Monday, June 12, 2017

Walla Walla And The World Mourn West

This weekend, the world stopped to mourn a Walla Walla guy.  Like the iconic character he played, Adam West had an alter ego, a true identity, if you will.  When Bill Anderson landed in Hollywood, there was a well known singer that also had that name,  according to his dad, Otto Anderson.  In the early 70s, I accompanied my parents to a Little Theatre cast party at the senior Mr. Anderson's house and he was more than happy to explain the name change.  Mr. Anderson said Adam took the "West" from his own middle name. 
As I was growing up in Walla Walla, West was well loved.  He was a seemingly isolated town's connection to Hollywood.  I have heard that he visited his home town often.   As I have said, the only time that I met him in person was at a cocktail party in San Diego.
 You can probably say that he was the most famous person to hail from Walla Walla.  Drew Bledsoe, is the other famous Walla Wallan. Bledsoe achieved national fame as quarterback for the Walla Walla High School Blue Devils and the WSU Cougars.  As a first draft choice in the NFL in 1993. he enjoyed a stellar career with the New England Patriots.
After the Batman series,  West would suffer from typecasting, being denied roles because viewers would only see him as Batman.  However, West found a way to make a comeback leveraging his fame playing the character, along with America's appetite for nostalgia.  He was also able to use social networking to his advantage. 
West did a voiceover for himself in The Simpson's and did a guest appearance on The Big Bang Theory.  He eventually was casted as the voice for Mayor Adam West in the Family Guy cartoon series.
Adam West's passing started a love fest on Twitter, Facebook, and traditional media.
 Probably, very few of his fans knew he was from Walla Walla.  Probably even fewer knew his real name was William West Anderson, but West touched  the heart of his hometown where he will be remembered forever as Bill Anderson, a Walla Wallan


Anonymous said...

The Joker, Riddler and Penguin [from the TV series] all died years ago. He outlived the villans. Adam West was a neat guy. Too bad he didn't land a bit part in the newer Batman movies.

Mike Barer said...

His youthful ward, Robin, is still with us!