The House Where Nick Adams DiedOct 19th, 2012 | By Lindsay | Category: Celebrity Homes
As I have mentioned a few times over the past couple of months, fellow stalker E.J., from The Movieland Directory website, recently published an e-book about Old Hollywood titled Unscripted: Hollywood Back-Stories, Volume 1 (which you can purchase on Nook here and on Kindle here). The book, which I devoured in less than a day, features countless historical locations, one of which – the Beverly Hills house where Rebel-Without-a-Cause actor Nick Adams was found dead in 1968 under “mysterious and still-unexplained” circumstances – I thought would be perfect for my Haunted Hollywood postings. So I dragged the Grim Cheaper right on over there just a few days later.
While I have never actually seen Rebel Without a Cause (I know, I know – and I call myself a stalker!), Unscripted features an entire chapter dedicated to the flick and the premature death of four of its young stars. [James Dean passed away in a car crash on September 30th, 1955 at the age of 24. Sal Mineo was stabbed to death in 1976 at age 37 in what appeared to be a robbery gone wrong. Natalie Wood famously drowned off the island of Catalina at the age of 41 in 1981. (You can read my blog posts on the hotel where she stayed the night before her death here and the restaurant where she ate one of her last meals here.) And Nick Adams was found dead of an apparent drug overdose on February 7th, 1968. He was 36.] When I read the sentence, “In a bizarre coincidence, each would die tragically, at a rate of one per decade, before and after the film’s October 27, 1955 release”, I was immediately intrigued and decided that I just had to stalk Adams’ then home.
At the time of his death, Adams, who was going through a divorce, had just returned from Rome after his latest movie, Murder in the Third Dimension, had been scrapped shortly before production was set to begin. Upon arriving in Los Angeles, Nick rented a two-story, three-bedroom, two-bath, 1,810-square-foot Cape Cod-style residence in the Trousdale Estates area of Beverly Hills. As the story goes, he was supposed to have dinner with his divorce lawyer, former L.A.P.D. officer Ervin “Tip” Roeder, on the night of February 7th, 1968. When Nick failed to show up at the restaurant, Roeder headed over to the 1957-era house to check on him. And while Roeder did not notice anything amiss, when no one answered his many knocks at the door, he headed to the back of the property, forced open a window and ventured upstairs, where he found Nick, fully clothed, sitting on the floor next to his bed, his eyes staring blankly ahead. The actor was dead at 36. You can see a photograph of Adams being removed from his home on the Find a Death website here.
The coroner, Dr. Thomas Noguchi, who also performed the autopsies of Marilyn Monroe, Robert F. Kennedy, Sharon Tate, and (coincidentally) Natalie Wood, found a lethal combination of paraldehyde (an anticonvulsant) and Promazine (an antipsychotic) in Adams’ system, which he believed would have killed the actor instantly. His death was ruled an accidental suicide, even though, according to several sources, including John Austin’s 1970 book Hollywood’s Unsolved Mysteries and Ken Schessler’s 1997 book This is Hollywood, no pill bottles or syringes were found in the home. Of the death, Schessler says, “To this day, police are still puzzled as to how the drugs had entered his system, as no means of ingestation were ever found near his body.” It appears that someone’s wires got crossed somewhere along the way, though, because according to the February 8th, 1968 edition of the Los Angeles Times, “a number of stoppered bottles containing prescription drugs were in a medicine cabinet.” Either way, the truth of Adams’ death seems to have been buried along with the young actor and the circumstances surrounding it the fodder of stalkers like me ever since.
Big THANK YOU to E.J., from The Movieland Directory website, for informing me of this location!
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: The house where Nick Adams died is located at 2126 El Roble Lane in Beverly Hills.