Burt Ward Recalls the Pain of Losing ‘Batman’ Co-Star Adam West in 2017
Adam West, best known for playing Batman in the ’60s, passed away on June 9, 2017. The sudden news hit his former co-star Burt Ward, who played his trusty sidekick Robin, like a brick. The 88-year-old died suddenly after a short battle with leukemia, making it very difficult for his loved ones. Just three weeks before his death, he joined Ward at an appearance at a signing.
Ward explained, “This really bothered me. His death – this shouldn’t have happened. I knew Adam was not feeling well. He had gone to the hospital for some tests. I later learned that he had leukemia. But I truly believed he had many years ahead of him. After he died, I continued with the rest of our tour because it had already been pre-booked all across the country. As I signed autographs and met fans, I would look over to my right. There was that other table with an empty chair. That was tough. I was just so heartbroken. He was always busy doing stuff. He always made plans for the future. I don’t think anyone expected him to be gone so quickly. I certainly wasn’t expecting it.”
While Batman only aired for two years, it became a cult classic over the years and West remains one of the most popular Batman characters despite the role being played by stars such as George Clooney and Christian Bale. While working together, West and Ward became best friends in real life. While the series ended in 1968, they stayed in touch and remained close until West’s death.
Ward shared about their friendship, “We could just sit down and not have anything to talk about, and within minutes, we were just laughing, reminiscing, talking about current events and remembering the good times. Whenever he came over to my house, we just had the greatest time. My wife adored him. I remember when he first met her, and he was just so gracious. We hugged, and he just admired the beautiful diamond ring I got her. He was truly the funniest, nicest guy. Gosh, just thinking about him. I miss him so much. He should be here.”
While West initially didn’t like being typecast as Batman, as the years went on he embraced the show’s legacy. West and Ward became a popular duo at fan conventions and loved to interact with fans, decades after the show premiered. As we celebrate West’s life on the anniversary of his death, consider watching Batman today to honor him. You can stream it on Amazon Prime, VUDU, or Apple TV.