Adam West (Batman)

Most famous for playing Batman in the 1960 Television show, the American actor Adam West 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.

Adam 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. Adam West sadly passed away 9 June 2017 However he leaves an enduring legacy behind.

Batman Day

Batman day takes place annually on 17 September to celebrate fictional crime fighting hero Batman. Batman was created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger, and first appeared in Detective Comics #27, on 17 September 1939. Originally named the “Bat-Man”, the character is also referred to by such epithets as the Caped Crusader, the Dark Knight, and the World’s Greatest Detective. Batman’s secret identity is Bruce Wayne, a wealthy American playboy, philanthropist, and owner of Wayne Enterprises. After witnessing the murder of his parents Dr. Thomas Wayne and Martha Wayne as a child, he swore vengeance against criminals, an oath tempered by a sense of justice. Bruce Wayne trains himself physically and intellectually and crafts a bat-inspired persona to fight crime. Batman operates in the fictional Gotham City with assistance from various supporting characters, including his butler Alfred, police commissioner Gordon, and vigilante allies such as Robin. Unlike most superheroes, Batman does not possess any superpowers; rather, he relies on his genius intellect, physical prowess, martial arts abilities, detective skills, science and technology, vast wealth, intimidation, and indomitable will. A large assortment of villains make up Batman’s rogues gallery, including his archnemy, the Joker.

Batman was created In 1939, when, after the success of Superman in Action Comics prompted editors at National Comics Publications (the future DC Comics) to request more superheroes for its titles. In response, Bob Kane created “the Bat-Man”. Collaborator Bill Finger recalled that “Kane had an idea for a character called ‘Batman,’ and he’d like me to see the drawings. I went over to Kane’s, and he had drawn a character who looked very much like Superman with kind of … reddish tights, I believe, with boots … no gloves, no gauntlets … with a small domino mask, swinging on a rope. He had two stiff wings that were sticking out, looking like bat wings. And under it was a big sign … BATMAN”. The bat-wing-like cape was suggested by Bob Kane, inspired as a child by Leonardo Da Vinci’s sketch of an ornithopter flying device Finger suggested giving the character a cowl instead of a simple domino mask, a cape instead of wings, and gloves. Finger said he devised the name Bruce Wayne for the character’s secret identity: “Bruce Wayne’s first name came from Robert Bruce, the Scottish patriot. Wayne, being a playboy, was a man of gentry. I searched for a name that would suggest colonialism. I tried Adams, Hancock … then I thought of Mad Anthony Wayne.” He later said his suggestions were influenced by Lee Falk’s popular The Phantom, a syndicated newspaper comic-strip character with which Kane was also familiar. Kane and Finger drew upon contemporary 1930s popular culture for inspiration regarding much of the Bat-Man’s look, personality, methods, and weaponry.

Batman is an aristocratic hero with a double identity, inspired by the Scarlet Pimpernel (created by Baroness Emmuska Orczy, 1903) and Zorro (created by Johnston McCulley, 1919). Like them, Batman performed his heroic deeds in secret, averted suspicion by playing aloof in public, and marked his work with a signature symbol. Kane noted the influence of the films The Mark of Zorro (1920) and The Bat Whispers (1930) in the creation of the character’s iconography. Finger, drawing inspiration from pulp heroes like Doc Savage, The Shadow, Dick Tracy, and Sherlock Holmes, made the character a master sleuth.

Kane signed away ownership in the character in exchange for, among other compensation, a mandatory byline on all Batman comics. This byline did not originally say “Batman created by Bob Kane”; his name was simply written on the title page of each story. The name disappeared from the comic book in the mid-1960s, replaced by credits for each story’s actual writer and artists. In the late 1970s, when Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster began receiving a “created by” credit on the Superman titles, along with William Moulton Marston being given the byline for creating Wonder Woman, Batman stories began saying “Created by Bob Kane” in addition to the other credits.

