Film and TV

Heritage to Auction Off Ernie Kovacs and Edie Adams's Collections, Including Some of the Most Iconic Props in TV History

Heritage Auction Gallery, which sits across the street from Unfair Park HQ on Maple Avenue, sends word today that its February Music & Entertainment signature auction will feature The Ernie Kovacs and Edie Adams Estate Archive -- a rather big deal for fans of early TV, not to mention the likes of David Letterman, Saturday Night Live and a host of other entertainers and shows influenced by "Television's Original Genius," who died in an auto accident in 1962. Among the items up for bid February 21 and 22 are ones that could be enshrined in any television museum: Percy Dovetonsils's glasses, the iconic Nairobi Trio masks, his signature cigar commercial boots and hat and assorted props, clothes, awards, drawings, scripts and memorabilia.

And there is, of course, a rather significant local connection to Kovacs and Adams. Local cinephiles no doubt recall that until 2002, the Dallas Video Festival presented a visionaries' award named for Kovacs. As Ed Bark wrote in November 2008, shortly after Edie died of pneumonia and cancer, Adams and son Josh Mills came to Dallas over the years to honor Mystery Science Theater 3000's Joel Hodgson, Terry Gilliam, Robert Smigel, Paul Reubens, Martin Mull, Mike Judge and Slam Bang Theater creator Bill Camfield. The fest stopped giving the award only when it became hard for Adams to travel from Los Angeles to Dallas. And Adams was at the very first fest screening Kovacs's work, much of which hadn't been seen in decades. As fest founder Bart Weiss wrote last October, "Year after year, she came to talk about him, to show us some rare clips never seen before, and to introduce a new generation to the way he used the medium of TV to be funny. Edie, we thank you for all you have done for us here in Dallas. We will miss you."

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky