Max Showalter

Active - 1949 - 1984  |   Born - Jun 2, 1917 in Caldwell, KS  |   Died - Jul 30, 2000 in Middletown, CT  |   Genres - Comedy, Drama, Romance, Action

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Actor Max Showalter learned his craft at the Pasadena Playhouse. An adroit, quick-witted comic performer, Showalter was one of the earliest participants in the infant medium known as television. He was an ensemble player on 1949's The Swift Show, and that same year was a panelist on the "charades" quiz show Hold It Please. 20th Century-Fox chieftan Darryl F. Zanuck was a fan of Showalter's work; the producer hired Showalter as a Fox featured player, but not before changing his name to the more "box-office" Casey Adams. While there were a few leading roles, notably as Jean Peter's obtuse husband in Niagara (1953), for the most part Showalter/Adams' film career was confined to brief character parts (e.g. Return to Peyton Place [1958] and The Music Man [1962]). While still travelling under the alias of Casey Adams, Showalter appeared in a half-hour pilot film titled It's a Small World (1956); on this one-shot, the actor originated the role of Ward Cleaver, a role that would ultimately be assumed by Hugh Beaumont when Small World matriculated into Leave It to Beaver. Shedding the Casey Adams alias in the mid '60s, Max Showalter remained a busy character player into the '80s, appearing as a regular on the 1980 sitcom The Stockard Channing Show.

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