‘Batman’ Star Burt Ward Suggests Adam West Tried to Steal the Spotlight

Batman featured one of the first on-screen versions of the Dynamic Duo. The ’60s television series starred Adam West as the Caped Crusader and Burt Ward as his sidekick, Robin. The superhero team appeared in nearly every episode together. But at times, Ward said West purposely blocked him from the camera. 

‘Batman’ was Burt Ward’s first TV role

Burt Ward standing behind Adam West in 'Batman'
Burt Ward standing behind Adam West in ‘Batman’ | FilmPublicityArchive/United Archives via Getty Images

Batman was a campy action-packed comedy that aired for three seasons on ABC from 1966 to 1968. The TV show centered on the adventures of Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson, aka Batman and Robin. And it followed their battles with villains like The Joker (César Romero) and Catwoman (Lee Meriwether, Eartha Kitt, and Julie Newmar). 

By the time he landed the role as Batman in the ‘60s series, West was a seasoned 38-year-old actor with several films and television series under his belt. On the other hand, Ward was 19 and had no prior acting experience. So his very first on-screen gig, playing Robin, ended up becoming his breakthrough role. 

Burt Ward said Adam West hogged screen-time on ‘Batman’

While filming Batman, West and Ward would often appear together on-screen. But when talking to Peter Anthony Holder for a 1990’s interview, Ward suggested West would often try to hog the camera.

“I had the greatest time of my life,” the actor recalled. “Even working with Adam, who I really adore, OK, but who absolutely drove me crazy upstaging me, constantly blocking me from the camera, that I was always having to be on my toes.”

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But Ward said that it wasn’t just the camera shots that West took over. He said that his co-star also delivered his dialogue at slow speed, ensuring he’d get more time center stage. 

“And even when he said his lines, I must tell you, he spoke his lines so slowly that snails could make love while he’s doing it,” Ward joked. “And he did it on purpose, because his theory was, ‘If I speak twice as slowly as I’m supposed to, the camera will be forced to stay on me twice as long.’”

Burt Ward still remained good friends with Adam West

Ward may have felt like West took up his camera time, but he truly respected and admired the actor. The two remained great friends for over 50 years. And in a statement following West’s 2017 death, Ward praised his Batman co-star and spoke of their special bond. 

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“I am devastated at the loss of one of my very dearest friends,” Ward said via Variety. “Adam and I had a special friendship for more than 50 years. We shared some of the most fun times of our lives together. Our families have deep love and respect for each other.”

“This is a terribly unexpected loss of my lifelong friend,” he added. “I will forever miss him. There are several fine actors who have portrayed Batman in films. In my eyes, there was only one real Batman that is and always will be Adam West. He was truly the Bright Night.”