Adam West Biography

(American Actor Who Portrayed 'Batman' in Several Movies and Television Shows)

Birthday: September 19, 1928 (Virgo)

Born In: Walla Walla, Washington, United States

Adam West was an actor known for lending his voice to many animated series. His real name was William West Anderson and he used Adam West as his stage name. He explained in his autobiography, the reason behind taking the name ‘Adam West’. His interest and inclination towards acting and television was seen during his school years. He had a long career of six decades and out of all his works, he was 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 canceled abruptly. However, due to his exceptional talent, he sprung back with other featured films. West did not have the best of childhood as he 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.

Quick Facts

Also Known As: William West Anderson

Died At Age: 88


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

Born Country: United States

Actors Voice Actors

Height: 6'2" (188 cm), 6'2" Males

Died on: June 9, 2017

place of death: Los Angeles, California, United States

Ancestry: Swedish American

Notable Alumni: Lakeside School, Whitman College

Cause of Death: Leukemia

U.S. State: Washington

More Facts

education: Whitman College, Lakeside School

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 sidekick. 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 on both the small and big screen. He did recurring roles as 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 the crime-fighting superhero 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 Hollywood.’

In 1982, he played the role of ‘Allan McKenna’ in the American supernatural horror film ‘One Dark Night’ directed and co-written by Tom McLoughlin. The film was about a dark occultist who comes back from the dead and haunts three teenagers. He was next seen in films like ‘Hell Riders,’ ‘Young Lady Chatterley II,’ ‘Zombie Nightmare,’ ‘Doin' Time on Planet Earth,’ ‘Mad About You,’ ‘Omega Cop,’ ‘The New Age,’ and ‘American Vampire.’

In 2004, he joined the voice cast of the American animated television series ‘The Batman.’ He voiced ‘Mayor Marion Grange’ and remained a part of the show until 2006.

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He voiced ‘Ace - Hollywood Chicken Little’ in the 2005 American computer-animated science fiction comedy film ‘Chicken Little.’ The film, despite receiving mixed reviews from critics, managed to gross over $314.4 million on a budget of $150 million. He next starred in films like ‘Meet the Robinsons,’ ‘Ratko: The Dictator's Son,’ ‘Super Capers: The Origins of Ed and the Missing Bullion,’ ‘Pizza Man,’ ‘Scooby-Doo! and the Beach Beastie,’ and ‘Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders.’

In 2017, he voiced ‘Bruce Wayne / Batman’ in the American animated direct-to-video superhero film ‘Batman vs. Two-Face’ directed by Rick Morales. The film garnered much praise from critics and scored a perfect 100% approval score on Rotten Tomatoes. This was the final film appearance of Adam West. That same year, he also appeared in the American sitcom television series ‘Powerless.’

Major Works

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 explained the reason behind taking the name Adam as it sounded and felt best with his middle name West.

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 had two children.

He passed away from leukemia in June 2017.


West was a true Batman fan. He went to the extent of getting a little black Batman logo on one of his molars.

Over the year, he gave voice in several video games including ‘Goosebumps: Attack of the Mutant,’ ‘XIII,’ ‘Family Guy Video Game!,’ ‘Grand Theft Auto V,’ and ‘Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham.’

Adam West Movies

1. The Young Philadelphians (1959)


2. Soldier in the Rain (1963)

  (Drama, Comedy, Romance)

3. How to Get the Man's Foot Outta Your Ass (2003)

  (Drama, Biography)

4. Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964)

  (Sci-Fi, Adventure)

5. Batman: The Movie (1966)

  (Crime, Comedy, Family, Adventure)

6. The FBI Story (1959)

  (Drama, History, Thriller, Crime)

7. The Outlaws Is Coming (1965)

  (Western, Comedy)

8. The Marriage of a Young Stockbroker (1971)


9. The Girl Who Knew Too Much (1969)

  (Crime, Drama)

10. Hooper (1978)

  (Action, Comedy)

See the events in life of Adam West in Chronological Order

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