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April 24, 1930
Manhattan, New York City, U.S.
|Other names||Cindy Heller|
|Occupation||Biographer, gossip columnist, and memoirist|
|Spouse(s)||Joey Adams (1952–1999; his death)|
Early life and education
Born an only child in New York City, Adams was one year old when her parents divorced. Her mother, Jessica Sugar, worked as an executive secretary for the New York City Water Department and was a single parent until her remarriage to insurance agent Harry Heller.
Adams grew up in Washington Heights, Manhattan and Jamaica Estates, Queens. She attended Andrew Jackson High School without graduating (she was academically qualified, but the principal reportedly refused to graduate her unless she learned to sew).
Marriage to Joey Adams
Adams began to work as a photographer's model in Manhattan, and met her future husband, Joey Adams, a year later, when they appeared on the same radio show. They married on Valentine's Day 1952, and had no children. Joey died in 1999, following a long illness.
Since 1979, Adams has written a gossip column for the New York Post, a New York City newspaper. She also contributed to Sunday Today in New York, a now-defunct newscast on WNBC television and had previously contributed twice a week on WNBC's Live at Five newscast, until it took on a new format on March 12, 2007.
Adams also wrote for local papers, including, eventually, the New York Post at the same time as her husband, who wrote a newspaper column for the Long Island Press on Long Island, New York, and later the New York Post. In 1965, she co-wrote an English-language autobiography of Indonesia's President Sukarno, about whom she wrote another book two years later. In 1975, Adams published a biography of Jolie Gabor, the mother of the Gabor sisters. Among those whom she interviewed in 1970 was Mohammad-Rezā Pahlavi, the shah of Iran. Adams later became friendly with Imelda Marcos, the controversial widow of former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos.
Adams became a syndicated newspaper columnist in 1981. Additionally, she was an original contributor to the syndicated, tabloid television A Current Affair and has appeared often on Good Morning America, a morning news-and-talk show on the ABC television network. In 1990, Adams served as a panelist on To Tell the Truth, an NBC television network game show.
After her husband died in 1999, Adams developed a love for dogs. Jazzy, her Yorkshire Terrier, trailed her in public and became a minor celebrity himself. Adams and Jazzy would often dine together at New York City's finest restaurants, including Le Cirque. Adams dresses her dogs in expensive designer clothes and jewelry. She wrote a memoir about Jazzy, The Gift of Jazzy, and launched the Jazzy line of merchandise.[clarification needed]
One weekend, Adams put Jazzy in a kennel in upstate New York when she left the city. By the time she returned Jazzy had died. She had a necropsy performed, which showed E. coli bacteria in the dog's system. In an article published in The New York Times, Adams was quoted as saying, "Now this is a dog that I hand-fed. I would lie on my stomach in the kitchen and hand-feed him kosher chicken. We would go to Le Cirque and eat off of Limoges porcelain. Where would he get E. coli?"
She became a vocal advocate for strengthening regulations of boarding kennels. In 2004, she garnered the support of television journalist Barbara Walters, socialite Ivana Trump, attorney Barry Slotnick, writer Tama Janowitz, and New York City Council Speaker Gifford Miller, to pass the Boarding Kennel and Regulation Act, also known as "Jazzy's Law". According to Adams, "To prevent others from suffering my Jazzy['s] pain, this local 'Boarding Kennel and Regulation Act' will: license kennels, monitor them regularly, fine those in violation, require records and rules, demand boarded pets prove vaccination and immunization against contagious doggy diseases." Despite the increasingly strict New York City health code, which only permits service animals in restaurants, Adams continues to bring her dogs to New York City restaurants.
Adams lives and works from a nine-room penthouse apartment with a 1,000-square-foot (93 m2) verandah, at 475 Park Avenue in Manhattan, that she and her husband purchased from the estate of billionaire heiress Doris Duke in 1997. Because of the apartment's connection with Duke, Adams hosted the wrap party for the television biographical film Bernard and Doris (2008), about Duke's later years and Duke's relationship with her butler.[clarification needed]
Illness in 2010
Adams ceased writing her regular New York Post column in May 2010 without notice, and there was no news beyond brief mentions that she was "unwell". In late June, Liz Smith, another gossip columnist (whose column used to be carried by the Post), reported in her online column that Adams was ill with a stomach malady. A Christian Scientist, Adams had avoided medical help until forced by friends Barbara Walters and television judge Judith Sheindlin to obtain it; Sheindlin became Adams' healthcare proxy as Adams has no immediate family. The diagnosis was said to be an almost-burst appendix. Smith reported on June 29, 2010 that "she [Adams] is now on the mend". From July 2010 through September 20, 2010, the New York Post noted that Adams will be "returning soon". She returned with a column detailing her illness on September 20, 2010. She wrote that she had had a ruptured appendix and anemia.
