Nick Adams

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Nick Adams

Nick Adams Autograph

Large, bold autograph, signed in haste, mounted on vintage autograph album page.

NICK ADAMS (1931-1968) was an American film and television actor,  noted for his supporting roles in successful Hollywood films during the 1950s and 1960s along with his starring role in the ABC television series The Rebel (1959). Decades after Adams’ untimely death from a prescription drug overdose at the age of 36 his widely publicized friendships with James Dean and Elvis Presley would stir speculation about both his private life and the circumstances of his death. In a synopsis for Adams’ last film in Allmovie reviewer Dan Pavlides wrote, “Plagued by personal excesses, he will be remembered just as much for what he could have done in cinema as what he left behind.”

In 1959 Adams starred in the ABC television series The Rebel playing the character Johnny Yuma, a wandering, ex-Confederate, journal-keeping, sawed-off shotgun toting “trouble-shooter” in the old American west. He is credited as a co-creator of The Rebel but had no role in writing the pilot or any of the series’ episodes. Adams had asked his friend Andrew J. Fenady to write the pilot as a starring vehicle for him. The series’ only recurring character, publicized as a “Reconstruction beatnik”, was played by Adams. He reportedly consulted with John Wayne for tips on how to play the role. Adams wanted Elvis Presley to sing the theme song for The Rebel but the show’s producer wanted Johnny Cash, who made it a hit. Guest stars appearing on the series during its two year run included Dan Blocker, Johnny Cash, Leonard Nimoy, Tex Ritter and Robert Vaughn. 76 half-hour episodes were filmed before the series was cancelled in 1961. Reruns were syndicated for several years.

Nick Adams as Johnny Yuma

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