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  • Batman
  • nato William West Anderson
  • West Adam

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Adam West (1928)

William West Anderson

Type :  

  Summary  

William West Anderson , better known by the stage name Adam West, is an American actor best known for his lead role in the Batman TV series (1966–1968) and the film of the same name. He is currently known for portraying eccentric characters, as well as his voice work on animated series such as The Fairly OddParents and as the fictionalized character of the same name on Family Guy.

  Biography  

 early life
West was born William West Anderson in Walla Walla, Washington to Otto West Anderson and Audrey V. Speer. He has a younger brother named John. He attended Walla Walla High School during his freshman and sophomore years, and later enrolled in Lakeside School in Seattle. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature and a minor in Psychology from Whitman College in Walla Walla where he was a member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity and participated on the speech and debate team.

 career
 Early roles
Later, while living in Hawaii, West landed 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, the actor moved to Hollywood and took the stage name Adam West. In his autobiography Back to the Batcave he explains that he chose 'Adam' simply because he liked the way it looked and sounded with 'West', his mother's maiden name. His close friends and family still call him "Bill".

He appeared in the film The Young Philadelphians with Paul Newman, and guest-starred in a number of television Westerns. He guest starred on Edmond O'Brien's syndicated crime drama Johnny Midnight and soon snagged a supporting role as police Sergeant Steve Nelson in the crime drama, The Detectives Starring Robert Taylor. He portrayed Wild Bill Hickok in the episode "Westbound Stage" of the 1960 NBC western series Overland Trail, with William Bendix and Doug McClure. He starred in an episode of the original Outer Limits television series titled "The Invisible Enemy". He made a brief appearance in the film Soldier in the Rain starring Jackie Gleason and Steve McQueen and in the 1964 film Robinson Crusoe on Mars. In 1965, he starred in the comedy western The Outlaws Is Coming, the last feature film starring The Three Stooges.

 Batman

Producer William Dozier cast West as Bruce Wayne and his alter ego, Batman, in the television series Batman, in part after seeing West perform as the James Bond-like spy Captain Q in a Nestlé Quik television ad. West was in competition with Lyle Waggoner for the Batman role.

The popular campy show ran on ABC from 1966 to 1968; a film version was released in 1966. The Batboat featured in the film was created by Austin-based company Glastron, whose payment was in having the film premiere in their hometown. In conjunction with the premiere, Jean Boone of Austin CBS affiliate station KTBC interviewed the film's cast, including West.

In 1970, West was offered the role of James Bond by Cubby Broccoli for the film Diamonds Are Forever. West declined, later stating in his autobiography that he believed the role should always be played by someone British .

 Post-Batman career

After his high-profile role, West, along with Burt Ward and Yvonne Craig , was severely typecast. West's first post-Caped Crusader role was in the film The Girl Who Knew Too Much . His lead performance against type as cynical tough guy Johnny Cain did not erode his Batman image; the movie was a box office disappointment.

For a time, West made a living doing personal appearances as Batman. In 1972, 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. One of his more memorable Batman appearances post-series was when he made an 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 and even name-dropping Spider-Man, though he is a Marvel Comics hero.

West subsequently appeared in the theatrical films The Marriage of a Young Stockbrocker , The Curse of the Moon Child , The Specialist , Hardcore , Hooper , The Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood and One Dark Night . West also appeared in such television films as The Eyes of Charles Sand , Poor Devil , Nevada Smith , For the Love of It and I Take These Men .

He did guest shots on the TV shows Love, American Style, The Big Valley, Night Gallery, Alias Smith and Jones, Mannix, Emergency!, Alice, Police Woman, Operation Petticoat, The American Girls, Vegas, Big Shamus Little Shamus, Laverne & Shirley, Bewitched, Fantasy Island, The Love Boat, Hart to Hart, Zorro, King of Queens, and George Lopez. West was also in an episode of Bonanza that supposedly never aired until reruns were shown. West also made several guest appearances as himself on Family Feud.

