Quick Facts Phillip Adams

  • NamePhillip Adams
  • Birth NamePhillip Andrew Hedley Adams
  • NationalityAmerican
  • Birth PlaceMelbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • ProfessionProducer, Actor, Writer
  • Net Worth$1.9 Million
  • MarriedYes
  • Married toRosemary Fawcett
  • Nick NamePhillip Adams, Adams, Phillip, Phillip Andrew Hedley Adams

Philip Adams is an Australian humanist, public intellectual, social commentator and broadcaster. He is also a farmer. He is mainly known to host an ABC Radio National program and Late Night Live. He is a weekly columnist for The Australian.  He has successful careers in advertising and film production.


Philip Adams was born on 12 July 1939 in Maryborough, Victoria. He is the only child of Congregational Church minister, the Reverend Charles Adams. When he was young, his parents separated. Before he completed his secondary education he was forced to leave school. He then started working in advertising. When he was 16 years old, he joined the Communist Party and left it at the age of 19. He follows Roman Catholicism.

He began his advertising career with Foote Cone & Belding. He later became a partner in the agency Monahan Dayman Adams with Lyle Dayman and Brian Monahan. The company was lead to the stairs of success by him and his mates. Adam then became a millionaire. He has developed many successful campaigns which include Guess, Slip, Slop, Slap, Life. Be in it. and Break  down the Barriers. He worked with talent artists such as Robyn Archer, Alex Stitt, Mimmo Cozzolino, Fred Schepisi and Peter Best. In the late 1980s, he left the advertising industry. In 1987, the agency Monahan Dayman Adams purchased the successful Sydney agency MoJo and carried on as MojoMDA. He also regularly wrote a column for The Bulletin and The Age. He currently writes a weekly column for The Australian.


During the 1970s, he had a key role in the improvement of the Australian film industry. He became a motivating force behind the Australian Film Television and Radio School with Barry Jones. It was established under the Whitlam government. He had an important role in the development of the South Australian Film Corporation. The corporation was created in 1972 and since then it became a model for similar bodies in other Australian states.

He also became the head of the Cannes Film Festival. As a head, he signed Australian’s first co-production agreements with the UK and France. He also became the chairman of the Australian Film Institute, the Australian Film Commission, the Film and Television Board of the Australia Council and Film Australia. In 1960, he became the co-producer of the film The Adventures of Barry McKenzie which was directed by Bruce Beresford. The film became the most successful Australian film in Australia.

During the late 1980s, he presented a late-night program on Sydney commercial radio station 2UE. He was also the foundation chairman of the Commission for the Future which was established by the Hawke government. The foundation was established to build bridges between science and the community. He also became the chairman of the National Australia Day Council. He also chaired the Advisory Board for the Centre of the Mind. He became co-founder of the Australian Skeptics. He is the author of more than 20 books. Some of his popular books are The Penguin Book of Australian Jokes, Emperors of the Air, The Unspeakable Adams, Retreat from Tolerance and Adams Versus God.


Phillip is married to Patrice Newell. His first wife’s name is Rosemary Fawcett. With her, he has four daughters.