From Reuters ['Get Smart' TV series star Don Adams dies]:
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Actor and comedian Don Adams, best known for his role as the bumbling secret agent Maxwell Smart on the television espionage spoof "Get Smart," has died of a lung infection, his agent said on Monday.Tags: don adams, get smart, inspector gadget, obituary, television
Adams, who had been in failing health in recent years, died at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on Sunday night, according to agent Bruce Tufeld. Reference books gave different ages for Adams, ranging from the late 70s to early 80s.
A native New Yorker, Adams began his career as a stand-up comic and impressionist, gaining notice in 1954 as a winner on the "Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts" show, which led to his appearance on various variety series.
But his big break came in 1965 with the NBC comedy "Get Smart," a spoof of the James Bond spy genre in which he starred as the buttoned-down but inept Maxwell Smart, otherwise known as Agent 86 in the government intelligence organization known as C.O.N.T.R.O.L.
The Maxwell Smart persona grew out of a clueless hotel detective character he had developed in variety show sketches. Smart was known for the catchphrase "Would you believe...?"
"Get Smart" ran on NBC until 1969, then moved to CBS for another year before it was revived 25 years later on Fox.