Tuesday, September 03, 2013
Tuesday's Overlooked TV: Character Actor Frank Adamo
From time to time I'm going to spotlight some of the actors whose faces you might (or might not) recognize, but whose names you probably won't. It's a stretch even to call this first guy a character actor. He's a bit part actor, but he's notable, to me anyway, because he appeared dozens of times on one of the best sit-coms ever, THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW. His name is Frank Adamo.
If you watch the series, you'll see that name in the closing credits from time to time, but that's hardly the whole story. Adamo wasn't a professional actor, or at least he didn't start out to be. He was Dick Van Dyke's assistant and stand-in, and when they needed an extra party guest or a guy standing in the background in a nightclub or somebody waiting in line somewhere, Adamo would step in. Most of those appearances were uncredited. Every now and then he got a small speaking part. He played a lot of waiters and delivery boys and ushers. He was the rather effeminate poet in the episode where Rob and Laura attend some literary soiree. I first became aware of him years ago when I was watching the series in syndicated reruns and realized the same guy kept popping up playing different parts.
Adamo went on to appear a few times on THE NEW DICK VAN DYKE SHOW and THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW, but his real claim to fame is all the times he showed up in New Rochelle and in the writers' office of "The Alan Brady Show". He was only a tiny part of a great series, but I always enjoyed his appearances.