Stanley Adams (April 7, 1915 – April 27, 1977) was an American actor and screenwriter. He appeared in many television series and films, notably Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), Lilies of the Field (1963), and TV series from Gunsmoke to Star Trek.
Born in New York City, Adams had his first film role playing the bartender in the movie version of Death of a Salesman (1951). He played another barkeep in The Gene Krupa Story and a safecracker in Roger Corman’s High School Big Shot (1959).
Adams had a lengthy career as a character actor, often playing comic, pompous characters.
Adams played Otis Campbell’s brother on an episode of The Andy Griffith Show; the character berated Otis for being the town drunk but turned out to be an alcoholic himself. His 1959 portrayal of Chicago gangster/gambler Nick Popolous in Mr. Lucky (“That Stands For Pool”) is especially good as he deftly shifts from bumpkin to killer multiple times.
He appeared in an episode of The Tab Hunter Show in 1961. His other roles on TV shows include roles in six episodes of Wagon Train and three episode of Gunsmoke. as political boss Frank Templeton in the final episode of McHale’s Navy (1962–1966) “Wally for Congress.” He played a realtor on The Dick Van Dyke Show episode “Your Home Sweet Home Is My Home Sweet Home”. He had two roles in the syndicated western series Death Valley Days in the episodes “The Holy Terror” (1963) and “The Lady and the Sourdough” (1966). He appeared as King Kaliwani in the final episode of Gilligan’s Island, and as Captain Courageous in two episodes of the 1960s Batman TV series (“Catwoman Goes to College”/”Batman Displays his Knowledge”). He also played notorious pool shark “Sure Shot” Wilson on series The Odd Couple.
In genre television he appeared on The Twilight Zone as a time-traveling scientist—opposite Buster Keaton—in “Once Upon a Time” and as a bartender (“Mr Garrity and the Graves”) and as Ilya Klarpe on The Addams Family (1964). In science fiction television circles he is known primarily for two roles, as “Tybo” the anthropomorphic carrot in the penultimate episode of Lost in Space, “The Great Vegetable Rebellion” (1968), and for playing Cyrano Jones in “The Trouble with Tribbles” (1967) episode of Star Trek. He reprised (as a voice actor) Cyrano Jones in the Star Trek: The Animated Series episode “More Tribbles, More Troubles” and archival footage of Adams as Jones was later featured in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “Trials and Tribble-ations” (1996). He also co-wrote an episode for Star Trek’s final season, “The Mark of Gideon”.
Adams also had a lengthy theatrical motion picture career. In the 1962 theatrical film adaptation of Rod Serling’s teleplay Requiem for a Heavyweight he played the supporting role of Perelli, a sleazy promoter who offers a washed-up boxer a degrading job as a professional wrestler. He played the Chicano café owner in Lilies of the Field and portrayed Rutherford “Rusty” Trawler, “the 9th richest man in America under 50” in the Audrey Hepburn film Breakfast at Tiffany’s. He played Bernie the foulmouthed caller in the 1974 action/adventure movie Act of Vengeance.
Adams killed himself on April 27, 1977 with a gunshot to his head at the age of 62. He was reportedly depressed due to chronic pain from a back injury. He was cremated at Rosedale Cemetery, Los Angeles. His ashes were scattered in the Pacific Ocean.