Finger did not receive the same recognition. While he had received credit for other DC work since the 1940s, he began, in the 1960s, to receive limited acknowledgment for his Batman writing; in the letters page of Batman #169 (February 1965) for example, editor Julius Schwartz names him as the creator of the Riddler, one of Batman’s recurring villains. However, Finger’s contract left him only with his writing page rate and no byline. Kane wrote, “Bill was disheartened by the lack of major accomplishments in his career. He felt that he had not used his creative potential to its fullest and that success had passed him by.”[17] At the time of Finger’s death in 1974, DC had not officially credited Finger as Batman co-creator. Jerry Robinson, who also worked with Finger and Kane on the strip at this time, has criticized Kane for failing to share the credit. Kane initially rebutted Finger’s claims at having created Batman. However Finger eventually received credit for his role in Batman’s creation on the 2016 superhero film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and the second season of Gotham after a deal was worked out between the Finger family and DC. Finger received credit as a creator of Batman for the first time in a comic in October 2015 with Batman and Robin Eternal #3 and Batman: Arkham Knight Genesis #3.

Batman made his debut in Detective Comics #27 (May 1939) in the story, “The Case of the Chemical Syndicate”, which was originally written in the style of the pulps with Batman showing little remorse over killing or maiming criminals. Batman proved a hit character, and he received his own solo title in 1940 while continuing to star in Detective Comics. By that time, Detective Comics was the top-selling and most influential publisher in the industry; Batman and the company’s other major hero, Superman, were the cornerstones of the company’s success. The two characters were featured side-by-side as the stars of World’s Finest Comics, (World’s Best Comics) whose Creators included Jerry Robinson and Dick Sprang. Elements were gradually added to the character and the artistic depiction of Batman evolved. Batman’s utility belt was introduced in Detective Comics #29 (July 1939), followed by the boomerang-like batarang and the first bat-themed vehicle, the Batplane, in #31 (Sept. 1939). The character’s origin was revealed in #33 (Nov. 1939), establishing the brooding persona of Batman/ Bruce Wayne, who after witnessing his parents’ tragic murder at the hands of a mugger vows to avenge their deaths by spending the rest of his life fighting criminals”.

PART TWO

In 1940 Batman’s junior counterpart Robin was introduced in Detective Comics #38 and The first issue of the solo spin-off series Batman also introduced two of his most persistent enemies, the Joker and Catwoman. By 1942, the writers and artists behind the Batman comics had established most of the basic elements of the Batman mythos. In the years following World War II, DC Comics “adopted a postwar editorial direction removing the bleak and menacing social commentary in favour of lighthearted juvenile fantasy and Batman was instead portrayed as a respectable citizen and paternal figure that inhabited a “bright and colorful” environment.

During the Silver and Bronze ages of the 1950s and early 1960s Batman became one of the few superhero characters to be continuously published. In the story “The Mightiest Team in the World” in Superman #76 (June 1952), Batman teams up with Superman for the first time and the pair discover each other’s secret identity. World’s Finest Comics was subsequently revamped so it featured stories starring both heroes together, instead of separate Batman and Superman stories.

Unfortunately The comic book industry came under scrutiny when psychologist Fredric Wertham published the book book Seduction of the Innocent in 1954 in which Wertham postulated that children imitated crimes committed in comic books, and that these works corrupted the morals of the youth, particularly Batman and Superman. Wertham’s criticisms raised a public outcry during the 1950s, eventually leading to the establishment of the now defunct Comics Code Authority. Scholars have suggested that the characters of Batwoman and the pre-Barbara Gordon Bat-Girl were introduced to allay the allegation that Batman and Robin were gay, and the stories took on a campier, lighter feel. In the late 1950s, Batman stories gradually became more science fiction-oriented, And New characters such as Batwoman, Ace the Bat-Hound, and Bat-Mite were introduced. Batman’s adventures started to include odd transformations or bizarre space aliens. In 1960, Batman debuted as a member of the Justice League of America in The Brave and the Bold #28 (Feb. 1960), before appearing in several Justice League comic series.

Sadly By 1964, sales of Batman titles had fallen drastically and DC was planning to kill Batman off altogether. In response editor Julius Schwartz made drastic changes, beginning with 1964’s Detective Comics #327 (May 1964), when Schwartz introduced more detective-oriented stories. The Batmobile was redesigned, and Batman’s costume was modified to incorporate a yellow ellipse behind the bat-insignia. The space aliens, time travel, and characters of the 1950s such as Batwoman, Ace, and Bat-Mite were retired. Bruce Wayne’s butler Alfred was killed off and a new female relative for the Wayne family, Aunt Harriet, came to live with Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson.

