Edie Adams died on Wednesday October 15th. While never a top tier star, during the 1950’s and 1960’s she was a prominent supporting player in many popular movies of the day. Appearances included roles in “The Apartment”, “Lover Come Back”, “Under the Yum Yum Tree”, “Call me Bawana” and “It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.” She also appeared in such dramatic films as “The Best Man”, “Love With the Proper Stranger” and a TV version of “The Spiral Staircase.” TV appearances were plentiful including “The Lucy Show”, “The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour”, “Murder, She Wrote”, “Love Boat”, “McMillan & Wife” and in 1963, she had her own variety show “Here’s Edie.”
Edie made her Broadway debut in “Wonderful Town” with Rosalind Russell and directed by the legendary George Abbott. Adams second Broadway show brought her stardom when she appeared as the voluptuous Daisy Mae in the original production of “Li’ Abner” for which she won a Tony for her performance. From there she went on to movies and TV.
Edie Adams met the legendary comedian Ernie Kovacs in the early 1950’s and they married in 1954, and remained married until his death in a car accident in 1962. She was left with a $500,000 bill in back taxes, which she paid off to the IRS. For all her different roles as a Singer, Broadway, TV and Movie Star, Edie is probably best remembered for the 19 years she was known as the Muriel Cigar girl. In a series of commercials dressed in sexy gowns and high heels she seduced the screen viewer caressing the Muriel winking seductively and whispering in a Mae West voice “Why don’t you pick one up and smoke it sometime.”
According to the New York Times obituary, one of Edie’s most memorable appearances was on the final show of The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour. It was the last time Lucy and Desi appeared together. As part of the show, Edie and Vivian Vance “performed a bell-clear, heartbreaking rendition of the Alan Brandt-Bob Haymes classic ‘That’s All’, which reduced the entire crew to tears.”
Love With the Proper Stranger
Lover Come Back
The Best Man
Under the Yum Yum Tree
Its; A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.
Also, if you can find a copy the final Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour.