Legendary Batman actor struggled to throw off his alter ego in later career but remained beloved of fans
Adam West, who has died aged 88, was one of those performers who had to strive to live down not a failing but his greatest success. West, who was synonymous with the responsibilities of Batman in the vastly popular, campy Tv serial of 1966 -6 8, could never escape his alter ego. Even though he appeared in scores of cinemas and television series throughout his long career, most reviewers, whatever the persona, insisted on referring to him as TVs Batman. Nonetheless, it is fair to say that West, realising that he owed his renown to the Caped Crusader, was not averse to compel oblique allusions to the character in some of his films, and often resorted to self-mockery.
The tall, well-built West, with chiselled good looks and a reverberating baritone voice, was perfect casting for the upright all-American millionaire Bruce Wayne, who lives with his ward Dick Grayson in Wayne Manor. They secretly double as the cloaked Batman and Robin when called on the Batphone by Commissioner Gordon to catch a rascal loose in Gotham City. The enormously successful Batman: The Movie( 1966 ), brought together four outrageous villains the Penguin( Burgess Meredith ), the Catwoman( Lee Meriwether ), the Joker( Cesar Romero) and the Riddler( Frank Gorshin) to try to outwit the daring “mens and” boy in tights.
Come on, Robin, to the Bat Cave! Theres not a few moments to lose! was Batmans call to action in every tongue-in-cheek chapter. While almost everybody around him hammed it up, West remained stony-faced in “the worlds largest” implausible comic-book situations, passionately giving such ludicrous lines as Ive just perfected an Electronic Hair Bat-Analyzer which may hold the key to this mystifying quest; Id rather succumbed than pleads for such a small promote as my life; and, reading from the penal code, It is the duty of every good citizen of Gotham City to report encountering a humankind from Mars in a public park.
He was born William West Anderson in Walla Walla, Washington, where he went to academy and university, graduating with a degree in literature. During his last year of college, he marriage Billie Lou Yeager. After spending two years in the army, he moved with his wife to Hawaii, where he starred in a childrens prove. In 1956, West got a divorce and married a Tahitian daughter, Nga Frisbie Dawson, with whom he had a son and daughter, though that marriage likewise objective, in 1962.
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