Joe Adams
Developed for televison by Blake Edwards (1922-2010)

No, Mr. Lucky wasn't a private eye show, though it bore more than a passing resemblance to Peter Gunn, right down to the same creative team, a snappy Henry Mancini theme and a good looking suave guy in the lead.

And whether he liked it or not, trouble was often Mr. Lucky's business.

JOE ADAMS was a professional gambler who earned his nickname when he won a swank gambling ship, the Fortuna, and made it his home. Forced to stay beyond the 12-mile limit, Mr. Lucky nonetheless took no chances. He also swung a deal with the L.A. cops, agreeing to passing along info gathered during business operations to keep them off his back. Good thing, too, because, besides a steady stream of customers, he also attracted more than his share of trouble. It also may have marked the first time a television show owed so much of its premise to police corruption.

Fortunately, Mr. Lucky had his right hand man, Andamo, a clever master of disguise, to help him keep on the sunny side of trouble. Andamo was played by Ross Martin who went on to play a very similar character, Artemus Gordon, in The Wild, Wild West. Rounding out the cast were Tom Brown as Lucky's L.A.P.D. pal Lieutenant Rovacs, Jed Scott as the ship's maitre d', and Pippa Scott as Lucky's long-suffering girlfriend Maggie Shank.

The show developed a loyal following, but halfway through its first season, the sponsors, Lever Brothers, felt a change in image was called for. Mr' Lucky's slightly shady occupation as a gambler was scrapped, and he became a restaurant owner. The change didn't sit well with fans, and the show's ratings dropped. It wasn't renewed for a second season.

The series was actually based on a 1943 film of the same name, starring Cary Grant, the epitome of the good looking suave guy, as the owner of the boat with the illegal casino. Laraine Day co-starred. But once Edwards got through with it, the entire premise had been retooled.

The Mancini theme and score spawned two successful soundtrack albums, The Music from Mr. Lucky and Mr. Lucky Goes Latin.

UNDER OATH

  • "The most excellent theme was another sleek, warm, sophisticated melody, instantly recognisable as a Mancini piece. The theme--Hammond organ & orchestra--was and is still lovely."
    -- Michael Price, Vancouver, Canada
    .
  • "I loved Mr. Lucky as a child, I wanted to be a professional gambler with his own gambling ship. I can still hear that theme in my head with every swell, especially at the end.
    --Bob Cox

TELEVISION

  • MR. LUCKY)..Buy this DVD set
    (1959-60, CBS)
    Based (loosely) on the 1943 movie of the same name
    Adapted by Blake Edwards, Gordon Oliver and Jack Arnold
    Writer: Blake Edwards
    Directors: Blake Edwards, Jack Arnold, Lamont Johnson, Boris Sagal, Alan Crosland Jr.
    Producers: Gordon Oliver, Jack Arnold
    A Spartan Production
    Starring John Vivyan as JOE ADAMS (AKA MR. LUCKY)
    and Ross Martin as Andamos
    Also starring
    Tom Brown, Pippa Scott, Joe Scott
    Gurst stars: Nehemiah Persoff, Gavin MacLeod, Yvonne Craig, Jack Elam, Jackie Coogan, Yvette Mimieux

Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.


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