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Batman Wiki

William West Anderson, who used the stage name of Adam West, was an American actor who lived from September 19, 1928 to June 9, 2017. He acted out the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman in the Batman television series of the late 1960s and its various spinoffs. A victim of typecasting, West remerged to voice other versions of Batman with 1977's The New Adventures of Batman and the Super Friends cartoons of the mid-1980s.

Years later West was invited to voice Simon Trent/The Gray Ghost in Batman: The Animated Series. In his later years, he also cameoed as Marion Grange in The Batman, and provided the voice of Thomas Wayne, Bruce Wayne's father, in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold installment "Chill of the Night!"

Following a brief battle with leukemia, West died in the summer of 2017 at the age of 88.

Batman Filmography[]

Adam West by Geoff Spear

Adam West photographed by Geoff Spear in 1989.

His acting career began in films in 1959. He played opposite Chuck Connors in Geronimo (1962) and Joe DeRita in The Outlaws Is Coming (1965). He also appeared in the science fiction film, Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964) alongside Paul Mantee, and, unsurprisingly, achieved continuing success for the title role in the 1960s ABC series Batman and its theatrical feature film.

West was contacted for a screen test after William Dozier saw West perform as the James Bond-like spy Captain Q in a Nestlé Quik television ad. West was in competition with Lyle Waggoner (who later acted out Steve Trevor and, later, his lookalike son Steve Trevor Jr. in the 1970s television version of Wonder Woman which starred Lynda Carter in the title role) for the Batman role. West became the third actor to play Bruce Wayne/Batman in live action, succeeding Robert Lowery.

The popular show, which was deliberately produced as a lampoon comedy but drew accusations of being "campy" that bothered West throughout his entire career, ran on ABC from 1966 to 1968; a film version was released in July of 1966. At this time, the DC Comics that were featuring Batman himself were experiencing dismal sales, and were threatened with cancellation after approximately twenty-five years; West, when he dictated his autobiography, Back To The Batcave, to Jeff Rovin, pointed out that the "Batuation comedy" saved Batman's DC Comics from cancellation and enabled a new generation to get to know the character as he had originally been created.

Return Performances as Batman[]

West often reprised his role as Batman/Bruce Wayne, first in the short-lived animated series The New Adventures of Batman and later 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; he succeeded Olan Soule in this last role. In 1979, West once again donned the Bat-Costume 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. In 1997 West returned to the Role of Bruce Wayne/Batman for the first time in 12 years for the animated short "Boo Wonder" on the animated TV series Animaniacs. In one installment of Batman: The Animated Series, he provided the character voice of an actor whose career had stalled due to typecasting as a Batman-like character called "The Gray Ghost." (See below.) In 2016, and again in 2017, West returned to voice Batman in two animated features, Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders and Batman vs Two Face! Both animated features were based on the original 1960s TV series. The latter was released posthumously and proved to be West's final work; deathly ill with leukemia during the recording sessions for Batman Versus Two-Face! though he worked through his illness, he died between his having finished recording all his dialog and the film's release.

1992 Installment: Simon Trent[]


Simon Trent, out-of-work actor.

West provided a character voice for a 1992 installment of Batman: The Animated Series on Fox, but NOT that of Batman, since the character voice of Batman was already being provided by Kevin Conroy. Instead, he provided the character voice of Simon Trent, an out-of-work actor who had once acted out a super-hero similar to Batman himself in a TV series called The Gray Ghost, and who was now considered a washed-up had-been as far as motion pictures and television went; he now had a great deal of difficulty finding acting work due to typecasting. The producers nearly considered scrapping that installment as they figured it mirrored Adam West too much; however, West had already made his peace with his public identification as Batman, and he gladly accepted voicing such a character.

Mayor Grange Voice[]

West later had a recurring role as the voice of Mayor Grange in the WB animated series The Batman.

CGI File: 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 cartoon series Batman: The Brave and the Bold. In the same series, he played Batman's prototype robot, aptly named "Protobot," or "Proto" for short. He also did voice work on animated series such as The Fairly OddParents and Family Guy, in both of which he voiced fictional versions of himself.

In comics[]

BlueWater Comics published The Mis-Adventures of Adam West, which told the adventures of West in various movie parodies where he, a classic hero type who rejected the darkening nature of heroes in films, would always save the day. Throughout the series, he would appear in Gotham City, and certain iconic Batman moments would be redrawn with West as Batman.

Characters portrayed by Adam West in the Batman Universe[]

Batman (Filmation)
Batman (Filmation)


See also[]

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