Batman’s Adam West passes away

archive from the Tacoma Public Library's Northwest Room.  Photo by Morf Morford Photo: a B & I advertisement for Batman's visit

archive from the Tacoma Public Library’s Northwest Room.
Photo by Morf Morford
Photo: a B & I advertisement for Batman’s visit

By Morf Morford and Danielle Nease
Tacoma Daily Index

On June 9, 2017 Adam West passed away in Los Angeles, following a brief battle with leukemia. He was 88. On June 15, 2017, Los Angeles shined the Bat-Signal on City Hall as a tribute to West.

Many people don’t realize Adam West had a Tacoma connection. Yes, Adam West, the actor who played Batman in the internationally known television series attended (but did not graduate from) the University of Puget Sound from 1949-1950, under the name of William Adam Anderson, and was known as Bill Anderson.

Walla Walla generally claims him, but he was born in Waitsburg, Washington, where his father was a wheat rancher, according to an article in the News Tribune in January 1966. Waitsburg is in Walla Walla County, north of the town of Walla Walla and east of the Tri-cities. For hard core Tacoma Batman fans, Waitsburg is about a 4 ½ hour drive.

During the height of his fame (February 1966), West (or at least someone pretending to be him) visited the then famous B&I store, where free “Official Batman” kits were offered and you could purchase a “45″ record for the “low, low” price of 49 cents.

William R. Lindley, director of public information for UPS, interviewed Adam West and asked him what courses he’d recommend to prepare for the roll of Batman. West chuckled and suggested attending the zoo or the ballet, perhaps racing cars or volunteering as a fireman to get practice sliding down Bat-poles.

Just add Batman to the list of celebrities who have passed through Tacoma.

- Thank you to the Northwest Room at Tacoma Public Library for access to the archives pictured here.

archives from the Tacoma Public Library's Northwest Room.  Photos by Morf Morford  Photos: Bat-ballet and more from a UPS interview with Adam West

archives from the Tacoma Public Library’s Northwest Room.
Photos by Morf Morford
Photos: Bat-ballet and more from a UPS interview with Adam West

archives from the Tacoma Public Library's Northwest Room.  Photos by Morf Morford Photos: Bat-ballet and more from a UPS interview with Adam West

archives from the Tacoma Public Library’s Northwest Room.
Photos by Morf Morford
Photos: Bat-ballet and more from a UPS interview with Adam West