Ken Adam


Production Designer

About

Also Known As
Sir Ken Adam, Klaus Adam
Birth Place
Berlin, DE
Born
February 05, 1921

Biography

Acclaimed art director Adam helped to define the 1960s and 70s look of the spy thriller with the James Bond films ("Goldfinger" 1964, "You Only Live Twice" 1967, "The Spy Who Loved Me" 1977). Born in Berlin in 1921, he immigrated to England in the mid-30s and served as the only German-born fighter pilot in the Royal Air Force during World War II. Adam entered films in the late 40s and, i...

Family & Companions

Maria Letizia
Wife
Art director. Married on August 16, 1952.

Biography

Acclaimed art director Adam helped to define the 1960s and 70s look of the spy thriller with the James Bond films ("Goldfinger" 1964, "You Only Live Twice" 1967, "The Spy Who Loved Me" 1977). Born in Berlin in 1921, he immigrated to England in the mid-30s and served as the only German-born fighter pilot in the Royal Air Force during World War II. Adam entered films in the late 40s and, in addition to the Bond films, worked as art director on a number of critically-praised features including "Around the World in Eighty Days" (1956), Stanley Kubrick's "Dr. Strangelove" (1963) and "Barry Lyndon" (1975), Herbert Ross' "Pennies From Heaven" (1980), "Crimes of the Heart" (1986), "Addams Family Values" (1993) and "The Madness of King George" (1995).

Filmography

 

Producer (Feature Film)

Pennies From Heaven (1981)
Associate Producer

Art Director (Feature Film)

Moonraker (1979)
Art Director
Sleuth (1972)
Production Design
Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
Production Design
Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969)
Production Design
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)
Production Design
You Only Live Twice (1967)
Production Design
Funeral in Berlin (1966)
Production Design
The Ipcress File (1965)
Production Design
Thunderball (1965)
Production Design
Goldfinger (1964)
Production Design
Woman of Straw (1964)
Production Design
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
Production Design
Sodom and Gomorrah (1963)
Art Director
In the Cool of the Day (1963)
Production Design
Dr. No (1963)
Production Design
Portrait of a Sinner (1961)
Art Director
Ten Seconds to Hell (1959)
Production Design
Gideon of Scotland Yard (1959)
Art Director
The Angry Hills (1959)
Production Design
Web Of Evidence (1959)
Art Direction
Spin a Dark Web (1957)
Art Director
Curse of the Demon (1957)
Production Design
Helen of Troy (1956)
Assistant art Director
Child in the House (1956)
Art Direction
The Intruder (1955)
Art Direction Assistant
The Crimson Pirate (1952)
Associate art Director
Eye Witness (1950)
Assistant Art Director
Obsession (1949)
Art Direction Assistant

Art Department (Feature Film)

The Owl and the Pussycat (1970)
Dsgn Supervisor

Production Designer (Feature Film)

Taking Sides (2002)
Production Designer
The Out of Towners (1999)
Production Designer
In & Out (1997)
Production Designer
Bogus (1996)
Production Designer
Boys on the Side (1995)
Production Designer
The Madness Of King George (1994)
Production Designer
Addams Family Values (1993)
Production Designer
Undercover Blues (1993)
Production Designer
Company Business (1991)
Production Designer
The Doctor (1991)
Production Designer
The Freshman (1990)
Production Designer
Dead Bang (1989)
Production Designer
The Deceivers (1988)
Production Designer
Crimes Of The Heart (1986)
Production Designer
Agnes Of God (1985)
Production Designer
King David (1985)
Production Designer
Moonraker (1979)
Production Designer
The Spy who Loved Me (1977)
Production Designer
The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (1976)
Production Designer
Barry Lyndon (1975)
Production Designer
Madam Kitty (1975)
Production Designer
The Last Of Sheila (1973)
Production Designer
In the Nick (1960)
Production Designer
The Trials Of Oscar Wilde (1960)
Production Designer
Let's Get Married (1960)
Production Designer
The Hazards of Helen (1915)
Production Designer

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

Pennies From Heaven (1981)
Visual Consultant
The Queen of Spades (1948)
Other

Cast (Special)

Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures (2001)

Life Events

1934

Immigrated to England

1941

Served in RAF; only German (native-born) fighter pilot with British troops

1956

First film as art director, "Soho Incident/Spin a Dark Web"

1964

Earned notice for his designs of Stanley Kubrick's "Dr, Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb"

