast for Checking Out.
Adams is perhaps most famous for his role as Managing Editor Charlie Hume in the television series, Lou Grant, which aired from 1977 to 1982. During his run on Lou Grant, Adams performed perhaps his most oft-seen role as United States President in Omen III: The Final Conflict (1981).
During the 1960s he was ubiquitous as a voiceover actor in television commercials for food and other household products, most notably for Chiffon margarine and Crest toothpaste ("Helps stop cavities before they start"). He also did the vocal part of the television commercials for Smucker's preserves ("With a name like Smucker's, it has to be good!"), a role he had resumed in his last years. Beginning in the 1980s, Adams provided the voiceover for Cadbury Creme eggs, which were advertised on television with Adams' catchy slogan, "Nobunny knows Easter better than him [the Cadbury Bunny]." Also in the 1980s, Adams did voice-over TV commercials for Sherwin-Williams Paints. Adams also did radio commercials for the Salvation Army. In addition, Adams was the narrator for Kix commercials in the 1990s as well as a few Dentyne commercials and a few Swanson commercials. He was also the announcer for a 1992 WCBS-TV news promo, as well as a 1986 Lysol commercial. In one of the early episodes of Sesame Street, he voiced a cartoon featuring a "jazzy" triangle, and a "square" square. He voiced those two, as well as being the narrator, with jazz music in the background. This cartoon would be repeated on the show for many years well into the 1980s.
In the HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon he played Senator Clinton P. Anderson. During the 1970s, he was a co-star of the NBC soap opera Another World. In 1986, he starred as Col. Edward Mason, one of his most famous feature film roles, in the movie F/X starring Bryan Brown and Brian Dennehy. In 1993, he starred as Walter Warner Sr. in the Movie Son In Law starring Pauly Shore.
Mason Adams played many characters in Old-Time Radio programs, amongst them:
- CBS Radio Mystery Theater
- The Adventures of Superman
- X Minus One
- Grand Central Station
- Proudly We Hail
- This Is My Story
- Exploring Tomorrow
- Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar
- The NBC Radio Theatre
- The Crime Club
- The Adventures of Ellery Queen
- Gasoline Alley
- Big Town
- Inner Sanctum
- Corporal Eddie on a series of public announcement shows for the U.S. Army
Adams married Margot Fineberg in 1958. The couple had a daughter, Betsy, and a son, Bill. He died on April 26, 2005, from natural causes, according to his daughter.
- Fahim, Kareem (28 April 2005). "Mason Adams, an Actor Lauded for Role on 'Lou Grant,' Dies at 86". NY Times.
- Bloom, Nate (2005-05-20). "Celebrity Jews". The Jewish News Weekly of Northern California. Retrieved 2006-12-13.
- Mason Adams Biography - Yahoo! Movies
- Mason Adams at Find a Grave
- Mason Adams at the Internet Movie Database
- Mason Adams at AllMovie
- Mason Adams at the Internet Broadway Database
- Obituary in the Star Gazette