Adam Williams (actor)
||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (March 2013) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
November 26, 1922
Wall Lake, Iowa, U.S.
|Died||December 4, 2006
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Cause of death||Lymphoma|
|Occupation||Film and television actor, flight school owner|
|Spouse(s)||Marilee Phelps (?-1970) (3 children)
Carole Berg (1974-2006) 3 children, 4 stepchildren
Adam Williams (born Adam Berg; November 26, 1922 – December 4, 2006) was an American film and television actor.
Life and career
Williams was born in Wall Lake, Iowa. (He was no relation to singer Andy Williams, also born in Wall Lake.) 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. In 1960 he played the role of a sailor hitching a ride in the Twilight Zone season 1 episode "The Hitch-Hiker" where he is picked up by a terrified driver named "Nan" played by Inger Stevens who is compelled to pick him up so that he may offer protection and safety to her from a mysterious hitch hiker who shows up at various times and places along the road while she travels across country. Many reviewers have cited this episode as one of the Twilight Zone's "10 Greatest" of the series. He had also appeared in another episode of The Twilight Zone, A Most Unusual Camera. He appeared in a couple episodes of The Rifleman and Bonanza and 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 1961 NBC series The Americans, based on family conflicts stemming from the American Civil War, and in an episode of the 1961 ABC series The Asphalt Jungle. One of his last roles was in the 1976 television movie, Helter Skelter.
Williams died in Los Angeles of lymphoma in 2006 at the age of eighty-four. He is interred in California.
- Queen for a Day (1951) - Chuck, High Diver segment
- Flying Leathernecks (1951) - Lt. Bert Malotke
- Without Warning! (1952) - Carl Martin
- Vice Squad (1953) - Marty Kusalich
- The Big Heat (1953) - Larry Gordon
- Dragonfly Squadron (1954) - Capt. Wyler
- The Yellow Tomahawk (1954) - Cpl. Maddock
- Crashout (1955) - Fred Summerfield
- The Sea Chase (1955) - Kruger - Wireless Operator (uncredited)
- The Proud and Profane (1956) - Eustace Press
- The Rack (1956) - Sgt. Otto Pahnke
- Fear Strikes Out (1957) - Dr. Brown
- The Garment Jungle (1957) - Ox
- The Oklahoman (1957) - Bob Randell
- The Lonely Man (1957) - Lon
- The Space Children (1958) - Dave Brewster
- The Badlanders (1958) - Leslie
- Darby's Rangers (1958) T/5 Heavy Hall
- North by Northwest (1959) - Valerian
- The Last Sunset (1961) - Calverton
- Convicts 4 (1962) - Guard
- Gunfight at Comanche Creek (1963) - Jed Hayden
- The New Interns (1964) - Wolanski
- The Glory Guys (1965) - Pvt. Lucas Crain
- Follow Me, Boys! (1966) - Sergeant (uncredited)
- The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit (1968) - Sergeant Roberts
- This Is a Hijack (1973) - Smitty
- 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.