7 Feb '68: Nick Adams found dead - friend in the 60's ?

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7 Feb '68: Nick Adams found dead - friend in the 60's ?

Post by E-Cat »

7 Feb 1968: Nick Adams found dead

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Nick Adams was born Nicholas Aloysius Adamshock

On the night of Feb 7, 1968, Nick was supposed to have dinner with Erwin Roeder, his lawyer and friend.
Nick never showed up. Adams was known for his punctuality, so Roeder decided to check the actor's home
himself. He drove to El Roble Lane, and went to Nick's house, at number 2126. When he arrived at Nick's
house, he found Nick's car in the garage, but no sign of life in the house. Roeder broke a window and
discovered Nick dead in his bedroom, propped against a wall, his eyes open in a blank stare. He was
wearing blue jeans, a shirt, and boots. A working telephone was less than two feet away .

Nick's body being removed from his house

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This is the house were Nick Adams lived ; 2126 El Roble Lane - Beverly Hills

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Dr. Thomas Noguchi performed the autopsy and found paraldehyde "in the organs, mixed with sedatives
and other drugs - enough to cause instant unconsciousness." This is a drug to battle alcoholism, but Nick
was not a known drinker. No prescription bottle was found, and no needle mark could be found on him.
It's still considered a mystery, and officially it was listed as "accidental suicide."

Death Certificate:

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Nick Adams' body was taken back to his birth state of Pennsylvania, and is buried in SS. Cyril
and Methodius Cemetery, in the city of Berwick (*).

According to the LA Times 2000 (!) people attended the funeral.

Image Image

The Curse of the Rebel - legend:

The following "Rebel Without a Cause" actors all died young and under strange circumstances

James Dean and Sal Mineo

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Nick Adams and Natalie Wood

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James Dean [1931-55] Killed in a car crash. He was 24 years old.

Sal Mineo [1939-76] Stabbed in the heart by a robber in Hollywood. He was 37 years old.

Nick Adams [1931-1968] It's still considered a mystery, officially it was listed as "accidental suicide."
According to his daughter, Nick was murdered (**)

Natalie Wood[1938-1981] Dead after a drowning accident. Some suspect suicide or
murder. She was 43 years old

------------------------------------------------------------->

The day after Nick died: Graceland Feb 8th:

Image

Few is known about Elvis' reaction to Nick's death. Did Elvis send his condolences ?

After Nick failed to win an Oscar for best supporting actor in 1963, it was no secret that
Nick's personal life and Hollywood career went downhill. However, I doubt that Elvis used
his Hollywood influence to get Nick serious or better movie roles.

Perhaps Nick was pissed off because of this ?

The last known photo I have of Elvis and Nick together is from the set of :

Follow that Dream, summer 1961:

Image

Did they meet afterwards ?

When Elvis was in LA, they lived close enough to visit eachother.
In fact, the home where Nick's body was found (B) was only 2 miles north of
Elvis' Hillcrest home (A).

Both houses were located in Trousdale Estates:

Image

Does someone know when their friendship ended ?


* main source: http://www.findagrave.com
** There is an interesting article about Nick's life and death in Crime Magazine
http://crimemagazine.com/03/nickadams,0815.htm
Last edited by E-Cat on Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: 7 Feb '68: Nick Adams found dead - friend in the 60's ?

Post by hilton22000 »

Great story and info!!! Thank you very much, E-Cat :smt006


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Re: 7 Feb '68: Nick Adams found dead - friend in the 60's ?

Post by drjohncarpenter »

Great information, a little sad for someone to die at 36. The "curse" stuff is not to be taken seriously, though.


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Re: 7 Feb '68: Nick Adams found dead - friend in the 60's ?

Post by elvisjock »

Elvis lost a number of people in 1968 who were, or had been, close to him. Going off memory at the moment, but there was Nick, Dewey Phillips, Bobby Smith and, I believe, one of Elvis' uncles?


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Re: 7 Feb '68: Nick Adams found dead - friend in the 60's ?