Batman made it’s television debut in 1966. This had a profound influence on the character. The success of the series increased sales throughout the comic book industry. Elements such as the character of Batgirl and the show’s campy nature were introduced and Alfred returned. Predictably Although both the comics and TV show were initially successful the camp approach eventually wore thin and the show was canceled in 1968, and the Batman comics themselves also lost popularity.

In response writer Dennis O’Neil and artist Neal Adams made a deliberate effort to distance Batman from the campy portrayal of the 1960s TV series and return him to The “grim avenger of the night”. O’Neil and Adams first collaborated on the story “The Secret of the Waiting Graves” in Detective Comics #395 (Jan. 1970). Which featured a grimmer, darker Batman. Detective Comics #471–476 (Aug. 1977 – April 1978), subsequently influenced the 1989 movie Batman and be adapted for Batman: The Animated Series, which debuted in 1992.

During 1986 Frank Miller’s limited series The Dark Knight Returns returned the character to his darker roots, both in atmosphere and tone. The comic book, which tells the story of a 55-year-old Batman coming out of retirement in a possible future, reinvigorated interest in the character and sparked a major resurgence in the character’s popularity. In 1986 Dennis O’Neil took over as editor of the Batman titles and set the template for the portrayal of Batman following DC’s status quo-altering miniseries Crisis on Infinite Earths. In the 1987 “Year One” storyline in Batman #404–407 Frank Miller and artist David Mazzucchelli redefined the character’s origins. Alan Moore and artist Brian Bolland continued this dark trend with Batman: The Killing Joke, in which the Joker, attempting to drive Commissioner Gordon insane, cripples Gordon’s daughter Barbara, and then kidnaps and tortures the commissioner, physically and psychologically. In 1988 The Batman comics garnered major attention, when DC Comics asked readers to vote on whether Jason Todd, the second Robin, lived or died. The 1993 “Knightfall” story arc introduced a new villain, Bane, who critically injures Batman after pushing him to the limits of his endurance. Jean-Paul Valley, known as Azrael, is called upon to wear the Batsuit during Bruce Wayne’s convalescence.

Writers Doug Moench, Chuck Dixon, and Alan Grant worked on “Knightfall”, plus Batman crossovers Cataclysm” and 1999’s “No Man’s Land”, storylines which featured the effects of an earthquake-ravaged Gotham City. Another writer who rose to prominence on the Batman comic series, was Jeph Loeb. Along with longtime collaborator Tim Sale, they wrote two miniseries (“The Long Halloween” and “Dark Victory”) that pit an early in his career version of Batman against his entire rogues gallery (including The Joker, Penguin, catwoman, bane, The Riddler, Poison Ivy and Two-Face). Jeph Loeb and artist Jim Lee then began work on: “Batman: Hush” Which has Batman and Catwoman teaming up against all of Batman’s other enemies whilst pursuing the mysterious supervillain Hush. Bob Schreck also replaced O’Neil as editor. Writer Judd Winick wrote another multi-issue story, “Under the Hood”. In 2005, DC launched All-Star Batman and Robin, a stand-alone comic series set outside the main DC Universe continuity. Written by Frank Miller and drawn by Jim Lee.

From 2006, Grant Morrison and Paul Dini were the regular writers of Batman and Detective Comics, and Morrison began reincorporating controversial elements of Batman lore including the science fiction element from the 1950’s. Morrison’s run climaxed with “Batman R.I.P.”, in which Batman confronts the villainous “Black Glove” organization, which sought to drive Batman into madness. “Batman R.I.P.” segued into Final Crisis (also written by Morrison), in which Batman confronts Darkseid. In the 2009 miniseries Batman: Battle for the Cowl, Wayne’s former protégé Dick Grayson becomes the new Batman, and Wayne’s son Damian becomes the new Robin while Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne saw Bruce travel through history. The story Batman Incorporated features Bruce taking his crime-fighting cause globally. DC Comics announced that Grayson would be the main character in Batman, Detective Comics, and Batman and Robin, while Wayne would be the main character in Batman Incorporated. Bruce also appeared in, Batman: The Dark Knight.

