To Batman, Thanks For Everything, Love Catwoman
Julie Newmar has some wonderful things to share about Adam West, who has died at the age of 88 after a short battle with leukemia.
“The first words that come to mind are steller, examplar, a king to the end,” she said in an interview just now from her Los Angeles home.
“He was bright, witty and funny,” she said. “I knew I would miss him in the physical world, but also savor him in the greater sense of his being with us.”
Julie is loath to compare actors but referred to West as the Cary Grant of television superheroes — an appropriate reference, I’d agree.
“He was perfect as himself in the role,” she said. “And the opportunity to either play with the best or be the best in the part is a high privilege.
“I think he seized the opportunity,” she added. “It was more than luck playing a role with his success. See, he was Batman. I am Catwoman. When you take all the measurement of physical, spiritual and mental.”
West and Newmar’s chemistry was palpable. They absolutely sizzled amid the show’s DayGlo colors, so I asked her what it was like to play off one another.
“Easy,” she replied. “Perfect and natural. It flowed. And a lot of that credit goes to those who created it for us, the writer, the producer, etc., the production people.”
Here’s one of my favorite examples:
Julie said Adam West understood acutely what it was to be Batman for generations of children and adults like me, people who saw more than an actor in a cape, but a hero or even a father figure.
“He was devoted,” Julie said. “He cared about what all this was, and the gift that was given to him. He nourished it. He made his life bigger from it. … I think he flourished from this honest admiration from people such as yourself and others.”
For ADAM WEST: A Celebration, a series of interviews and tributes to the greatest Caped Crusader, click here.