Adam West Biography
Actor Adam West is best known for his three high-flying years as the star of the spoofy 1960s superhero show Batman.
Adam West was raised on a farm near Walla Walla, Washington and went to Whitman College in the same town. He followed that with a stint in the U.S. Army (working as an announcer for the Armed Forces Network) before making his way to Hollywood and changing his name to Adam West.
He appeared in a variety of bit parts in movies and on TV westerns like Sugarfoot and Colt .45 before landing his big break: being cast as Batman in the TV series of the same name. West played the masked crimefighter with a straight face while surrounded by silly mayhem of all kinds as he battled villains like the Penguin, the Joker and King Tut. (His sidekick, Robin, was played by Burt Ward; his sorta-rival Batgirl was played by Yvonne Craig.)
The show was a huge surprise hit in its first year, 1966, and lasted another two seasons before petering out and being canceled in 1968. The show lived on in syndication and, silly as it was, paved the way for later deadly-serious Batman movies starring Christian Bale, Michael Keaton and even George Clooney as the “caped crusader.”
West’s career went on the skids for awhile, but he became a popular regular on the burgeoning convention circuit, signing autographs and delighting fans. In later years he made a new name for himself as a voice actor on Batman cartoons and playing himself (or fictional characters based on himself) in various TV shows. He also voiced the mayor of Quahog, whose name was Adam West, on Seth McFarlane‘s popular animated series Family Guy.
Adam West was married three times: to Billie Lou Yeager (from 1950 until their divorce in 1956); to Frisbie Dawson (from 1957 until their divorce in 1962); and to Marcelle Tagand Lear (from 1970 until West’s death in 2017). He had six children in all.