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September 19, 2020

20 Vintage Portraits of a Young and Handsome Adam West in the 1960s

Adam West was best known for playing the crime-fighting superhero Batman in the popular 1960s television series. He was a true American icon. From his humble beginnings on a wheat farm in Walla Walla, Washington, Adam skyrocketed to fame in Hollywood, pursuing an extraordinary career in entertainment that has spanned half a century.

Actor Adam West (September 19, 1928 – June 9, 2017) was born William West Anderson, raised in Walla Walla and Seattle. After graduating from Whitman College and service in the army, West spent years working on the fringes of the entertainment industry in Hawaii and California.

Handsome, muscular, and with a resonant baritone voice, he was eventually spotted by a talent agent. This led to supporting roles in TV dramas, acting in commercials, and very occasional film work until, in 1965, he was tapped to star in a new ABC series, Batman. The show was hugely popular, but West found himself typecast after its run ended, relegated to attending fan events in costume and taking small parts in bad movies.

He regained a measure of fame and respect in the 1990s as a popular voice actor and entertaining talk-show guest, and in 2012 was honored with a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. After his death in 2017, his home town of Walla Walla honored West with an illuminated bat signal projected onto the tower of the historic Marcus Whitman Hotel.


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