Birthday: September 19, 1928
Age: 92 Years, 92 Year Old Males
Sun Sign: Virgo
Also Known As: William West Anderson
Born in: Seattle, Washington, U.S
Famous as: Actor
Height: 6'2" (188 cm), 6'2" Males
Spouse/Ex-: Marcelle Tagand Lear (m. 1970), Billie Lou Yeager (m. 1950–1956), Frisbie Dawson (m. 1957–1962)
father: Otto West Anderson
mother: Audrey V. Speer
siblings: John West Anderson
children: Hunter Anderson, Jonelle S. Anderson, Nina West, Perrin West
U.S. State: Washington
City: Seattle, Washington
education: Walla Walla High School, Lakeside School, Whitman College
Adam West is an actor and also known for lending his voice to many animated series’. His real name is William West Anderson and Adam West is his stage name. He explains in his autobiography, the reason behind taking the name ‘Adam West’. His interest and inclination towards acting and television reflected from his school years itself. He has had a long career of six decades and out of all his works, he is best known for his role in the 1960s ABC series Batman and its theatrical feature film. He had his stint of success and fame with Batman but it was short-lived as the series got cancelled abruptly. However, due to his exceptional talent he sprung back with other featured films. West did not have the best of childhood as he had witnessed his parents separation when he was a kid. He was to a certain extent influenced by his mother. West like his mother was also an alcoholic but gave up on it in 1970. Both of them suffered from depression too.
Childhood & Early Life
Adam West was born to Otto West Anderson and Audrey. V. Speer in Walla Walla, Washington. However, West’s paternal grandparents were of Swedish origin.
West’s parents separated when he was a kid. So, he moved with his mother to Seattle where he received his early education from Lakeside School in Seattle. His Bachelor’s degree was in Literature and a minor in Psychology from Whitman College.
He started working as a radio disc jockey while he was studying and he helped launch a military television station.
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Around 1955 while West was in Hawaii, he was roped into a children’s show called ‘El Kini Popo’ as a side kick. Although, West started off with a small role in the show, he soon went on to become the star of the show. He became quite popular amongst the kids with this show.
West had to do odd jobs to meet ends meet. While he was a part of the children’s show, he also worked as an island tour guide. It was an accidental meeting with a Hollywood agent during one of his guide tours that gave him his first entry into Hollywood.
West took over the name ‘Adam West when he made his entry into Hollywood, in 1959. He starred in the movie ‘The Young Philadelphians’ where his role was small but impactful. The movie also starred Paul Newman.
For the next few years West received only supporting roles in both the small and big screen. He did recurring roles as the Sergeant Steve Nelson on the popular and hit TV series ‘The Detectives’. He later got an opportunity to travel to Italy where he starred in the ‘The Relentless Four’.
West had gained success and popularity with his supporting roles in movies and Television. However, his biggest break came with his role as crime fighting super-hero Batman in the eponymous TV series in 1966. Producers of the show saw West’s ability to pull wisecracks easily and spontaneously, which made him a perfect fit for the role.
In the same year, West starred in the full-length feature film ‘Batman’. However, the TV series ‘Batman’ had to be terminated in 1968 owing to increasing costs.
Post his high profile role, after seeing the hilt of success; West was reduced to making guest appearances in county fairs and rodeos. He was also seen in some theatrical films such as ‘The Marriage of a Young Stockbroker’, ‘The Specialist’, ‘Hardcore’, ‘Hooper’ and ‘The Happy Hooker Goes Home’.
West’s acting in the TV series ‘Batman’ was critically acclaimed and the popularity of the show snowballed to phenomenal levels making him a household name.
West wrote his autobiography which was called ‘Back to the Batcave’ in which he explains the reason behind taking the name Adam as it sounded and felt best with his middle name West.
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West’s typical and unique voice helped him lend his voice to many animated series. These include: ‘Family Guy, ‘Meet the Robinsons which was a Disney Film and ‘Sponge Bob Square Pants’. His work for ‘Family Guy’ was the next best thing that happened to West professionally, after ‘Batman’. He got his fair bit of due for his work in ‘Family Guy’.
Awards and Achievements
West was dedicated with a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs, California, Walk of Stars, in 2010.
He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2012. His stars are placed at 6764 Hollywood Blvd in front of the Guinness Museum in Hollywood, California.
Personal Life & Legacy
West’s mother was a talented singer. She was an alcoholic problem and battled depression. After separating from West’s father, she married Dr Paul Flothow. West also had a younger brother who accompanied them to Seattle when their parents separated.
West married Billie Lou Yeager in 1950. The marriage was short-lived and the couple divorced in 1956.
After divorcing his first wife, he married a beautiful girl from Tahiti, named Ngatokoruaimatauaia Frisbie Dawson, in 1957. Adam called her ‘Nga’. Adam had a daughter and son with Nga. But this marriage too didn’t last long and they divorced in 1962.
Adam married Marcelle Lear in 1970 and the couple is still living happily together.
West was a true Batman fan. He went to the extent of getting a little black Batman logo on one of his molars.