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The 'brains' and 'action' heavies who had meaty roles and lots of dialog ... and the players who were fathers, ranch owners, lawman, mayors, judges, lawyers, storekeepers, newspaper editors, wardens, etc.

(Courtesy of Jack Tillmany)
(From Old Corral collection)

Ted Adams

Full name: Richard Theodore Adams

1890 - 1973

Ted Adams was a frequent villain in both westerns and serials, and appeared in films done at all the major and minor production outfits. His Hollywood career spanned about twenty five years and his film and TV credits run from about 1930 through the mid 1950s.

He seemed to find most of his work with the Poverty Row independents as well as the smaller film production companies such as Monogram and PRC. His work at Republic Pictures is spread over the years 1936-1951 and amounts to about two dozen pictures. However, about a third of those are productions from A. W. Hackel (of Supreme Pictures) which starred Johnny Mack Brown and Bob Steele. In the year or so after the formation of Republic Pictures, the new company needed some cowboy films to round out their releases and attract distributors and theater owners. Republic contracted with Hackel to release his Brown and Steele films under the Republic logo.

There are a significant quantity of good Ted Adams roles in both westerns and serials. Following are a few highlights:

In the mid 1940s, an older Ted Adams seemed to find a home at Monogram Pictures - from 1945 on, he did 18 Johnny Mack Browns, three each with singing cowboy Jimmy Wakely and Whip Wilson, and a solo shot with Wild Bill Elliott. He also continued to freelance and you can spot him in a few with Eddie Dean, Lash LaRue, Roy Rogers, Monte Hale, 'Rocky' Lane and Tim Holt.

Much of the B western and serial work had faded away by the early 1950s. Adams was one of B movie veterans that transitioned into TV work and appeared in a few early TV programs including THE LONE RANGER and CISCO KID.

Les Adams has Ted identified in about 200 sound films - of that number, 162 are westerns and 17 are serials. His film and TV career came to an end circa 1953.

B movie bad guy Jack Ingram had a western stage show circa 1950. Appears that Ted Adams was an occasional member of Ingram's show - more on that below.

Chaos and confusion with the Ted Adams biography.

Ye Old Corral webmeister updated this profile on Ted Adams in July, 2013. Existing biographies have him born in New York, and he/his family worked in vaudeville. And from the 1910s through early 1930s, Ted was busy performing in plays and on the stage. He also served a hitch in the U. S. Navy during World War I as well as additional Navy or military duty during 1944-1945.

I've been unable to confirm much of that biographical info.

I did locate records which indicate Adams was born in Pennsylvania (not New York). At the Internet Movie Database, there are only a few films listed for him during 1944-1945 (when he may have been doing military service ... or out of action due to illness or injury). There's birth date discrepancies between the California Death Index and the Social Security Death Index (SSDI). In their Best Of The Badmen book, authors Boyd Magers, Bob Nareau and Bobby Copeland have comments about Adams from western bad guy Pierce Lyden: "He lived in a room on Western Ave. just off Hollywood Blvd. and I used to visit him there." Based on 1942 and 1944 California Voter Registrations and World War II draft registration, Ted and his wife Charlotte were living on Western Avenue in Los Angeles. I did not find a death or funeral notice on Adams at the ProQuest Obituaries or Newspaper Archive websites.

  Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Ted Adams:

Find A Grave website notes that Adams was cremated at Chapel Of The Pines Crematory in Los Angeles:

The Family Search website (free), (subscription), the California Death Index, and the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) have information on Ted Adams. Pay particular attention to Pierce Lyden's mention that Adams lived on Western Avenue (and I've highlighted that in red):

(Courtesy of Ken Jones)

The color photo above is about 26" x 22", and Ken Jones has this framed and displayed.  An interesting tidbit is the wanted poster with the names assigned to Jack Ingram and Adams used in their traveling stage show circa 1950.

Les Adams provides more details:

The poses and costumes come from Bob Steele's DURANGO VALLEY RAIDERS (A. W. Hackel/Republic, 1938).  I knew I had seen Ingram in that arrow-pocket shirt somewhere, and ran a search on titles they were in together and DV RAIDERS came up early, and struck a chord with me. Took a gander at it last night and there they both were --- Ingram in a non-typical shirt for a villain and Adams in a costume and hat that nearly duplicates what Johnny Mack Brown wore later at Universal.

Neither ever played a role as 'Sundown Rogers' (Ingram) or 'Ace Hawkins' (Adams).  Even more interesting is that in my entire database on westerns and serials, I find no film that ever used Sundown Rogers or Ace Hawkins as a name for any character. None. Zip. Nada. I suspect they performed in some kind of stage skit with Sundown Rogers and Ace Hawkins as the character names.  And they were able to find two names, before the age of computer searches, that had never been used in a western is amazing.

(From Old Corral collection)

L-to-R are Molly O'Day, Bill Cody and Ted Adams in a lobby card from the Cody starrer LAWLESS BORDER (Spectrum, 1935).

(Courtesy of Minard Coons)

Above from L-to-R are heroine Lois January, Tim McCoy in his Mexican disguise, and baddie Ted Adams in BORDER CABELLERO (Puritan, 1936).

(From Old Corral collection)

Above from left to right are Ted Adams, Ernie Adams, and Bob Steele in ARIZONA GUNFIGHTER (Republic, 1937), one of the A. W. Hackel/Supreme oaters released by Republic Pictures. This was one of Ted Adams' better roles, playing a reformed gunman.

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from L-to-R are Reed Howes, Dave O'Brien, Carleton Young, Bob Steele, Claire Rochelle and Ted Adams in a scene from RIDERS OF THE SAGE (Metropolitan, 1939).

(From Old Corral collection)

Above from L-to-R are Carleton Young (hand on door handle) followed by Ted Adams and behind him is Robert (Bob) Walker.  On the right side of the door are Bob Steele and Betty Mack. Lobby card from THE PAL FROM TEXAS (Metropolitan, 1939).

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from L-to-R are Bob Steele, Ted Adams and Bud Osborne in Steele's last for Metropolitan and Harry S. Webb, WILD HORSE VALLEY (Metropolitan, 1940).

(From Old Corral collection)

Above - Ted Adams (left) is all tied up in this discussion with Lee Powell in ROLLING DOWN THE GREAT DIVIDE (PRC, 1942), one of the six films in PRC's short lived Frontier Marshal trio series.

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above are the quartet of no-goodniks from the Allan Lane serial DAREDEVILS OF THE WEST (Republic, 1943). From left to right are William Haade, Robert Frazer, Ted Adams and George J. Lewis. Frazer is the brains heavy and Adams is his crooked attorney. Haade and Lewis report to them.

(From Old Corral collection)

Above from left to right are Roy Barcroft, Ted Adams and Allan Lane in STAGECOACH TO DENVER (Republic, 1946), one of the Red Ryder adventures.

(From Old Corral collection)

Above from L-to-R are Ted Adams, Frank Ellis, Shirley Patterson (Shawn Smith) and singin' cowboy Eddie Dean in TUMBLEWEED TRAIL (PRC, 1946).

(From Old Corral collection)

Above - Johnny Mack Brown and Ted Adams wait for the baddies in CODE OF THE SADDLE (Monogram, 1947).

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