Post by ColinB »

E-Cat wrote:...After Nick failed to win an Oscar for best supporting actor in 1963, it was no secret that
Nick's personal life and Hollywood career went downhill.
However, I doubt that Elvis used his Hollywood influence to get Nick serious or better movie roles....
If Elvis wielded that sort of influence, he'd have surely used it to improve his own film roles !


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Re: 7 Feb '68: Nick Adams found dead - friend in the 60's ?

Post by ekenee »

Elvis was more than likely a little too pre-occupied that week with having his new daughter home.

Note the date of death is a day apart on the gravestone and the death certificate.


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Re: 7 Feb '68: Nick Adams found dead - friend in the 60's ?

Post by Frankie Teardrop »

I heard somewhere that Adams was pushed out of the Presley circle when it was found out he was gay. Maybe that is just nasty gossip though.


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Re: 7 Feb '68: Nick Adams found dead - friend in the 60's ?

Post by mjsantafe »

I was told by a family member that Nick had a blow-up of the photo used for Elvis' first album over his fireplace. When the same family member mentioned to Nick that I was an Elvis fan, he gave my family member a toy car as a gift to me.

I was told that flowers were sent from Elvis and Priscilla at the time of Nick's death.


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Re: 7 Feb '68: Nick Adams found dead - friend in the 60's ?

Post by KHoots »

Very interesting thread. Thanks for the information, E-Cat.


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Re: 7 Feb '68: Nick Adams found dead - friend in the 60's ?

Post by davide »

Great stuff E-Cat

With regards to the question Did they meet afterwards ?

Image

On the MGM set of Girl Happy - Colonel Parkers 55th birthday "Happy Birthday To The Colonel From his Pals At MGM
June 26th 1964
Left to Right : Jimmy Kingsley,Richard Davis,Nick Adams,Colonel wife Marie,Billy Smith in front of the Colonel,Elvis,Joe Esosito,Alan Fortas and Marty Lacker

Taken from the book Elvis From Memphis to Holywood Alan Fortas and Alanna Nash

Davide


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Re: 7 Feb '68: Nick Adams found dead - friend in the 60's ?

Post by E-Cat »

thanks all for the replies :wink:
lvs4evr wrote:
Frankie Teardrop wrote:I heard somewhere that Adams was pushed out of the Presley circle when
it was found out he was gay. Maybe that is just nasty gossip though.
I remember hearing the same story coming from billy smith at a mm convention in 87, he said
that ELVIS was really embarrased at what nick was and didn't want the press to make up storys
so he just shunned him abruptly, he also said that nick was a know it all trying to give
ELVIS pointers in acting.
Elvis met Nick in 1956, 8 years later we can see them together at Tom Parker's birthday.
If Nick was homosexual, Elvis and Tom Parker probably did not know at the moment.
On more than one occasion Elvis made it very clear what he thought of homosexuals:
police report end 1959 in Bad Nauheim and on the set of FIA. So Billy´s statement likely
refers to the period after the photo was taken.
mjsantafe wrote:I was told by a family member that Nick had a blow-up of the photo
used for Elvis' first album over his fireplace. When the same family member mentioned to
Nick that I was an Elvis fan, he gave my family member a toy car as a gift to me.

I was told that flowers were sent from Elvis and Priscilla at the time of Nick's death.
Great story mjsantafe..do you still have the toy car..?
davide wrote:Great stuff E-Cat

With regards to the question Did they meet afterwards ?
On the MGM set of Girl Happy - Colonel Parkers 55th birthday "Happy Birthday To The Colonel From his Pals At MGM
June 26th 1964
Great info David, I did not recognise Nick with his beard.
So now we know they met at least untill the summer of 1964.

In the same period Nick's life and career went downhill:

Nick told his friend and publicist Jay Bernstein that his ambition was to be the first TV actor
to win an Oscar. While he was making Twilight of Honor, Nick told Bernstein that his work in
the film was the best he had yet done.

