Adam West was born William West Anderson on September 19, 1928 in Walla Walla, Washington. As a youth, he studied at Lakeside School in Seattle. After graduating, he enrolled at Whitman College in Walla Walla with a major of literature and psychology. He also became a member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity and met a woman named Billie Lou Yeager that he married. After graduating from Whitman, he enrolled in graduate school at Stanford University.
In the early 1950s, Adam was drafted into the Army and served for two years. Afterwards, he worked a series of day jobs as a disc jockey, truck driver, cowboy, and milkman. He eventually moved to Hawaii with his wife and found a job on "The Kini Popo Show". There, he also met a Hawaiian woman named Ngatokoruaimatauaia Frisbie Dawson and divorced his wife to marry her.
In the late 1950s, he got a few bit parts in feature films that led to better roles in the 1960s. His first film performance was in 1957's "Voodoo Island", followed by 1958's "Ghost of the China Sea". Some of these roles caught the attention of a television producer named William Dozier.
Dozier was casting for a television show based on the Batman comics and thought that Adam would make a good Batman. West accepted and the show became a massive success, running from 1966 to 1968. The role became his claim to fame and even produced a 1966 film based on the television series. Today, the show is criticized for being campy and making something of a joke out of the dark comics.
After Batman ended, Adam found it difficult to avoid being typecast as Batman. In 1969, he made one of his most important films, "The Girl Who Knew Too Much". During the 1970s, he spent most of his time doing low budget films that never achieved much commercial success.
In 1983, he reprised his Batman role in the "Super Friends" cartoon. The character had previously been voiced by Olan Soule, but Soule thought that West deserved the role more. In the 1990s, his work was more popular and he did a lot of cameos in movies and television shows like "Drop Dead Gorgeous" and "The Simpsons".
In 1991, West starred in a pilot episode for a show called Lookwell. The show was a comedy and West played a washed up television super hero who thinks he can solve crimes in the real world. Unfortunately, the show was never bought by a network.
More recently, West has taken on the role of the mayor in the television series "Family Guy". He also makes appearances on other shows, including "The Fairly Odd Parents", "The Batman", "Johnny Bravo", and "Kim Possible". West is also known as a skilled investor and has appeared on several investment shows.