In September 2011, DC Comics’ entire line of superhero comic books, including its Batman franchise, were canceled and relaunched with new #1 issues as part of the New 52 reboot. Bruce Wayne is the only character to be identified as Batman and is featured in Batman, Detective Comics, Batman and Robin, and Batman: The Dark Knight. Dick Grayson returns to the mantle of Nightwing and appears in his own ongoing series. Batman Incorporated was relaunched in 2012–2013 to complete the “Leviathan” storyline. Starting with the New 52, Scott Snyder was the writer of the Batman title. He wrote “Night of the Owls”, where Batman confronts the Court of Owls, a secret society that has controlled Gotham for centuries. “Death of the Family”, where the Joker returns to Gotham and simultaneously attacks each member of the Batman family and “Batman: Zero Year”, which redefined Batman’s origin in The New 52. This followed Batman #0, which explored the character’s early years. The final storyline before the “Convergence” (2015) storyline was “Endgame”, where Batman again confronts the Joker.

Starting with Batman vol. 2, #41, Commissioner James Gordon takes over Bruce’s mantle as a new, state-sanctioned, robotic-Batman, debuting in the Free Comic Book Day special comic Divergence. However, Bruce Wayne is soon revealed to be alive, albeit now suffering almost total amnesia of his life as Batman and only remembering his life as Bruce Wayne through what he has learned from Alfred. Bruce Wayne finds happiness and proposes to his girlfriend, Julie Madison. However the villainous Mr. Bloom heavily injures Jim Gordon and takes control of Gotham City and threatens to destroy the city by energizing a particle reactor to create a “strange star” to swallow the city. However With help from Alfred, Bruce wayne/Batman returns to help Jim Gordon against Mr. Bloom. In 2015, DC Comics released The Dark Knight III: The Master Race, the sequel to Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns and The Dark Knight Strikes Again. In 2016, DC Comics’ entire line of comic book titles was relaunched and Batman was rebooted in Batman: Rebirth #1. Which introduced two vigilantes, Gotham and Gotham Girl. The Batman series Detective Comics resumed its original numbering system starting with June 2016’s #934, which featured a team consisting of Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown, Cassandra Cain, and Clayface, led by Batman and Batwoman. While The New 52 series was labeled volume 2 and went from issues #1-52. In 2017 DC Comics ended the Rebirth branding, opting to include everything under a larger “DC Universe” banner.

Batman has become An American cultural icon garnering enormous popularity and is among the most identifiable comic book characters. Batman has been licensed and featured in various adaptations, from radio to television and film, and appears in merchandise sold around the world, such as apparel, toys, and video games. The character has also intrigued psychiatris$ts, with many offering interpretations of his psyche. In 2015, FanSided ranked Batman as number one on their list of “50 Greatest Super Heroes In Comic Book History”. Kevin Conroy, Rino Romano, Bruce Greenwood, Peter Weller, Anthony Ruivivar, Jason O’Mara, and Will Arnett, among others, have provided the character’s voice for animated adaptations. Batman has been depicted in both film and television by Lewis Wilson, Robert Lowery, Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christian Bale, and Ben Affleck.

Agatha Christie

British crime novelist Dame Agatha Christie, DBE was born 15th September 1890 to a wealthy upper middle-class family in Torquay, Devon, Christie served in a hospital during the First World War before settling into married life with her first child in London. Although initially unsuccessful at getting her work published, in 1920, The Bodley Head press published her novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles, featuring the character of Poirot. This launched her literary career. She also wrote short stories, and plays and romances under the name Mary Westmacott, but she is best remembered for her 66 detective novels and more than 15 short story collections, most of which revolve around the investigations of such characters as Hercule Poirot, Miss Jane Marple and Tommy and Tuppence.

Among her best known novels are: And then there were none, Final Cases, Poirot and the Regatta, Mystery, The Thirteen Problems, Crooked House, The Murder at the Vicarage/Body in the Library/The Moving Finger, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Five Little pigs, Murder on the Orient Express, Towards Zero, Death on the Nile, A Murder is Announced, Problem at Pollensa Bay, Sleeping Murder, 4.50 From Paddington, Pocket Full of Rye, Endless Night, The Clocks, The ABC Murders, Ordeal By Innocence, Appointment with Death, Cat Among the Pigeons, Endless Night, Evil Under the Sun, Why Didn’t they ask Evans, Towards Zero and Passenger to Frankfurt.

