Batman is Bruce Wayne, as a teenager Bruce saw his parents being murdered and vowed to avenge their deaths by bringing the criminals to justice. Bruce is a multi-millionaire who has used his money and influence to train himself in criminology, to create crime-fighting tools, costumes and vehicles. One night Bruce Wayne was startled by a bat outside his window and decided to dress himself as a bat man to frighten cowardly and superstitious hearts of criminals. From that moment, Bruce became Batman. Unlike other heroes Batman has no super powers, in his own words; ‘a duly deputised agent of the law’, with a secret identity to avenge his parents murder and claim peace in Gotham City.
Bruce Wayne is an ordinary human being who adopts the form of a human ‘bat’ to conceal his true identity while he terrorises evil-doers. He can’t fly, and he doesn’t have magic powers – and his only extraordinary attributes are his vast personal fortune, his strength and agility, and his keen skills of detection.
Adam West was born in Wala Wala Washington in 1928. He was actually born as William West Anderson but changed his name to the more dynamic Adam West in 1957. Before Adam landed in Hollywood he was a disc jockey in Hawaii and a radio presenter for the programe “The Kini Popo Show”. When Adam landed in Hollywood in 1957 he enjoyed fame in the show “The Detectives” just before he played Batman.
When Adam was asked to consider the role as Batman he replied; “are you serious, I am trying to have a serious career”. Nethertheless, he auditioned for the show, was filmed in the screen test and chosen for the role as Batman, which later became his signature role.
When asked in an interview in 1966 about the production of the show, Adam said; “The demands are so inordinate that I must get away from it all every weekend at the beach. I’m not Superman. I’m just a Batman. How long will I stay with the show? As long as the quality level and the kooky aspects are maintained. Batman is a projection of James Bond, only more far out. It’s a craze-wave phenomenon. It’s hard work. I’m earning my money. We shoot every day, except weekends. I work from 7 in the morning to as late as 12 at night. The show you saw last night, was rushed by jet to New York with the print still wet. We will not have the regular summer hiatus. We have to get some shows behind us. The things I have to do…. Today I’m working in a chimney full of gas!”
“Adam was so proud of being Batman. He was in such demand and was always going off to some place to appear in arenas or football coliseums and everything. Coming out in his Batman outfit and all and he loved every minute of it” – Cesar Romero (Joker)
“An agent came in and showed me an 8 by 10 of a guy with a surf board. He said what do you think of this feller? I said who is he? And he said his name is Adam West.” – William Dozier
Adam West is the only actor to play Batman who actually is the same height at Batman according to the comic books.
However, after his huge success as Batman, Adam was heavily type cast and found it difficult to find roles elsewhere. Which led to drink problems and ruined his first marriage.
Thankfully, since his marriage to Marcelle Tagand Lear in 1972, Adam’s life turned around, since then he has accepted that he is Batman and has done several projects/apperences as Batman since. In 1994 he published his autobiography entitled “Back to the Batcave”.
During the 1970s/1980s in particular he made several guest appearances on various TV series such as; Murder She Wrote, Maverick, Fantasy Island and Diagnosis Murder.
At the end of his career he was better known for his voiceover work, most notable as Mayor Adam West in the popular ‘Family Guy’ series.
“Batman broke hot, it broke very big and naturally that’s a wonderful thing to a be part of.” – Adam West
Adam West – “We had regulars who were skilled at ensemble playing and I considered myself to be the anchorman. I tried to put everyone at ease, and provide an appropriate perspective about what the show was supposed to be. I thought Burt Ward was beautifully cast but we came from different backgrounds, and from different generations. We never spent much time together socially. Burt was very young when we started filming the show. He must have been extremely insecure because it was his first acting role. Working long hours so closely with someone, you need to protect the limited amount of free time you have left. I am sure Burt did not want to see my face around during his free time either.”
William D’Angelo (producer of various episodes) – “Adam West never learned a line. We had to get him a Teleprompter which was hysterical. Because we had guys like Burgess Meredith (Penguin) come in who knew every word. Even Tallulah Bankhead (Blackwidow) in her dying days remembered every word…. If you look closely at any of the episodes, look at his close-ups and you will see him under the cowl reading left to right.”