HOLLYWOOD — Burt Ward, best known for his portrayal of Robin on ABC’s campy 1960s “Batman” series, received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Jan. 9, next to that of his late co-star, Adam West.
Filmmaker Kevin Smith and television personalities Maria Menounos and Nancy O’Dell were among those joining Ward at the ceremony in front of the Guinness World Records museum on Hollywood Boulevard.
“For this little boy that grew up in this town, that daydreamed every single day when other kids were out playing with friends and I was by myself, and all I ever wanted to be was a superhero,” Ward said. “I got it. OK? And I don’t think it was an accident.”
The Batmobile was parked on Hollywood Boulevard for the ceremony, and some in the crowd came dressed as their favorite characters from the series. Menounos attended in a Batgirl costume.
Ward’s star is next to that of West, who starred as Batman in the 1966-68 ABC series. West received his star in 2012, five years before he died.
According to a biography supplied by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which oversees the Walk of Fame, “Batman” executive producer William Dozier told Ward he was chosen out of more than 1,100 actors who auditioned for Robin because the producers believed that “If there really was a real Robin, The Boy Wonder, then Burt would be it,” so they requested him to “just be himself and be enthusiastic.”
All the unscripted mannerisms Ward exhibited as Robin, such as punching his fist into his palm and jumping over the door in and out of the Batmobile, were created by Ward.
Born Bert John Gervis Jr. on July 6, 1945, in Los Angeles, Ward skated in the “Rhapsody On Ice” show owned by his father beginning when he was 2 years old, making him the youngest professional ice skater.
Ward’s father was also a prominent real estate broker in Beverly Hills and he became one of California’s youngest real estate agents. As a real estate agent, Ward met producer Saul David, who arranged for him to sign with a Hollywood agent. His first interview was set up at 20th Century Fox and a few weeks later Ward was called back for a screen test with West.
Ward also supplied the voice of Robin for the 1977 CBS animated series “The New Adventures of Batman.”
Along with his wife Tracy, Ward operates the Norco-based Gentle Giants Rescue and Adoptions, which has rescued and adopted more than 15,500 giant breed, medium breed, and small breed dogs during its 23 years of operation.
From City News Service