They were a Dynamic Duo from day one. “I met Adam West 15 minutes before we did our first screen test,” Burt “Robin” Ward dished to Closer Weekly of the actor who played the Dark Knight in the kitschy 1966–’68 TV series Batman. “Within five minutes, we were laughing, and we never stopped laughing for 50 years!”
Sadly, Adam died of leukemia at 88 in 2017, but his legacy lives on in the new “20th Century Superhero Legends” exhibit at LA’s Hollywood Museum. “It’s re-creating an entire era,” Burt, 73, says. “It’s like being back on the set.”
Despite the stars’ shared sense of humor, they didn’t always joke around. “The hard work that was being done doesn’t show on film,” Lee Meriwether recalled. The 83-year-old was one of three actresses to play Catwoman on the series (the others were Julie Newmar and Eartha Kitt). “Sometimes it wasn’t easy. But, hey, you put on a smile and sing a happy song!”
It even got downright dangerous at times. “I went to the emergency room four of the first six days we shot,” Burt marveled. “I got second-degree burns and a broken nose from a two-by-four falling on my face. The producers took out a very large life insurance policy on me, and I could swear they were trying to collect on it!”
Burt and Lee confess that Adam’s death left a bat-shaped hole in their hearts. “I think of him because I have several pictures of him around my house,” Lee said. “I say hello to him every day.” Burt added, “The hardest part is when I’m out signing autographs, and I turn around and see that empty chair.”
Still, the fans’ love for the show will never die. “Everybody wants to do something bigger than life — something grand and heroic,” said Burt. “And that’s what Batman was for all the viewers who grew up watching the show, putting on their bath-towel capes and jumping off the couch.”
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