Twilight of Honor - 1963

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Realizing that winning an Oscar could boost his career,perhaps into starring roles, Nick launched
a campaign for a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

He spent $8,000 placing advertisements for himself in the industry trade papers. While
campaigning for awards is commonplace today, it was not then and was looked down on by
the Academy members. But Nick got his nomination. Jay Bernstein said, "Now the problem was,
Nick got cut out of the movie. And all of his great scenes were gone. And there were just
reaction shots."

On April 13, 1964, 90 minutes before the Oscar ceremonies began, Nick was the first
nominee to show up at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. Sidney Skolsky reported, "
An usher said Nick Adams and wife arrived at 5:30, went into the empty auditorium and
practiced walking, skipping, trotting down the aisle to the stage." Patty Duke presented the
Best Supporting Actor award early in the show and Nick didn't win. He was furious. According
to Sidney Skolsky, "Nick looked like instant murder" when Brandon De Wilde accepted the
Oscar for absent winner Melvyn Douglas.


On Oct. 10, 1965, a Hollywood Reporter said, "Nick Adams leaves today for Tokyo, to
begin his starring role in War next Wednesday for Toho.

Nick was still in Japan when Carol was granted a divorce and custody of the children on Oct. 12.
On Jan. 26, 1966
, Nick and Carol announced another reconciliation on a local television show,
"Bill John's Hollywood Star Notebook." It wouldn't last.

Part of the problem was Nick's obsessive pursuit of stardom. According to Jay Bernstein, "Nick
would get up every morning at four and he'd be asleep by seven. His wife, Carol would get up
around noon or one and she'd stay up all night watching movies and stuff. So they never saw each
other. They were on different time schedules." Andrew Fenady succinctly said, "His hobby was his
career and his career was his obsession."


According to Rona Barrett, who knew Nick since the days when she typed scripts in "The
Rebel's" production office, Nick blamed his career failures on Carol.


On Nov. 26, 1966, his wife resumed divorce proceedings and obtained a restraining order
against Nick. Carol alleged that Nick was "prone to fits of temper" and in a special affidavit
charged that Nick had "choked her, struck her and threatened to kill her during the past few
weeks."

"I'm going to fight this thing all the way," Nick said. "I want to keep possession of my home and
possession of my children." It was the beginning of an acrimonious, contested divorce and
child-custody battle. Nick became enraged after discovering that Carol's boyfriend was physically
disciplining his children and telling them that Nick was "a bad man" and a "bad daddy."


ca 1 year before his death: Nick played 1 episode in The Monroes with Barbara Hershey

Image

Nick's last two years were fraught with problems. The cost of maintaining his and Carol's
homes, sending his kids to private schools, and legal expenses depleted his income, which
was now much lower than before. Nick began drinking excessively to cope with the stress.
Alone and lonely, Nick would call Kumi Mizuno in Japan. She told author Stuart Galbraith IV,
"He would sometimes call me at night but I couldn't understand English so I would sit there on
the phone, holding a dictionary, and try to guess what he was saying, and answer him. He
even proposed to me! I already had a fiancé so I had to refuse."

Nick spent Saturday playing with his children. He phoned Ervin Roeder on Sunday and set a
dinner date for Wednesday evening, Feb. 7, 1968. When Adams didn't show up, Roeder,
who hadn't heard from him for two days, became alarmed. This was a sudden deviation from
Nick's habit of staying in touch with Roeder, sometimes calling him as many as six times a day.

Roeder drove to Nick's newly rented, two-story home nestled in the Coldwater Canyon section
of the Hollywood Hills. Seeing a light on in the upstairs bedroom window, he knocked on the
door. There was no answer. He tried the door, but it was locked. He went to the rear of the
house, forced open a window and entered. Heading straight to the upstairs bedroom, Roeder
made a shocking discovery. Fully dressed in a shirt, blue jeans and boots, his back against
the wall, Nick sat on the floor by his unmade bed. His eyes stared ahead blankly. He was dead.



http://www.crimemagazine.com/03/nickadams,0815.htm


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Re: 7 Feb '68: Nick Adams found dead - friend in the 60's ?

