“Forgotten Hollywood”- Ode to a Caped Crusader…

Posted on June 11, 2017 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here… 

“`There’s an impressive lineage that stretches from DC Comic Book’s Batman and the current incarnation of the Dark Knight. Most culturally significant was the 1966 campy television show with the square-jawed Adam West as the Caped Crusader. The program lasted three seasons. However, from 1966  – 1968, this was a tour-de-force of programming every Wednesday and Thursday evening. And, it spawned a film, lunch pales, bubble gum cards, and other assorted array of tie-in promotion.

“`Batman influenced generations of viewers with bigger-than-life characters, and galvanized future actors starring in television programs immeasurably tied to their roles. In Adam West’s case, it lasted his entire career. He is favorably comparable to William Shatner’s Captain Kirk; Bob Denver’s Gilligan, and Rod Serling’s prologues that began every episode of The Twilight Zone. West shunned the typecasting; he eventually embraced the inevitable. He’s the perfect incarnation of Batman. Only Basil Rathbone as the intrepid Sherlock Holmes was more well suited in the history of celluloid characterizations (in my humble estimation).

“`After serving in the Army, West went to Hollywood, and appeared on television, including The Rifleman77 Sunset Strip, The Real McCoys, Maverick, BonanzaPerry Mason, Petticoat Junction, Gunsmoke, and Bewitched. He additionally guest-starred in Vega$, Alice, Night GalleryThe Big Valley, Alias Smith and Jones, The Love BoatMannix, Fantasy Island, Laverne and ShirleyMurder She Wrote,  and Diagnosis: Murder. A modern generation of fans know him as the voice of Mayor Adam West on Family Guy. He had stints on 30 Rock, The Simpsons, The King of Queens and The Big Bang Theory. West received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2012.

“`He appeared in The Young Philadelphians, which starred Paul Newman. He was also cast in such forgettable fare as Tammy and the Doctor, The Outlaws is Coming, Hooper, and regrettably, The Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood. Yet important cinematic actors begged to appear on Batman,  including Shelly Winters, Cliff Robertson, Roddy McDowall, Vincent Price, Victor Buono, David Wayne, Van Johnson, George Sanders,  and most notably, Cesar Romero, Burgess Meredith, and Frank Gorshin. Neil Hamilton and Alan Napier were also veteran actors that offered able support on the popular series.

“`The bat-signal will shine one last time. West will be honored Thursday night with a lighting of the iconic signal in Los Angeles with Mayor Eric Garcetti and Police Chief Charlie Beck doing the honors.  The public is invited to attend the ceremony, which will take place at 9p at City Hall.

“`West outlived just about everyone connected to Batman, except Burt Ward and Julie Newmar  (Robin and Catwoman, respectively). His legacy will surely last. Flags in Gotham City should be lowered as a citizenry mourns their loss.

“`Adam West was 88.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

This entry was posted on Sunday, June 11th, 2017 at 9:53 pm and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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