Adam Williams (actor)

Adam Williams (born Adam Berg; November 26, 1922 – December 4, 2006) was an American film and television actor.

Adam Williams
Adam Williams in Without Warning, 1952
Adam Berg

(1922-11-26)November 26, 1922
New York City, U.S.[1]
DiedDecember 4, 2006(2006-12-04) (aged 84)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
OccupationFilm and television actor, flight school owner
Years active1951–1978
Spouse(s)Marilee Phelps (?–1970; 3 children)
Carole Berg (1974–2006; 3 children, 4 stepchildren)

Life and career

Williams was born in New York City. A veteran "bad guy" actor of 1950s film and TV, he began his career after distinguished World War II military service as a United States Navy pilot, for which he received the Navy Cross.[2] In 1952, Williams played the lead, a Los Angeles woman killer, in the film Without Warning! In 1953, he was cast as Larry, a car bomber, in The Big Heat. He had a leading role in the 1958 science fiction movie The Space Children. Other notable film roles include the psychiatrist in Fear Strikes Out (1957) and Valerian in North by Northwest (1959).

An accomplished pilot, Williams also worked as an examiner for the FAA.

During the 1950s and 1960s, he appeared on dozens of television series, including the syndicated Sheriff of Cochise, set in Arizona and starring John Bromfield, and Have Gun – Will Travel in the episode "The Reasonable Man". He portrayed private detective and murderer Jason Beckmeyer in the 1957 Perry Mason episode "The Case of the Runaway Corpse." In 1961, he was cast as Jim Gates in the episode "Frontier Week" on Joanne Dru's sitcom Guestward, Ho!, set on a dude ranch in New Mexico. In 1960, he played the role of a sailor hitching a ride in The Twilight Zone season 1 episode "The Hitch-Hiker", where he is picked up by a terrified driver played by Inger Stevens, who is compelled to pick him up so that he may offer protection and safety to her from a mysterious hitchhiker who shows up at various times and places along the road while she travels across country. Many reviewers have cited this episode as one of The Twilight Zone's "10 Greatest" of the series.[3] He had also appeared in the Twilight Zone episode "A Most Unusual Camera". He appeared in a couple episodes of The Rifleman and Bonanza, and in 1961 as Adam in "A Rope for Charlie Munday", in the ABC adventure series The Islanders. He was cast as Burley Keller in the 1961 episode "The Persecuted" of the ABC/Warner Brothers western series Lawman. He guest-starred in an episode of the 1961 NBC series The Americans, based on family conflicts stemming from the American Civil War, and in an episode of the 1961 series The Asphalt Jungle. One of his later roles was in the 1976 television movie Helter Skelter.


Williams died in Los Angeles of lymphoma in 2006 at the age of 84. He is interred in California.


Further reading

  • Schallert, Edwin (March 25, 1953). "Big-Game Hunter Brings African Film; Top Heavy Goes to Adam Williams". Los Angeles Times. p. 25.
  • Childress, Fred (October 30, 1953). "Direction Adds Tense Excitement To 'Big Heat' on Palace Screen". Youngstown Vindicator. p. 14.
  • "Actor 'Rocketing' Up". The Miami News. July 26, 1958. p. 7A. Adam Williams, one of the industry's fastest-rising actors, portrays a rocket expert in Paramount's "The Space Children."
  • "Victor Jory 'Shot' by Western Actor". Los Angeles Times. November 11, 1961. p. 19. Observers said a gun in the hands of actor Adam Williams discharged accidentally at a range of 6 in., inflicting powder burns.


  1. Lentz, Harris M. III (2007). Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2006. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-2933-2. Retrieved September 7, 2018.
  2. "Adam William Berg: Awards". Retrieved September 7, 2018.
  3. Cruz, Gilbert (October 2, 2009). "The Hitch Hiker (1960)". TIME. Retrieved September 7, 2018.
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