Saturday, July 6, 2013

Happy Birthday, Burt Ward!

Today July 6 is Mr. Burt Ward's 68th birthday. Yes, believe it or not, the adorable Burt Ward was 20 when the BATMAN series started filming in late 1965. He turned 21 at the height of its popularity. That means he's about 20 years older than I am! 

He must have thought he had struck a gold mine when the first ratings came out and the quirky show was a huge hit. Everybody who was anybody wanted to be on the show. The guest villains read like a Who's Who of Golden & Silver Age Hollywood. It was a feast for the eyes and the senses. However, after less than three full years it petered out and was unceremoniously cancelled.

Most people thought it would whither, die out, and disappear. Actually, the opposite happened. Like STAR TREK, it never really went away. It went into syndication almost immediately and became stronger and stronger over time. Look at me, for example. I was too young to watch it during its first-run period; I watched it on re-runs every day after school on KDNL-TV Channel 30 in St. Louis. My guess is that it is on air somewhere in the US every single day. 

Burt Ward took all of this hoopla in stride. He tried to find other acting work, but was typecast and realized he had to make a living some other way. He became a real estate agent, among other things. He wrote a very amusing book called MY LIFE IN TIGHTS. And he travels to comic-book conventions; recently he and Adam West traveled together on the Wizard World Convention circuit. I only met him briefly during his time in Columbus, but I did get to hear them talk about their adventures. They seemed happy and nostalgic for their experiences. 

Happy Birthday, Burt Ward! 

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