Tony winner Edie Adams dies

Played Daisy Mae on Broadway

Actress and singer Edie Adams, the blond beauty who won a Tony Award for bringing Daisy Mae to life on Broadway and played television foil to husband Ernie Kovacs, has died. She was 81.

Publicist Henri Bollinger said Adams died in Los Angeles on Wednesday of cancer and pneumonia.

Adams was a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music and hoped to become an opera singer. Instead, she gained fame for her sketches with Kovacs and her pivotal roles in Broadway musicals. She also had a long stage and film career.

Adams also was known as the sexy spokeswoman for Muriel cigars in the 1950s and 1960s. In TV ads, she famously purred: "Why don't you pick one up and smoke it sometime?"

Adams is survived by a son, Joshua Mills.