 Return to Batman
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 Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show, The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians . In 1979, West once again put on 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 made an appearance in a 1992 episode of Batman: The Animated Series on Fox, but not as Batman . Instead, he portrayed 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.

The actor vocally reprised his role as Batman for the CGI 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 animated series Batman: The Brave and the Bold. In the same series, he played Batman's prototype robot, aptly named "Protobot", or "Proto" for short.

FLOSS Magazing has reported that Adam West has been spotted around the set of The Dark Knight Rises for a cameo appearance.

 1990s – 2000s

During the 1990s, West's status as a pop culture icon led to appearances as himself in the film Drop Dead Gorgeous and in several television series, including NewsRadio, Murphy Brown, The Adventures of Pete and Pete, The Ben Stiller Show and The Drew Carey Show. In 1991, he starred in the pilot episode of Lookwell, in which he portrayed a has-been TV action hero who falsely believes he can solve crimes in real life. The pilot, written by Conan O'Brien and Robert Smigel in their pre-Late Night period, aired on NBC that summer but was not picked up as a series. It was later broadcast on the Trio channel, under the "Brilliant But Cancelled" bloc.

Noticeably, he played a washed up superhero in the Goosebumps television series episode "Attack of the Mutant". The boy hero is a comic book geek whose favorite superhero, Galloping Gazelle (West's character), is portrayed as fading and on the verge of retirement. Towards the end, the boy is shocked to learn that the Gazelle is real, though he must save the day by himself.

In 1994, West, with Jeff Rovin, wrote his autobiography, Back to the Batcave published by Berkeley Books. He 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.

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. Jack Brewer portrayed West in flashbacks to the production of Batman.

In 2005, West appeared in the CBS show The King of Queens. In the episode, Spence first asks Lou Ferrigno to go to a sci-fi convention. But when Spence meets West , he leaves Ferrigno and asks West to come with him.

West appears prominently in the 2006 video for California band STEFY's song "Chelsea" as "Judge Adam West", presiding over the courtroom scene.

In 2007, Adam West portrayed a defense attorney for Benny on the show George Lopez, and starred as "The Boss" in the movie comedy Sexina: Popstar PI.

Following the release of a Batman game, a host of the show X-Play visited Adam West on the show.

In 2009, West played himself in the episode "Apollo, Apollo" of 30 Rock.

Voice-over work

Having a distinctive voice, West built a career doing voice-over work on a number of animated series , including appearances on The Simpsons, Rugrats, The Critic, The Boondocks, Histeria!, Kim Possible, and Johnny Bravo. He also appeared in five episodes of Nickelodeon's cartoon, The Fairly OddParents, as a cat-obsessed version of himself who is famous for playing a superhero called Catman, and who actually believes he is Catman. Catman is a parody of his earlier character as Batman. A later appearance of Adam West in The Fairly OddParents world was a parody of himself, hired to play the role of the Crimson Chin in the movie of the same name. Yet another appearance on the show had him as himself in a Fairy-sponsored video about how to cope with losing ones fairy godparents.

Since 2000, West has made regular appearances on the animated series Family Guy, on which he plays Mayor Adam West, the lunatic mayor of Quahog, Rhode Island. His role has given him a new wave of popularity since Batman. Some of his latest voice-over performances were playing the role of Uncle Art in the Disney film Meet the Robinsons, and voicing the young Mermaid Man in the cartoon show SpongeBob SquarePants.

West also played the voice of General Carrington in the video game XIII, and has voiced other video games like Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure, Chicken Little: Ace in Action, Scooby Doo! Unmasked and Goosebumps: Attack of the Mutant. For the online game Champions Online, his voice is used in one of the website's videos.

West has also done voice-over work for superhero-themed commercials for the investment firm The LendingTree and TV commercials for Hebrew National hot dogs.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Adam West", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.