Videos

Movie Clip

Thunderball (1965) - Do I Seem Healthy? Perhaps the only scene in which Bond (Sean Connery) ever shouts "Help!", strapped to a traction table by the irritable Patricia (Molly Peters) in Thunderball, 1965.
Dr. Strangelove (1964) - Doomsday Machine President Muffley (Peter Sellers) asks Ambassador de Sadesky (Peter Bull) why the Soviets would build a "Doomsday Machine," leading to the first appearance of the title character (also Sellers), in the war room during the nuclear crisis, in Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb, 1964.
Dr. Strangelove (1964) - Wing Attack Plan R Major "King" Kong (Slim Pickens) on his strategic bomber gets word from radio-man Goldberg (Paul Tamarin) of unexpected orders, Lt. Zogg (James Earl Jones) voicing the crews' concerns, in Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb, 1964.
Dr. Strangelove (1964) - It Is My Clear Duty Director Stanley Kubrick executes this exchange mostly in one take, Lieutenant Mandrake (Peter Sellers) confronting General Ripper (Sterling Hayden) about clear evidence that there's not a war on, in Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb, 1964.
Woman Of Straw (1964) - I Want A Pretty Nurse Wealthy grouch Charles Richmond (Ralph Richardson), slick nephew Anthony (Sean Connery) and their attitudes are introduced in the opening sequence from director Basil Dearden's Woman Of Straw, 1964, from the Catherine Arley novel, shooting at Audley End House, Saffron Walden, Essex, UK.
Woman of Straw (1964) - To Find A Better Life? We don't quite know it yet but crafty Tony (Sean Connery) is considering whether to bring the sexy new Italian nurse Maria (Gina Lollobrigida), who intended to quit, into a plot against his rich uncle, in Woman of Straw, 1964, directed by Basil Dearden.
Woman of Straw (1964) - Are You Free Of Me? After his wealthy uncle’s outrageous behavior on his yacht caused her to abandon their plot to fleece him and disembark in a Spanish port, vengeful Anthony (Sean Connery) pursues Italian nurse Maria (Gina Lollobrigida, dressed by Dior) and acts rather badly himself, in Basil Dearden’s biting drama from the Catherine Arley novel, Woman Of Straw, 1964.
Woman Of Straw (1964) - A Gross, Clumsy, Vulgar Oaf Shooting on a yacht off Mallorca, now plotting with his nephew (Sean Connery as Anthony) to marry Richmond (Ralph Richardson) for his money, nurse Maria (Gina Lollobrigida) discusses Anthony’s mother, whom Richmond married after driving his brother, Anthony’s father, to suicide, with each of them, in Woman Of Straw, 1964.
Spy Who Loved Me, The (1977) - We All Make Mistakes, Mr. Bond In Egypt, cooperating in chasing the microfilm snatched by “Jaws” (Richard Kiel), though it’s not clear why he’s posing as a phone repair man, or why he’s gone back to the archeological site, Bond (Roger Moore) and Soviet Major Asamova (a.k.a. Agent XXX, Barbara Bach, born Goldbach, in Queens, NY, deploying her universally convincing accent), still in evening garb, have some trouble getting away, in The Spy Who Loved Me, 1977.
Moonraker (1979) - The Chicken Switch Roger Moore (as James Bond, in his fourth appearance, in the eleventh 007 feature) has just met dishy Dr. Goodhead (Lois Chiles) at the California space research facility (run by the emerging villain Drax), encouraged to try out the centrifuge-thing, the silent henchman Chang (Toshirô Suga) interfering, in Moonraker, 1979.
Moonraker (1979) - Such Good Sport At what’s supposed to be his French-styled estate transported to California, but is in fact Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte, Seine-et-Marne, France, space-entrepreneur villain Drax (Michael Lonsdale) keeps up the appearance of cooperation with Bond (Roger Moore) with a pheasant hunt, in Moonraker, 1979.
Spy Who Loved Me, The (1977) - I'll Assign Our Best Agent Before the credits and even before the action opening, after a British submarine seems to vanish, the Russians get similar news (via Walter Gotell as Gen. Gogol)and activate Agent XXX (with a twist, Barbara Bach) and the Brits (via M and Moneypenny, Bernard Lee and Lois Maxwell) summon Bond (Roger Moore), in The Spy Who Loved Me, 1977.

Trailer

Dr. Strangelove - (Original Trailer) Peter Sellers is an RAF officer, the President and the title character, all facing the end of the world in Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove (1964).
Barry Lyndon - (Original Trailer) An Irish rogue (Ryan O'Neal) cheats his way to the top of 18th-century British society in Stanley Kubrick's lush adaptation of the Thackeray novel Barry Lyndon (1975).
Last of Sheila, The - (Original Trailer) The Last of Sheila (1973), an all-star whodunit written by Stephen Sondheim and Anthony Perkins.
Angry Hills, The - (Original Trailer) A World War II correspondent fights to get strategic information out of occupied Greece. Starring Robert Mitchum.
Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969) - (Original Trailer) A conservative boys' schoolteacher (Peter O'Toole) falls in love with an actress (Petulia Clark) in a musical remake of Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969).
Seven-Per-Cent Solution, The - (Original Trailer) Sherlock Holmes encounters Sigmund Freud and the two become involved in a case in the imaginative pastiche The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (1976).
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang - (Original Trailer) An eccentric inventor uses his flying car to free a kingdom of children from oppression in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) starring Dick Van Dyke.
Ipcress File, The - (Original Trailer) Michael Caine brought a touch of realism to the James Bond world playing bespectacled British secret agent Harry Palmer in The Ipcress File (1965).
In The Cool Of The Day - (Original Trailer) The efforts of a man (Peter Finch) to save his friend's marriage lead to infidelity In The Cool Of The Day (1963).
Helen of Troy - (Original Trailer) A shipwrecked Trojan's love for a married Greek queen sparks the Trojan War in Helen of Troy (1956).
Crimson Pirate, The - (Original Trailer) Burt Lancaster is The Crimson Pirate (1952) who gets mixed up in a Caribbean revolution.

Family

Fritz Adam
Father
Businessman. Died in London in the 1940s.
Lilli Adam
Mother
Ran a boarding house.

Companions

Maria Letizia
Wife
Art director. Married on August 16, 1952.

Bibliography