Mason Adams, whose distinctive voice became familiar to millions before he gained fame for the “Mary Tyler Moore” spin-off “Lou Grant,” died Tuesday at the age of 86.

The Emmy-nominated actor, who also voiced numerous radio roles and commercials, died of natural causes in his Manhattan home, report news sources.

Adams was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Feb. 26, 1919. He received a master’s degree in Theater Arts and Speech from the University of Wisconsin and later taught at New York’s Neighborhood Playhouse.

Although he had what one colleague described as a “non-actor’s face,” Adams used his gravelly, friendly voice to advantage. He began working in radio in the 1940s, playing the title role in the soap opera “Pepper Young’s Family.” He was also heard on the “Batman” serials, “Golden Age,” on the “CBS Mystery Theater” series and as the nefarious Atom Man on the “Superman” serials.

He finally gained recognition as Charlie Hume on CBS’ “Lou Grant” sitcom, earning three consecutive Emmy nominations beginning in 1979.

Adams continued to do voice work and can still be heard as the pitchman in Cadbury Eggs and Smuckers commercials, the latter which always concluded with the tagline: “With a name like Smuckers, it’s got to be good.”

His film work includes parts in “F/X,” “Son in Law” and “Houseguest.” During his later years, he continued to act on stage, with one of his final roles in Arthur Miller’s “The Man Who Had All the Luck” in 2002.


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