Agatha Christie sadly passed away on 12th January 1976, However According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Christie is the best-selling novelist of all time. Her novels have sold roughly four billion copies, and her estate claims that her works rank third, after those of William Shakespeare and the Bible, as the world’s most widely published books. And Then There Were None is Christie’s best-selling novel with 100 million sales to date, making it the world’s best-selling mystery ever, and one of the best-selling books of all time, she is also the most translated individual author, and her books have been translated into at least 103 languages. Due to their enduring popularity Many of Christie’s books and short stories have also been filmed, adapted for television, radio, stage, video games and comics. Christie’s stage play The Mousetrap also holds the record for the longest initial run: having opened at the Ambassadors Theatre in London on 25 November 1952 and was still running in 2012 after more than 24,600 performances.

Walter Koenig

Best known for his roles as Pavel Chekov in Star Trek and Alfred Bester in Babylon 5, the American actor, writer, teacher and director Walter Koenig was born September 14, 1936 in Chicago, Illinois. He attended Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa with a pre-med major. He transferred to UCLA and received a BA in psychology. After a professor encouraged Koenig to become an actor, he attended the Neighborhood Playhouse with fellow students Dabney Coleman, Christopher Lloyd, and James Caan.

Koenig played Ensign Pavel Chekov, navigator on the USS Enterprise, in the original Star Trek television series (starting in Season 2) and in several movies featuring the original cast. One of only two actors to audition, he was cast as Chekov almost immediately primarily because of his resemblance to British actor/musician Davy Jones of the Monkees, to attract a younger audience. As the 30-year old’s hair was already receding, costume designers fashioned a Davy Jones-style “moptop” hairpiece for him. In later episodes, his own hair grew out enough to accomplish the look with a comb-over. Gene Roddenberry asked him to “ham up” his Russian accent to add a note of comic relief to the series. Chekov’s accent has been criticized as inauthentic, in particular Koenig’s substituting the “w” sound in place of a “v” sound (e.g., “wodka” for “vodka”). Koenig has said the accent was inspired by his father, who had the same difficulty with the “v” sound. Having been told that Chekov would be a recurring role based on his popularity, Koenig was pleasantly surprised when he immediately became a regular cast member, and most of his fan mail indeed came from children.

When the early Season 2 episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series were shot, George Takei (who played Sulu) was delayed completing the movie The Green Berets, so Chekov is joined at the Enterprise helm by a different character. When Takei returned, the two had to share a dressing room and a single episode script. This reportedly angered Takei to the point where he nearly left the show. But the two actors have since become good friends, and the image of their two characters manning the helm of the Enterprise became iconic. Koenig is also credited for writing the Star Trek: The Animated Series installment “The Infinite Vulcan”, making him the first “original cast” member to write a Star Trek story for television. The character of Pavel Andreievich Chekov never appeared in the animated version of Star Trek due to budget reasons, so Koenig never got to reprise his character on the animated series. Koenig also received Saturn Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor in Film for both Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Koenig reprised his role of Pavel Chekov for the fan webseries Star Trek: New Voyages, To Serve All My Days and the independent Sky Conway/Tim Russ film Star Trek: Of Gods and Men, both in 2006.

Following Star Trek, Koenig had a starring role as Psi Cop Alfred Bester on the television series Babylon 5 in twelve episodes and, at the end of the third season and a handful of episodes for TV shows: Star Trek: The Animated Series, Land of the Lost, Family and The Powers of Matthew Star. He has also written several books, including Warped Factors: A Neurotic’s Guide to the Universe (an autobiography), Chekov’s Enterprise (a journal kept during the filming of Star Trek: The Motion Picture) and Buck Alice and the Actor-Robot (a science fiction novel), which was re-released in 2006. He created his own comic book series called Raver, which was published by Malibu Comics in the early 1990s, and appeared as a “special guest star” in an issue of the comic book Eternity Smith, which features him prominently on its cover. He also wrote the script for the 2008 science fiction legal thriller InAlienable.

