Tom Adams (actor)

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Tom Adams
Actor Tom Adams.jpg
Adams in The Avengers episode Take-Over (1969)
Anthony Frederick Charles Adams

(1938-03-09)9 March 1938
Poplar, London, England
Died11 December 2014(2014-12-11) (aged 76)
Slough, Berkshire, England
Years active1961–2002
PartnerLettice Coutte- Campbell (1975–1980)

Anthony Frederick Charles "Tom" Adams (9 March 1938 – 11 December 2014) was an English actor with roles in adventure, horror and mystery films, and several TV shows. [1] [2] He was well known for his appearance in The Great Escape (1963) and as Daniel Fogarty in several series of The Onedin Line . [3]


Early life

Adams was born in Poplar, London and his father was a commercial chauffeur. After school he did national service in the British Army, then joined the Unity Theatre, London. He adopted the stage name of Tom Adams and taught English and drama at the Cardinal Griffin secondary modern school, Poplar, in the 1960s between acting jobs with repertory companies. [4] [5]


He appeared in television series such as The Avengers , Maigret and Ghost Squad as well as films from 1961 and made his West End debut, supporting Anton Walbrook and Peter Sallis, in Masterpiece at the Royalty in 1961. [6] He joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1962 as one of an infusion of new actors into Michael Elliott’s production of As You Like It at the Aldwych Theatre. [7] His first big screen break was a role as Nimmo in The Great Escape (1963), [8] in which the salary from the film allowed him to buy his first car.

He starred as the lead of a film series featuring a low budget imitation James Bond named Charles Vine in three films beginning with Licensed to Kill (aka The Second Best Secret Agent in the Whole Wide World, 1965) and the sequels Where the Bullets Fly (1966) and Somebody's Stolen Our Russian Spy (aka "O.K. Yevtushenko" 1967) that was shot in Spain. He was the second male lead in the 1966 Disney film The Fighting Prince of Donegal after he replaced Mark Eden who broke his ankle during the film's shooting [9] and menaced Raquel Welch in Fathom .

Adams' television credits include Emergency – Ward 10 where he played Dr Guy Marshall from 1964 to 1967 and later the similar Dr Guy Wallman in General Hospital between 1975 and 1978; starred as Major Sullivan in the BBC counter-espionage drama Spy Trap from 1973 to 1975, The Onedin Line as Daniel Fogarty (1977–79); Doctor Who as Vorshak in Warriors of the Deep (1984); and Emmerdale Farm (1987) as Malcolm Bates. He took the lead in The Enigma Files in 1980.

During the late 1970s, he appeared in TV commercials for Dixons, and for many years in the 1980s and 1990s he was the face of the furniture store chain DFS/Northern Upholstery. In 2011, he was seen in a series of commercials advertising the Aero Biscuit, and he later appeared in an ad for Stannah Stairlifts and Hyundai. [10] He was noted as a voice-over artist, [11] and became the continuity announcer for UK television channel, E4. [12]

A keen golfer, he authored a 1996 book of short stories Shakespeare Was a Golfer: A Collection of Golfing Shorts. [13]


Adams died on 11 December 2014 [14] at the age of 76 at Wexham Park Hospital in Berkshire, of cancer.

TV and filmography

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  1. "Tom Adams". BFI. Archived from the original on 21 July 2012.
  2. "Tom Adams movies, photos, movie reviews, filmography, and biography – AllMovie". AllMovie.
  3. "Great Escape actor Tom Adams dies aged 76", The Guardian, 13 December 2014. Accessed 14 December 2014
  4. Tom Adams obituary at Daily Express. Retrieved 20 December 2014
  5. Tom Adams obituary The Guardian. Retrieved 20 December 2014
  6. "Tom Adams – obituary". Archived from the original on 28 December 2014. Retrieved 13 January 2022.
  7. "Tom Adams: Actor best known for 'The Great Escape' who was touted to" . . 26 December 2014. Archived from the original on 21 June 2022.
  8. "The Great Escape: 50th anniversary", The Telegraph, 19 February 2013, Accessed 14 December 2014
  9. Page 37 The Kokomo Morning Times 16 October 1966
  10. Banned Hyundai Commercial , retrieved 28 February 2022
  11. "The Great Escape actor Tom Adams dies aged 76", The Independent, 13 December 2014. Accessed 14 December 2014
  12. "Tom Adams – obituary". The Telegraph. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
  13. "ISBN 9780952962809 – Shakespeare was a golfer: A collection of golfing shorts". Retrieved 28 February 2022.
  14. "Great Escape actor Tom Adams dies". 13 December 2014. Archived from the original on 13 December 2014. Retrieved 13 December 2014.