Adam West was born William West Anderson on September 19, 1928 in Seattle, Washington. 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[1] in Walla Walla where he was a member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity and participated on the speech and debate team.

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.[2]

In 1959, the actor moved to Hollywood and 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. 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 television series The Outer Limits 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. He also was in an episode of Bonanza that got aired during reruns.

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

The popular, campy show ran on ABC from 1966 to 1968; a film version was released in 1966.

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.

After his high-profile role, West, along with Burt Ward and Yvonne Craig (who played crimefighting sidekicks Robin and Batgirl) was badly typecast. West's first post-Caped Crusader role was in the 1969 release The Girl Who Knew Too Much. He played against type as a tough, hard-boiled assassin. The movie was a failure and has almost become a lost film.

For a time, West was forced to make a living doing personal appearances as Batman. In 1972 however, 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.

West subsequently appeared in the theatrical films The Marriage Of A Young Stockbrocker (1971), The Curse Of The Moon Child (1972), Partizani/Hell River (1974), The Specialist (1975), Hardcore (1977), Hooper (as himself; 1978), The Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood (1980) and One Dark Night (1983). West also 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 made many guest appearances on various poular TV shows.

His typecasting kept him from landing more substantial roles. In recent years, West has exploited his fate to poke fun at his status as a pop-culture icon.

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 like 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.[2]

West made a cameo appearance in a 1992 episode of Batman: The Animated Series on FOX, but not as Batman (as the role of Batman was already being played by Kevin Conroy). 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 built a career doing voice-over work on a number of animated series (often as himself), including appearances on The Simpsons, The Critic, The Boondocks, Histeria!, Kim Possible, and Johnny Bravo. He also appeared in five episodes of Nickelodeon's cartoon, The Fairly OddParents.

Since 2000, West has made regular appearances on the animated series Family Guy, on which he plays Mayor Adam West, a parody of West himself, the lunatic mayor of Quahog, Rhode Island. His role has given him a new wave of popularity since Batman.[3]

From Wikipedia, the free encylopedia.

[1] Interview, Whitman Magazine, December 2006
[2] Adam West at the Internet Movie Database (IMDb)
[3] See Wikipedia article at Adam West (Family Guy)

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