In 1987, Koenig and his wife directed his original one-act plays The Secret Life of Lily Langtree, Tech Night: Hands on Demo and Encore: Long Distance Lady — all under the umbrella title Public Moments at the Theatre of N.O.T.E. in Los Angeles. In 1997, Koenig starred in Drawing Down the Moon, an independent film about a Wiccan woman who attempts to open a homeless shelter in a small Pennsylvania town. In 2004, Koenig co-starred in Mad Cowgirl, an independent movie about a meat-packing health inspector dying from a brain disorder in which he played televangelist Pastor Dylan, a character described as “a sleazy, slimy, sex-addict”.In 2007, Koenig was asked by the human rights group U.S. Campaign for Burma to help in their grassroots campaign about the humanitarian crisis in Burma. As detailed on his official website, he visited refugee camps along the Burma-Thailand border from July 16 to July 25, 2007 and on September 10, 2012 Koenig received the 2,279th star of the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

D. H. Lawrence

English novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, literary critic and painter David Herbert Lawrence was Born 11 September 1885, Lawrence spent his formative years in the coal mining town of Eastwood, Nottinghamshire and his working-class background and the tensions between his parents provided the raw material for a number of his early works. Lawrence returned to this locality often, calling it; “the country of my heart,” and it became a setting for much of his fiction. The young Lawrence attended Beauvale Board School from 1891 until 1898, and won a County Council scholarship to Nottingham High School in nearby Nottingham which he left in 1901. He developed a love of books, which lasted throughout Lawrence’s life

In the years 1902 to 1906 Lawrence served as a pupil teacher at the British School, Eastwood and became a full-time student, receiving a teaching certificate from University College, Nottingham, in 1908. He wrote his first poems, some short stories, and a draft of a novel, Laetitia, that was eventually to become The White Peacock. Lawrence won a short story competition in the Nottingham Guardian in 1907, and In 1908 Lawrence left his childhood home for London and taught at Davidson Road School, Croydon, he also continued writing and Some of the early poetry came to the attention of Ford Madox Ford,the editor of the influential The English Review, who commissioned the story Odour of Chrysanthemums which, when published in that magazine. This encouraged a London publisher, to ask Lawrence for more work. His first published novel The White Peacock appeared in 1910. In addition, a teaching colleague, Helen Corke, gave him access to her intimate diaries about an unhappy love affair, which formed the basis of his second novel The Trespasser and Later during a stay in Italy, Lawrence completed the final version of Sons and Lovers which, when published in 1913, was acknowledged to represent a vivid portrait of the realities of working class provincial life.

Lawrence and and his wife Frieda returned to Britain in 1913 for a short visit, but went back to Italy, staying at Fiascherino on the Gulf of Spezia. Here he started writing the first draft of The Rainbow and Women in Love. He and Frieda returned to Britain again shortly before the outbreak of World War I and were married on 13 July 1914. During this time, Lawrence worked with London intellectuals and writers such as Dora Marsden and the people involved with The Egoist (T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, and others). The Egoist, an important Modernist literary magazine, also published some of his work and he was also reading and adapting Marinetti’s Futurist Manifesto. In 1915 His novel The Rainbow was published, but was suppressed after an investigation into its alleged obscenity. He also wrote Women in Love, which explores the destructive features of contemporary civilization through the evolving relationships of four major characters as they reflect upon the value of the arts, politics, economics, sexual experience, friendship and marriage. This book is a bleak, bitter vision of humanity and proved impossible to publish in wartime conditions. Not published until 1920, it is now widely recognised as an English novel of great dramatic force and intellectual subtlety. In late 1917, after constant harassment by the armed forces authorities, Lawrence left Cornwall. This persecution was later described in the Australian novel Kangaroo. He moved to the small, rural village of Hermitage near Newbury, Berkshire then moved to Mountain Cottage, Middleton-by-Wirksworth, Derbyshire, where he wrote one of his most poetic short stories, The Wintry Peacock.

