Burt Ward - Batman


At the age of 19, Ward auditioned for the part of Robin. He and Adam West were up against Lyle Waggoner and Peter Deyell for the roles of Batman and Robin, respectively. Selected for the role of Robin, Ward thought people would find Gervis (the G is soft, as in gentleman) hard to pronounce and adopted his mother's maiden name Ward. He also changed the spelling of Bert to Burt to add "punch".

Unlike the series' lead, Adam West, Ward was required to do some dangerous stunt work, because his costume revealed more of his face, making it impractical for all of his stunt scenes to be performed by a stuntman. According to a 2000 A&E Biography interview of his series' co-star, the "Dynamic Duo" had a lot of fun, both on and off the set.

At the height of Batman's popularity, Ward recorded a series of tracks under the production of Frank Zappa. The first two, "Boy Wonder, I Love You" (which Zappa wrote) and "Orange Colored Sky," were released as a single on November 14, 1966. Two other tracks from these sessions, "Teenage Bill of Rights" and "Autumn Love", remained unreleased.

During the first months of shooting, Ward was paid $350 per week. By the series' end, he was earning up to $600 a week. The series only lasted two and a half seasons, for a total of 120 episodes; according to Ward in an interview, this was because of the high cost of production. It was still high in the ratings, but ABC was losing a great deal of money. Later, NBC offered to pick it up for a fourth season, but the offer was withdrawn after learning that the sets had been destroyed.

Adam West and Burt Ward recreated their TV roles of Batman and Robin in the 20th Century Fox film "Batman, The Movie" released on 22 May 1966.

Burt said of Adam West, his mentor and friend for more than four decades, “We were completely opposite, Adam has been in many shows, tremendous, terrific background, but very ‘Mr. Hollywood’. He wanted his tea at 4pm. in the afternoon, and me, I’m just like this kid ‘that does not care,’ having a great time. And I think that’s one of the reasons that the public like them because Adam was very introspective and I’m just this exuberant kid.” In 1969, a year after Batman's cancellation, West's mother Audrey died, bringing the two men closer together. They have been reunited many times at conventions and TV reunion specials. In turn, Ward also made two guest-appearances with West on two separate cartoons: one was a 2002 episode of The Simpsons and eight years later in 2010, on an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants.

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