Post by mjsantafe »

Great story mjsantafe..do you still have the toy car..?
Sadly, no.


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Re: 7 Feb '68: Nick Adams found dead - friend in the 60's ?

Post by davide »

Here are some extracts taken from this book

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Image

Davide


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Re: 7 Feb '68: Nick Adams found dead - friend in the 60's ?

Post by philobeddo »

E-cat,
Nice ripp from the findadeath.com site. It would be nice mention this source i guess. Maybe the gravesite are using the same info?


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Re: 7 Feb '68: Nick Adams found dead - friend in the 60's ?

Post by E-Cat »

philobeddo wrote:E-cat, Nice ripp from the findadeath.com site.
No - the main sources are correctly credited: 85 % of all text as used in my 2 posts are from crime magazine
and all grave photo's are from findagrave,com...so your 'rip from findadeath' claim is limited to less than
15 % of all information as posted above, big deal :? :
philobeddo wrote:Maybe the gravesite are using the same info?
No - the site you mention actually uses the grave photo from the source I credited correctly....findagrave.
A bit more of research would have learned that the grave photo's on findadeath are linked to ..findagrave :smt004

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=1920&pt=Nick%20Adams
davide wrote:Here are some extracts taken from this book
Thanks David, some great info in this book.


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Re: 7 Feb '68: Nick Adams found dead - friend in the 60's

Post by elvismultimediagold »

The death certificate date is February 7th, while on some sources (see also the pic with the grave), it's February 6th. Can somebody clear out this discrepancy?


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Re: 7 Feb '68: Nick Adams found dead - friend in the 60's

Post by rjm »

Out of respect to Nick and Elvis, Nick was always respectul of Elvis, whatever his orientation{s}. When all the guys protectively stayed in Elvis's bedroom when Gladys died, Nick brought in a cot for himself. I think that means Elvis was aware of his more diverse orientation. And the friendship seemed to fizzle when Nick's professional and marital life spun out.

The only thing about Parker is that he tried to use the overly ambitious young man as one of his "spies." At around this time, Elvis even fired Esposito for a while because of his "reporting in" which Joe ALWAYS did.
I don't think Nick could have handled that . . .

As for the "incidents" mentioned, they wre not homophobic: in the Acapulco scene, Elvis didn't even speak up. The director asked him why he was wriggling around and he replied "that guy's grabbing my ###s." The director got rid of him. What would amyone do? If some stranger was grabbing them? Male or female, straight or gay? If the guy did that on the damn subway, he'd be called a "masher." It is considered assault, for krissakes, and does not reflect on Elvis.

As for the thing in Germany, Guralnick seems inclined to suggest {very carefully} that something quite unwanted may have happened because Elvis bounded from the room so suddenly. He was accused of grabbing a knife in self-defense.
There were no "appropriate" words at the time which Evis could have used. But he did NOT use the word the British use for cigarerette buts. If he WERE homophobic, he would have used the Other "f" word. The word he did use is now in favor at University departments.

As for Billy, he was quite young at the time when Nick first appeared.
Elvis wasn't afraid of the "talk" about himself in the sixties; his friend Sandi said right here that when he spotted reporters across the street, he knew what they wanted. So he grabbed Charlie and laid one on him! They scattered . . . obviously feeling stupid.

So Elvis was aware that for whatever reasons {the guys, his looks, bachelorhood}, tongues were wagging. So yeah, he didn't live under a rock regarding who was who in the biz. And there were more guys in the group. There would have been tension and pressure on Elvis just from gossip.
What did his young cousin say about Nick at the time? What was his OWN opinion? Elvis cannot speak for himself since he's been elsewhere for awhile . . .

Just thought that fair to both of them. They both have kids and Nick really liked Elvis as a friend. And vice-versa.

rjm


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