Lawrence left Britain and travelled with his wife to Australia, Italy, Sri Lanka, the United States, Mexico and the South of France and wrote The Lost Girl (for which he won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction), Aaron’s Rod, Mr Noon, The Captain’s Doll, The Fox and The Ladybird, and some of these were issued in the collection “England, My England and Other Stories”. He also produced a number of poems about the natural world in Birds, Beasts and Flowers he also wrote Sea and Sardinia and Memoirs of the Foreign Legion. In 1922 the Lawrences left Europe and travelled to the United States. where they acquired a property in Lamy, New Mexico in 1924, now called the D. H. Lawrence Ranch, in exchange for the manuscript of Sons and Lovers. While in the U.S. Lawrence rewrote and published Studies in Classic American Literature and also wrote The Boy in the Bush, The Plumed Serpent, St Mawr, The Woman who Rode Away, The Princess and assorted short stories. He returned to England in 1923 but soon came back to America. Sadly in 1925 he suffered a near fatal attack of malaria and tuberculosis and after recovering, he moved to a villa near Florence, Italy where he wrote The Virgin and the Gipsy and Lady Chatterley’s Lover, which was his last major novel and reinforced his notoriety. Despite failing health, he continued to produce short stories such as The Escaped Cock, and wrote numerous poems, reviews and essays as well as a reflection on the Book of Revelation entitled “Apocalypse” and a robust defence of his last novel against those who sought to suppress it.

Lawrence sadly passed away in Venawrencece, France, from complications of tuberculosis on 2nd March 1930 and At the time of his death, his public reputation was that of a pornographer who had wasted his considerable talents. However E. M. Forster, , challenged this widely held view in an obituary notice, and described him as, “The greatest imaginative novelist of our generation.” Later, the influential Cambridge critic F. R. Leavis championed both his artistic integrity and his moral seriousness, placing much of Lawrence’s fiction within the canonical “great tradition” of the English novel. Today he is valued by many as a visionary thinker is also widely recognised as one of the finest travel writers in the English language and significant representative of modernism in English literature and his works have been adapted for film and television numerous times.

Roger Hargreaves (Mr Men and Little Miss)

Best known as the creator and illustrator of The Mr Men & Little Miss books, The English children’s author and illustrator, Roger Hargreaves, sadly passed away 11 September 1988. He was born 9th May 1935 in a private hospital at 201 Bath Road, Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire to Alfred Reginald and Ethel Mary Hargreaves. He was born 21 May and grew up at 703 Halifax Road, Hartshead Moor, Cleckheaton, outside of which there now is a commemorative plaque. He attended Sowerby Bridge Grammar School (now Sowerby Bridge High School). He then spent a year working in his father’s laundry and dry-cleaning business before gaining employment in advertising.

Hargreaves always wanted to be a cartoonist, and in 1971, while working as the creative director at a London firm, he wrote the first Mr. Men book, Mr. Tickle. Initially he had difficulty finding a publisher, but once he did the books became an instant success, selling over one million copies within three years. The books were intended for very young readers, and featured simple and humorous stories, always with a moral at the end. and featured brightly-coloured, boldly drawn characters And illustrations. In 1974 the books spawned a BBC animated television series, narrated by Arthur Lowe. A second series the following year saw newer titles transmitted in double bill format with those from the first series. By 1976, Hargreaves had quit his day job. In 1981 the Little Miss series of books was launched, and in 1983 it also was made into a television series, narrated by Pauline Collins, and her husband John Alderton.

Although Hargreaves wrote many other children’s stories—including the Timbuctoo series of 25 books, John Mouse and the Roundy and Squarey books—he is best known for his 46 Mr. Men and 33 Little Miss series of books Which have become part of popular culture since being published in 1971, and they remain popular Selling in excess of 85 million copies worldwide and have also have been widely parodied since a number of times. The Mister Men and Little Miss books have also been translated into at least 20 languages and also won an award for The Best Books of the Year in 1983.

Star Trek

The first episode of The American science fiction telvision series Star Trek, entitled, “The Man Trap”, debuted in the United States on NBC on September 8, 1966. Two pilot episodes were also made, “The Cage”, starring Jeffrey Hunter as Enterprise Captain Christopher Pike And “Where No Man Has Gone Before”. Star Trek was created by Gene Roddenberry and followed the interstellar adventures of Captain James T Kirk (William Shatner) and his crew aboard the starship USS Enterprise, a space exploration vessel, built by the interstellar federal republic United Federation of Planets in the twenty-third century on their five-year mission “to boldly go where no man has gone before.” The original 1966–69 television series featured William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk, Leonard Nimoy as Spock, DeForest Kelley as Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy, James Doohan as Montgomery “Scotty” Scott, Nichelle Nichols as Uhura, George Takei as Hikaru Sulu, and Walter Koenig as Pavel Chekov and During the series’ original run, it earned several nominations for the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation and won twice: for the two-parter “The Menagerie” and the Harlan Ellison-written episode “The City on the Edge of Forever”.

