Mason Adams



Born: February 26, 1919
Brooklyn, New York

Died: April 26, 2005
New York, New York

Mason Adams, the paternal theatre, film and TV character actor whose voice was so warm he was heard on commercials for Smucker's jams, died April 26, 2005, at age 86, according to The New York Times. He died of natural causes at his home on the Upper East Side, his daughter Betsy told the Times.

For decades, TV viewers knew his famous gravelly line-reading for the J.M. Smucker Co.: "With a name like Smucker's…it has to be good."

Mr. Adams most recent Broadway appearance was in Arthur Miller's The Man Who Had All the Luck for Roundabout Theatre Company in 2002. His first Broadway role was in 1957's A Shadow of My Enemy.

In a stage career that included regional and Off-Broadway work he also appeared in Signature Theatre's The Last of the Thorntons by Horton Foote, Circle Repertory Theatre's The Rose Quartet, Manhattan Theatre Club's The Day Room and Lincoln Center Theatre's Danger: Memory! and The Shortchanged Review.

He is remembered as the thoughtful and experienced Ben Bradley-like managing editor Charlie Hume on "Lou Grant." (A generation of journalism students viewed Hume as a sort of mentor, a fictional standard to reach for.) For his work on the newspaper drama, Mr. Adams was nominated for three Emmy Awards.

Mr. Adams' other Broadway credits include Checking Out, The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window, The Trial of the Catonsville Nine and Tall Story.

The actor was known for his grandfatherly presence in recent years. In the 1940s and '50s, he had roles in radio dramas such as "Pepper Young's Family" (he was Pepper Young). His voice would be heard for decades on commercials and documentaries.

In 1989, he starred in his own TV series, "Knight & Daye," as Everett Daye, opposite Jack Warden, who played Henry Knight.

Mr. Adams, a Brookyln native, earned a master's degree from the University of Wisconsin and later taught at The Neighborhood Playhouse, the Times reported.

He is survived by his wife, Margo Fineberg, daughter Betsy and son Bill.



Playbill Cover - The Man Who Had All the Luck The Man Who Had All the Luck
May 1, 2002 - Jun. 30, 2002
Dan Dibble Performer
Playbill Cover - Checking Out Checking Out
Sep. 14, 1976 - Sep. 25, 1976
Dr. Theodore Applebaum Performer
Playbill Cover - The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window
Jan. 26, 1972 - Jan. 29, 1972
Wally O'Hara Performer
Playbill Cover - The Trial of the Catonsville Nine The Trial of the Catonsville Nine
Jun. 2, 1971 - Jun. 26, 1971
Judge Performer
Playbill Cover - Inquest Inquest
Apr. 23, 1970 - May 16, 1970
Irving Saypol Performer
Playbill Cover - Tall Story Tall Story
Jan. 29, 1959 - May 2, 1959
Sandy Hardy Performer
Playbill Cover - A Shadow of My Enemy A Shadow of My Enemy
Dec. 11, 1957 - Dec. 14, 1957
The Second Interrogator Performer
Playbill Cover - Violet Violet
Oct. 24, 1944 - Nov. 11, 1944
Walter Meeker Performer
Playbill Cover - Career Angel Career Angel
May 23, 1944 - Jun. 10, 1944
Brother Ubaldus Performer
Public Relations
Apr. 6, 1944 - Apr. 29, 1944
Frank Hollis Performer
Get Away Old Man
Nov. 24, 1943 - Dec. 4, 1943
Messenger Performer


Drama Desk Award

Year Category Production Winner/Nominee
1988 Outstanding Ensemble Performance The Day Room Nominee
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