- Soekarno (Sukarno); Adams, Cindy Heller (1965). Sukarno – An Autobiography. Bobbs-Merrill. (Indianapolis, Indiana; Kansas City, Missouri). OCLC 256887.
- Adams, Cindy Heller (1967). My Friend the Dictator. Bobbs-Merrill (Indianapolis, Indiana). OCLC 1129848.
- Gabor, Jolie; Adams, Cindy Heller (1975). Jolie Gabor. Mason/Charter (New York City). ISBN 978-0-88405-125-1.
- Adams, Cindy Heller (1980). Lee Strasberg – The Imperfect Genius of the Actors Studio. Doubleday (Garden City, New York). ISBN 978-0-385-12496-6.
- Adams, Cindy Heller; Crimp, Susan (1995). Iron Rose – The Story of Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy and Her Dynasty. Dove Books (Beverly Hills, California). ISBN 978-0-7871-0475-7.
- Adams, Cindy (2003). The Gift of Jazzy. St. Martin's Press (New York City). ISBN 978-0-312-27307-1.
- Adams, Cindy (2007). Living a Dog's Life – Jazzy, Juicy, and Me. St. Martin's Press (St. Martin's Griffin imprint) (New York City). ISBN 978-0-312-36407-6.
- Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census (database on-line). Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012; Queens, New York, S.D. #45, E.D. # 41-1087, Sheet #4A, Enumerated April 15, 1940 by Corinne Aldrich (Enumerator): "listing Harry Heller (age 39) as 'Head', Jessica (born London, England; age 36) as 'Wife', Harold (age 16) as 'Son' and "Cynthia" (age 9) as 'Daughter'.
Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1940. T627, 4,643 rolls.
- Tallmer, Jerry (April 1–30, 2006). "Cindy Adams – Present Tense". Thrive NYC. Retrieved August 13, 2010.
- Moritz, Owen (December 3, 1999). "Comic Joey Adams, 88". Daily News. Retrieved August 13, 2010.
- Living a Dog's Life: Jazzy, Juicy, and Me. ISBN 9780312323776. Retrieved August 13, 2010.
- Kilgannon, Corey (July 2, 2003). "Boldface Names – Only at Cindy's, Kids, Only at Cindy's". The New York Times. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
- Kuczynski, Alex (February 3, 2003). "At Lunch With: Cindy Adams – Listen Up: Lady Plugs Self, Dog, Not Stars". The New York Times. Retrieved August 13, 2010.
- Hu, Winnie (November 10, 2004). "Working to Save Other Yorkies from Jazzy's Fate". The New York Times. Retrieved August 13, 2010.
- Williams, Jeannie (February 2, 2003). "Cindy Adams Wags a Jazzy Dog Tale". USA Today. Retrieved August 13, 2010.
- Hu, Winnie (November 10, 2004). "Working to Save Other Yorkies From Jazzy's Fate". The New York Times.
- [unreliable source?] "Kennel and Regulation Act". bernadette-peters.com.
- Guzman, Isaac (September 27, 2009). "My New York: Cindy Adams". New York Post. Retrieved August 13, 2010.
- Swanson, Carl (undated; circa June 2000). "Only on Park Avenue, Kids — Cindy Adams Gives Up on Plan To Sell Place for $11 Million". New York. Retrieved August 13, 2010. Check date values in:
- Adams, Cindy (December 12, 2005). "Wrap Party at My Apartment". New York Post.
- Smith, Liz (June 29, 2010). "Barbara Walters Bounces Back – Also from Our Liz: Cindy Adams's 'Alternative' Medicine". wowOwow. Retrieved August 13, 2010.
- Adams, Cindy (September 21, 2010). "Return". Detroit Free Press. p. 2D.
- Cindy Adams on IMDb
- Cindy Adams at the Internet Broadway Database
- Works by or about Cindy Heller Adams in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- 1960s portrait of Cindy Adams, New York Public Library's Billy Rose Collection