BATMAN’s Burt Ward Reveals He Wrestled With Adam West’s Cancer Diagnosis

Photo from IMDb – “Adam West and Burt Ward in Batman (1966)”

BATMAN’s Burt Ward Reveals He Wrestled With Adam West’s Cancer Diagnosis

By Movieguide® Contributor

Burt Ward remembered the tragic news of his BATMAN co-star Adam West’s death in a recent interview. 

“It wasn’t supposed to happen,” Ward told Fox News of West’s death following a battle with leukemia in 2017. He was 88 years old. 

Ward was shocked by the news; he and West had just appeared at an autograph signing three weeks earlier. Ward recalled that his co-star was walking so fast, he could barely keep up with him. 

“This really bothered me,” Ward explained. “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.”

The BATMAN star continued, “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.”

Ward and West met when they were both cast in the 1966 BATMAN TV series as Robin and Batman, respectively. 

They quickly became “incredibly great friends.” Ward went on to say that “Within 10 minutes [of first meeting], we were laughing, not knowing how much our lives were going to change.”

That friendship lasted throughout the years.

“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,” Ward said of his time with West. “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.”

Movieguide® previously reported on Ward and West’s friendship:

Actors Burt Ward and Adam West were once some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, known for iconic roles like Robin (Ward) and Batman (West) in the 1960’s superhero series BATMAN.

In a recent interview with Closer Weekly, Ward fondly recalled his relationship with his BATMAN co-star.

Ward, who played sidekick Robin to West’s Batman, revealed they shared friendship on and off the screen.

“He and I got along incredibly well,” Ward shared. “Within five minutes of meeting, the two of us were laughing so hard they had to tell us to quiet down. We just clicked. He was the funniest person I have ever met in my entire life.”

“On the weekends, we would play tennis together,” he continued. “We were going to public courts, and people would look over and say, ‘It’s Batman and Robin playing tennis!’”

Despite the fun that the duo had on set, Ward revealed that he did most of his stunts, which resulted in an injury “every single day.”

“I mean, you can’t imagine,” Ward explained. “One time I was tied down to a table, and Batman was supposed to blow a hole through the wall. The studio forgot to build a breakaway wall, so the special effect guys used real dynamite to blow the soundstage down. I couldn’t hear for a week after that.”

“It was dangerous,” he added. “I kept seeing the same doctor at the hospital. He told me I should consider a different line of work because I was in practically every week with something broken or burns. The studio took out a $3 million life insurance policy on me. I think by the end, they were trying to collect!”

In 2017, Ward’s friend and co-star died. Ward detailed his shock at the news of West’s death in an interview with Fox News.

“I saw him a couple of weeks ago,” Ward said at the time. “We had breakfast before signing autographs all day long. We walked to the stage, he walked so fast I could barely keep up with him. He was in great condition.”

“Nothing ever changed,” he recalled. “We were exactly the same after the first three minutes we met. We were both very fun-loving people and got along so well. We were such good friends that when we weren’t filming, we would occasionally go out on the weekends and play tennis… He was everything off-stage that he was on-screen. He was such a wonderful man.”

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