1966 Batman Pages

A tribute to the classic 66-68 Batman TV series & movie

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Robin (Burt Ward)

Robin is an 15 year old American teenager who attends Woodrow Roosevelt High School, his true identity is Richard (Dick) Grayson who is Batman’s aid in crimefighting. Dick Grayson is the ward of Bruce Wayne where they live together in Wayne Manor, with Aunt Harriet and Alfred the butler. Robin is unable to drive the bat-mobile until season three when he receives his driving license. Robin is most known by his “holy” phrases.

The background to Robin was not explained during the TV series. In the comic books Dick was the youngest in his family of acrobats, they called themselves the “Flying Graysons”. Unfortunately Dick watched his parents being killed by a mafia boss who was trying to take money from the circus which the “Flying Graysons” worked for. Bruce Wayne AKA Batman takes Dick Grayson in as his ward.

Burt Ward

“I was studying acting at UCLA where I was going to college and I was trying out for acting parts and I sold a house to a producer who sent me to an agent and the agent sent me out for the part (Robin) and its the first thing I really tried out for so I guess I was very lucky.”

“In the first show I was hurt 5 times and in fact on the first day I was almost killed. I said to Adam that if it keeps up like this I wouldn’t make it to the second show. They had all kinds of explosion’s. I remember Adam breaking through the wall of a subway station to get to me, and I was tied up on the Riddler’s thing. The guys were supposed to make a break way set and of course in their infinite wisdom they didn’t, so what they did is instead of using a fake type magnesium explosion, they used real dynamite and nearly blew down the sound stage.”

Trivia

When asked to give a speech at Harvard about his role on Batman, he brought the original costume, said to be valued at half a million dollars. Some students came up to him dressed as security guards and told him they would keep the costume safe. Then in the middle of the speech, one student stood up and asked, “When is a costume not a costume? When it’s stolen.” The lights dimmed and the students grabbed the costume and made off. After snapping pictures with one another in the cape, they later called Ward and gave the costume back. The ringleader of the gang? Harvard Lampoon editor, Conan O’Brien.

William Dozier (Producer) – “The boy hadn’t been in anything before. But the moment he walked into my office I knew he was Robin because he had that ‘gee-wizz Mr Dozier’ attitude right off the bat, which could not be duplicated!”.

Here are some facts/snippets of info I have gathered through the years.

  • Batman was the first programme Burt Ward starred in!
  • Burt Ward would have to do many of the stunts as his stunt double looked nothing like him, he was middle aged with a completely different build
  • In his school exams, Burt scored at the top 3% in the country in mathematics and science.
  • Burt was 19 when he got the role of Robin – in fact he didn’t realise he got the role until the day he was asked to sign the contract. An agency got him the interview and he assumed when called in he was signing a contract to get more auditions from the agency, in actual fact it was a Fox contract signing. Both parties had assumed they had already offered Burt the role, so he was cast as Robin initially without even knowing.
  • Burt is a black belt in karate.
  • Burt was paid around $355 per week during the first season of Batman.
  • He met his second wife on the set of Batman. The season two moll┬áCornelia played by Kathy Kersh.
  • When he begun travelling to work on his motorcycle, Fox took out a three million dollar insurance policy
  • The Robin costume was very tight – too tight for the Catholic churches in particular in the U.S at the time who would write in to complain about being able to see Burt’s ‘manhood’ through the tights. Initially Burt was given pills to shrink the size however, stopped only after a few days as worried it would decrease chances of having children

Alan Napier (Actor who played Alfred) – “I understand why Burt Ward was cast. He was 21 but sounded like he was 15. I remember a time where we was doing some soundtrack dubbing, which he had to do several times and complained that he was loosing his voice. So I said to him, ‘After all this nonsense is over, I will teach you to talk and perhaps even act!’ He replied, ‘GEE, am I that awful?’. Burt was a nice boy really”.

Burt Ward “After They Were Famous” Interview