TOP  |   PREVIOUS ITEM  |  NEXT ITEM   ( 12 of 14 )


Updated: January 22, 2021

An amiably ungrandiose, entertaining memoir of TV's Batman by the Caped Crusader himself. Aided by thriller writer Rovin (co-author of The Red Arrow, 1990), West devotes the first quarter of the book to his youth in Walla Walla, Wash., his eclectic early acting career in the thespian un-center of Honolulu, and his move into Hollywood westerns, at which time he jettisoned his birth name of Billy West Anderson.

Selected in 1965 to play Batman, the actor prepared by reading novels whose heroes had dual identities, such as The Scarlet Pimpernel, and by scouring 1940's Batman comic books, trying to make his character as plausible as a superhero can be. West recalls how producers saved money by using sound-effects cards "POW" in place of transition shots, how he improvised the "Batusi" into a dance craze, and how difficult it was to shed his tight-fitting outfit on the way to the "Batroom.'" He repeats his defense of the show as hard-working farce to critics who disparaged it as camp and his response to watchdog groups who suggested the crime-fighting team was gay (Aunt Harriet wouldn't allow it).

He also offers thumbnail sketches of the actors who played show's villains, including the tormentingly sexy Julie Newmar as Catwoman, the distinguished Cesar Romero as the Joker, and the good-natured Liberace, miscast as an evil twin. After the show went off the air in 1968, West retreated into smaller roles and

Batman'' nostalgia. While the actor hints that his Bat-fame gained him a good deal of recreational sex, he modestly leaves out the salacious details.

Of the 1989 film version starring Michael Keaton, he observes that it showed an emotionally scarred Batman and regrets he wasn't offered the role. It won't make anyone cry "Holy Publishing Event," but there's good fun for Bat fans.

Send me your Comments:
Your Name:
Your Email Address:
Comments: is owned by Robert Vanderpool. Copyright Robert Vanderpool. All rights reserved. All other Trademarks and Copyrights are property of their respected owners. Copyright Policy.