Adam West

Most famous for playing Batman in the 1960 Television show, the American actor Adam West sadly passed away 9 June 2017. Adam West (William West Anderson) was born September 19, 1928 West in Walla Walla, Washington. His father was a farmer; his mother was an opera singer and concert pianist who was forced to abandon her own Hollywood dreams to care for her family. Following her example, West stated to his father as a youth that he intended after school to go to Hollywood. He moved to Seattle when he was 15 with his mother following his parents’ divorce. West attended Walla Walla High School during his freshman and sophomore years, and later enrolled in Lakeside School in Seattle. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in literature and a minor in psychology from Whitman College in Walla Walla, where he was a member of the Gamma Zeta Chapter of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity. He also participated on the speech and debate team. Drafted into the United States Army, he served as an announcer on American Forces Network television. After his discharge, he worked as a milkman before moving to Hawaii to pursue television.

While in Hawaii, West was picked for a role as the sidekick on a children’s show called El Kini Popo Show, which featured a chimp. West later took over as star of the show. In 1959, West moved with his wife and two children to Hollywood, where he took the stage name Adam West. He appeared in the film The Young Philadelphians with Paul Newman, and guest-starred in a number of television Westerns Including Sugarfoot, Colt .45, and Lawman, in which West played the role of Doc Holliday, the frontier dentist and gunfighter. He portrayed Wild Bill Hickok in the episode “Westbound Stage” of the 1960 Western series Overland Trail, with William Bendix and Doug McClure. He guest-starred on the crime drama Johnny Midnight, as police sergeant Steve Nelson and also starred in the crime drama, The Detectives Starring Robert Taylor. He made a few guest appearances on the sitcom, The Real McCoys. In 1961, West appeared as a young, ambitious deputy who foolishly confronts a gunfighter named Clay Jackson, portrayed by Jock Mahoney, in the episode “The Man from Kansas” in the series Laramie and made two guest appearances on Perry Mason in 1961 first as small-town journalist Dan Southern in “The Case of the Barefaced Witness” then as folk singer Pete Norland in “The Case of the Bogus Books”. West starred in the Outer Limits episode “The Invisible Enemy” and made a brief appearance in the film Soldier in the Rain starring Jackie Gleason and Steve McQueen. He also starred as Major Dan McCready, the ill-fated mission commander of ‘Mars Gravity Probe 1’ in the 1964 film Robinson Crusoe on Mars. He also appeared in the comedy Western The Outlaws Is Coming in 1965, the last feature film starring The Three Stooges. He played Christopher Rolf in the episode “Stopover” in The Rifleman,

In 1965 Producer William Dozier cast West as Bruce Wayne and his crime fighting superhero alter ego, Batman, in the television series Batman, which ran from 1966 to 1968; and included afeature-length film version. In his Batman character, West appeared in a public service announcement where he encouraged schoolchildren to heed then-President Lyndon B. Johnson’s call for them to buy U.S. Savings stamps, a children’s version of U.S. Savings bonds, to support the Vietnam War. In 1970, West was offered the role of James Bond by Cubby Broccoli for the film Diamonds Are Forever.

After Batman finished Adam West’s first post-Caped Crusader role was in the film The Girl Who Knew Too Much (1969) as a cynical tough guy named Johnny Cain. West also made personal appearances as Batman. However In 1974, when Ward and Craig reprised their Batman roles for a TV public-service announcement about equal pay for women, West was absent. Instead, Dick Gautier filled in as Batman. He also made a memorable appearance in the Memphis, Tennessee-based United States Wrestling Association to engage in a war of words with Jerry “The King” Lawler while wearing the cowl and a track suit. West subsequently appeared in the theatrical films The Marriage of a Young Stockbrocker (1971), The Curse of the Moon Child (1972), The Specialist (1975), Hooper (as himself; 1978), The Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood (1980) and One Dark Night (1983 and appeared in such television films as The Eyes of Charles Sand (1972), Poor Devil (1973), Nevada Smith (1975), For the Love of It (1980) and I Take These Men (1983). He also did guest shots on the television series Maverick, Diagnosis: Murder, Love, American Style, Bonanza, The Big Valley, Night Gallery, Alias Smith and Jones, Mannix, Emergency!, Alice, Police Woman, Operation Petticoat, The American Girls, Vega$, Big Shamus Little Shamus, Laverne & Shirley, Bewitched, Fantasy Island, The Love Boat, Hart to Hart, Zorro, The King of Queens and George Lopez. West also made several guest appearances as himself on Family Feud and In 1986, West starred in the comedy police series titled The Last Precinct.

