On the set of a 1974 Oldsmobile television commercial - Adam is on the left.

A native Chicagoan, Adam started acting at age 5, when his father, Richard - a full-time jewelry and sculpture artist and part-time commercial actor and model - brought him to a job set where he was introduced to his father's agent, Shirley Hamilton.

Upon seeing Adam's big blue eyes and Beatles' mop-top, Shirley immediately offered to represent him. His father took some headshots of him, and he began booking work in television commercials almost immediately, earning his SAG and AFTRA cards in 1970. The "acting bug" had definitely bit him. Over the next few years, Adam continued to work steadily in commercials, appearing in several spots for iconic, award winning director - and American Advertising Federation Hall of Fame Inductee - Joe Sedelmaier.

Piven Theater Workshop
L-R: J.B. Letchinger, John Cusack, Adam Bitterman and Amy Galper. Circa 1978

  Piven Theater Workshop L-R: Bernie Beck, John Cusack and Adam Bitterman. Circa 1983

Piven Theater Workshop
L-R: Bernie Beck, John Cusack and Adam Bitterman. Circa 1983


At 9-years-old, Adam began taking acting classes at Evanston's Piven Theater Workshop under the tutelage of Byrne and Joyce Piven (who calls him one of their “shining lights”). He remained at the Workshop for 9 years. He attended and was in the first graduating class of The Chicago Academy for the Arts (at that time known as The Academy - Art, Music, Dance, Theater) where he won the school's "Outstanding Senior" award for the Theatre Department. He enrolled at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts where he studied at the Stella Adler Conservatory of Acting (with Stella), and at The Practical Aesthetics Workshop, studying with David Mamet, William H. Macy, and alongside several acting students who would eventually form The Atlantic Theater Company. During his senior year, Adam spent 6 months in Europe doing a Directing internship at London's Royal Court Theater. He graduated from NYU with his BFA in 1987. 



Following graduation Adam returned to Chicago where he worked on stage, appearing in the Next Theater’s Jefferson Award winning BOUNCERS (with Tracy Letts), in Big Game Theater’s THE SEAGULL and WOMEN AND WATER (both directed by David Cromer) as well as in productions at Lifeline, City Lit and the Organic Theater.

Magazine ad mock-up seen in the EARLY EDITION episode "The Fourth Carpathian."

He also booked his first speaking role in a major motion picture, appearing in David Mamet’s THINGS CHANGE (sharing the screen with both Joe Montagna and the legendary Don Ameche) which filmed in Chicago.

In 1997, Adam moved from Chicago to Los Angeles.  He landed an agent and began booking roles in series such as EARLY EDITION (his first major booking which ironically brought him back to Chicago for filming), BUFFY, THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, SCRUBS and PARTY DOWN among others.  He had recurring roles on the second season of VERONICA MARS, and in the Showtime series LOOK, written and directed by long-time friend (and fellow Academy alum) Adam Rifkin. Other film credits include the film version of Rifkin's LOOK and Rifkin's DENIAL (aka SOMETHING ABOUT SEX); David Mamet's HOMICIDE; and the late Curtis Hanson's LUCKY YOU. Adam is also a voice actor who has been heard in radio commercials, on animated series and in feature films including HOUSE OF WAX (as the “voice” of killer ‘Vincent’), Sylvester Stallone’s D-TOX (aka EYE SEE YOU), and in Gus Van Sant’s Academy Award winning GOOD WILL HUNTING. 

Adam was a founding member of LA’s award winning, critically acclaimed Sacred Fools Theatre Company (est. 1997) where he acted in, directed and/or produced several hit shows.  Currently he serves on their Board of Directors.

Following the sudden death of his father in 2012, Adam and his rescue dog Mugsy moved back to Chicago, where Adam continues to act on stage and screen… and Mugsy wonders what happened to all the nice weather. Since his return, he has booked roles on THE EXORCIST, CHICAGO FIRE, and on an episode of EMPIRE (directed by series creator Lee Daniels) but his scene with Taraji P. Henson was subsequently cut. He appears on stages all over Chicago, and frequently at Redtwist Theater where he recently became a company member. In 2017, Adam earned a Jeff Award Nomination for his performance as 'Mick' in Redtwist's production of THE SEEDBED, and won a Hawk-Chicago Theatre Award for his performance as 'Charley' in Redtwist's DEATH OF A SALESMAN, which also won the award for "Best Production of a Play." Be sure to check out other pages of this website to find out what he's up to now or next!

  On the set of CHICAGO FIRE. Livin' the dream!  Photo Credit: Elizabeth Morris/NBC | 2014 NBCUniversal Media, LLC

On the set of CHICAGO FIRE.
Livin' the dream!

Photo Credit: Elizabeth Morris/NBC | 2014 NBCUniversal Media, LLC