Gene Roddenberry drafted a proposal for the science-fiction series that would become Star Trek As early as 1964. Although he publicly marketed it as a Western in outer space—a so-called “Wagon Train to the Stars” he privately told friends that he was modeling it on Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, intending each episode to act on two levels: as a suspenseful adventure story and as a morality tale. Most Star Trek stories depict the adventures of humans and aliens who serve in Starfleet, the space-borne humanitarian and peacekeeping armada of the United Federation of Planets. The protagonists have altruistic values, and must apply these ideals to difficult dilemmas.

Many of the conflicts and political dimensions of Star Trek represent allegories of contemporary cultural realities. Star Trek: The Original Series addressed issues of the 1960s, just as later spin-offs have reflected issues of their respective decades. Issues depicted in the various series include war and peace, the value of personal loyalty, authoritarianism, imperialism, class warfare, economics, racism, religion, human rights, sexism, feminism, and the role of technology. Roddenberry was able to make statements about sex, religion, Vietnam, politics, and intercontinental missiles By creating a new world with new rules. He intended the show to have a progressive political agenda reflective of the emerging counter-culture of the youth movement, though he was not fully forthcoming to the networks about this. He wanted Star Trek to show humanity what it might develop into, if it would learn from the lessons of the past, most specifically by ending violence. An extreme example is the alien species, the Vulcans, who had a violent past but learned to control their emotions. Roddenberry also gave Star Trek an anti-war message and depicted the United Federation of Planets as an ideal, optimistic version of the United Nations.

The Original Series was modeled on classical mythology within science fiction. It’s people looking for answers – and science fiction offers to explain the inexplicable, the same as religion tends to do… If we accept the premise that it has a mythological element, then all the stuff about going out into space and meeting new life – trying to explain it and put a human element to it – it’s a hopeful vision. All these things offer hope and imaginative solutions for the future. The continuing popularity of Star Trek is due to the underlying mythology which binds fans together by virtue of their shared love of stories involving exploration, discovery, adventure and friendship that promote an egalitarian and peace loving society where technology and diversity are valued rather than feared and citizens work together for the greater good. Star Trek is also noted for its cultural influence beyond works of science fiction and its progressive civil rights stances. The Original Series included one of television’s first multiracial casts.

While the original show initially enjoyed high ratings NBC canceled the show after three seasons; the last original episode aired on June 3, 1969. The petition near the end of the second season to save the show signed by many Caltech students and its multiple Hugo nominations would, however, indicate that despite low Nielsen ratings, it was highly popular with science fiction fans and engineering students. These adventures continued in the short-lived Star Trek: The Animated Series and six feature films. Four spin-off television series were eventually produced: Star Trek: The Next Generation followed the crew of a new starship Enterprise set a century after the original series; Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager set contemporaneously with The Next Generation; and Star Trek: Enterprise set before the original series in the early days of human interstellar travel. The original series became popular in reruns and has since found a cult following.

The adventures of The Next Generation crew continued in four additional feature films. In 2009, the film franchise underwent a “reboot” set in an alternate timeline, or “Kelvin Timeline,” entitled simply Star Trek. This film featured a new cast portraying younger versions of the crew from the original show; their adventures were continued in the sequel film, Star Trek Into Darkness (2013). The thirteenth film feature and sequel, Star Trek Beyond (2016), was released to coincide with the franchise’s 50th anniversary. A new Star Trek TV series, entitled Star Trek: Discovery, can be seen on CBS All Access & Netflix.

Star Trek also has a wide range of spin-offs including games, figurines, novels, toys, and comics. Star Trek had a themed attraction in Las Vegas that opened in 1998 and closed in September 2008. At least two museum exhibits of props travel the world. The series has its own language, Klingon. Several parodies have been made of Star Trek. In addition, viewers have produced several fan productions. As of July 2016, the franchise had generated $10 billion in revenue, making Star Trek one of the highest-grossing media franchises of all time.