West often reprised his role as Batman/Bruce Wayne, first in the short-lived animated series, The New Adventures of Batman, and in other shows such as The Batman/ Tarzan Adventure Hour, Tarzan and the Super 7, Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show, and The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians. In 1979, West once again donned the Batsuit for the live-action TV special Legends of the Superheroes. In 1985, DC Comics named West as one of the honorees in the company’s 50th-anniversary publication Fifty Who Made DC Great for his work on the Batman series. West was considered to play Thomas Wayne in Tim Burton’s Batman. Originally, he wanted to play Batman. So far neither West nor Burt Ward (Robin, from the TV series) has appeared in any of the modern Batman films. West made an appearance in a 1992 episode of Batman: The Animated Series portraying Simon Trent, a washed-up actor who used to play a superhero in a TV series called The Gray Ghost and who now has difficulty finding work.

West later had a recurring role as the voice of Mayor Grange in the WB animated series The Batman. And also voiced as Batman in the animated short film Batman: New Times. He co-starred with Mark Hamill, who vocally portrayed The Joker and had originally played the role on Batman: The Animated Series. West also voiced Thomas Wayne, Bruce Wayne’s father, in an episode of the cartoon series Batman: The Brave and the Bold. He also voiced Batman’s prototype robot “Protobot”. West appeared as himself in the film Drop Dead Gorgeous and in several TV series, including NewsRadio, Murphy Brown, The Adventures of Pete and Pete, The Ben Stiller Show, and The Drew Carey Sho He also portrayed “Dr. Wayne” in the 1990 Zorro episode “The Wizard”. In 1991, he starred in the pilot episode of Lookwell, playing a has-been TV action hero who falsely believes he can solve mysteries in real life. In 1994, West played a non-comedic role as the father of Peter Weller’s character in The New Age. He played a washed-up superhero named Galloping Gazelle in the Goosebumps TV series episode “Attack of the Mutant”. In 1994, West, with Jeff Rovin, wrote his autobiography, Back to the Batcave and also appeared as a guest in the animated talk show Space Ghost Coast to Coast in an episode titled “Batmantis”, where he displayed his book. That episode was essentially a parody to his Batman TV series, where Zorak dressed himself as “Batmantis”, a praying mantis version of Batman.

In 1996, Adam West appeared in video cut scenes of the “Chaos Mystery” in the gambling simulation game Golden Nugget. In 2001, he played the super-villain Breathtaker in the TV series Black Scorpion. In 2003, West and Burt Ward starred in the TV movie Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt, alongside Frank Gorshin, Julie Newmar, and Lee Meriwether. In 2005, West appeared in the show The King of Queens. West appears in the 2006 video for California band STEFY’s song “Chelsea” as “Judge Adam West”, presiding over the courtroom scene. In 2007, Adam West played an attorney for Benny on the show George Lopez, and starred as “The Boss” in the movie comedy Sexina: Popstar PI. In 2009, West played himself in the episode “Apollo, Apollo” of 30 Rock. In 2010, a Golden Palm Star was dedicated to him on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars And West also received the 2,468th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, located at 6764 Hollywood Boulevard in front of the Guinness Museum in Hollywood, California. He appeared in Pioneers of Television in the episode “Superheroes” and was the subject of the documentary Starring Adam West.West is among the interview subjects in Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle, a three-hour documentary narrated by Liev Schreiber.

West has also done voice-over work for many cartoons including the American cartoon series Futurama (10.9, and American Dad and voiced himself, and the 1960s version of Batman, in the video game Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham. In 2016, West guest-starred as himself on the 200th episode of The Big Bang Theory. West has also voiced The Simpsons, Futurama, Rugrats, The Critic, Histeria!, Kim Possible, Johnny Bravo, and even in an episode of Batman: The Animated Series called “Beware the Gray Ghost”, and has appeared onThe Fairly OddParents numerous timeS. Since 2000, West has made regular appearances on the animated series Family Guy, portraying Mayor Adam West, the lunatic mayor of Quahog, Rhode Island. He portrayed Uncle Art in the Disney Animation film Meet the Robinsons, and voicing the young Mermaid Man (along with Burt Ward, who voiced the young Barnacle Boy) in The SpongeBob SquarePants episode “Back to the Past” asThe Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy characters are sea parodies of both Batman and Robin, respectively.West also voiced General Carrington in the video game XIII, and has voiced other video games such as Marc Ecko’s Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure, Chicken Little: Ace in Action, Scooby Doo! Unmasked, and Goosebumps: Attack of the Mutant.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s