The Mysterious Death of Nick Adams

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Nick Adams

He was born Nicholas Adamchock, in Nanticoke, PA. He was in “Rebel Without aCause,” and numerous other films, but he’s probably best known for his role in thetelevision show, “The Rebel” 1959 – 1961. He had a troubled life, which includedseparating from his wife (but retaining custody of his 2 children), and a seriouslystalled career by the time 1968 came around.

On the night of Feb 7, 1968, Nick was supposed to have dinner with Erwin Roeder, hislawyer and friend. Nick never showed up. Adams was known for his punctuality, so Roederdecided to check the actor’s home himself. He drove to El Roble Lane, and went toNick’s house, at number 2126. When he arrived at Nick’shouse, he found  Nick’s car in the garage, but no sign of life in the house.Roeder broke a window and discovered Nick dead in his bedroom (one of these rooms, probably),propped against a wall, his eyes open in a blank stare. He was wearing blue jeans,a shirt,and boots. A working telephone was less than two feet away. friend Lisa Burks sends us this picture of Nickbeing removed from his house.  Thank you, Lisa.

Dr. Thomas Noguchi performed the autopsy and foundparaldehyde “in the organs, mixed with sedatives and other drugs – enough to causeinstant unconsciousness.” This is a drug to battle alcoholism, but Nick was not aknown drinker. No prescription bottle was found, and no needle mark could be found on him.It’s still considered a mystery, and officially it was listed as “accidentalsuicide.” friend HBobbie sends us this: HeyScott. Regarding the paraldehyde found in Nick Adams’system: This is not the drug used to combat alcoholism, it’s a nervous system depressant similar to alcohol init’s effects, and used as a sedative. A colorless flammable liquid with a disagreeable odor, paraldehyde produces sleep for up to 12hrs. with little or no muscle, heart, or respiratory depression. It is often given to alcoholics having deliriumtremens to induce sleep, and is also used to calm psychiatric patients. Paraldehyde is also used in themanufacturing of synthetic resins as a preservative, and in preparingleather. Yummy, huh? Most likely he took it for the high.

Nick Adams’ body was taken back to his birth state of Pennsylvania, and is buried inSS. Cyril and Methodius Cemetery, in the city of Berwick. Thanks, Lare.

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Trivia: Nick was good pals with James Dean, and once had an affair with Natalie Wood.This guy kept good company.

More: In 1963, he spent over $8000 dollars to advertise in hopes of winning an AcademyAward nomination for his role in Twilight of Honor. He succeeded in receivingthe nomination, but lost the Oscar to Melvyn Douglas. friend Patty sends thisin: “Did you know that he dubbed the lines in Giant for James Dean? Dean played the part in the hotel too drunk and they couldn’t use it, and since he was already dead,Nick Adams was used to dub in his lines.”  Thanks for the info Patty,and send my love to all the folks at work!

Check out this great website about Nick, HERE.

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