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Burt Ward Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (2)  | Spouse (4)  | Trade Mark (3)  | Trivia (33)  | Personal Quotes (12)  | Salary (1)

Overview (3)

Born in Los Angeles, California, USA
Birth NameBert John Gervis Jr.
Height 5' 8½" (1.74 m)

Mini Bio (2)

From Caped Crusader to Canine Crusader

Little did aspiring actor Burt Ward know that learning martial arts in addition to his mental and athletic prowess would change his life forever. As a teen-age, Burt had all the makings of a true boy wonder. As an all around athlete, strong in martial arts, wrestling, track, tennis and golf, combined with a sharp intellect, playing "first board" in chess for Beverly Hills High School, achieving the top 3% in the U.S. in math and science tests at UCLA, and becoming the world's fastest reader - Burt tested before the American Medical Society in Beverly Hills, California and was clocked at 30,000 words per minute with 90% comprehension (the average reader reads 240 words per minute with 40% comprehension). Burt was featured in an article entitled, "Will the Real Boy Wonder Please Stand Up" and subsequently appeared on the national television educational show "Read Right." With the help of his father, a prominent real estate broker in Beverly Hills, CA, Burt became one of the youngest real estate agents in California, and met producer, Saul David, who arranged for him to sign with a Hollywood agent. His first interview was set up at 20th Century Fox Studios, and a few weeks later, Burt was called back for a screen test with Adam West. Holder of a brown belt in karate at the time, Burt showed off his athletic ability for the producers by demonstrating some falls and tumbles, and even broke a one-inch pine board with his hand. Later, Burt attained his black belt from his instructor, All Korean champion, Young Ik Suh. Burt was friends with Bruce Lee. A special piece of movie trivia is that Bruce Lee's first filmed fight scene of his career was fighting Burt Ward. In October 2015, Burt was inducted into the International Karate and Kickboxing Hall of Fame. Executive Producer William Dozier commented about Ward's tall size in comparison to Adam West, and the new Boy Wonder prospect replied, "I promise you, sir, I won't grow anymore." Dozier laughed and told Burt that he would hold him to that. 2 It wasn't until six weeks after the screen test that Burt learned that he had won the coveted role of Robin, the Boy Wonder in the new "Batman" TV series for ABC-TV. He was everything they wanted. All he had to do was just be himself. Batman Was an Overnight Sensation!

Biff, Bam, Boom! The Ratings Soared! Burt and Adam West made hundreds of personal appearances together and were featured in dozens of magazine articles, including the cover of Life magazine. Years later, when accepting Harvard's "Man of the Year" award, Burt brought one of his original Robin costumes, even then valued at six figures. Some students came up to him dressed as security guards and told him they would keep the costume safe. Then, in the middle of Burt's speech, one student stood up and asked, "When is a costume not a costume? When it's stolen." The lights dimmed and the students grabbed the costume and made off. After snapping photos with one another in the cape, they later called Ward and gave the costume back. The ringleader of the gang? Harvard Lampoon editor, Conan O'Brien.

From "Caped Crusader" to "Canine Crusader" In 1994, Burt and his wife, Tracy Posner Ward, philanthropist and daughter of former corporate raider and billionaire, Victor Posner, rescued a Great Dane in distress. From this experience, they learned about dozens of other Great Danes also needing homes. When they called weeks later to see what had happened to the others, they was horrified to hear that they had all been destroyed. Both Burt and Tracy have a huge love for animals. They made a decision, and created a rescue for Great Danes and other giant dog breeds. Located 50 miles east of Los Angeles, Gentle Giants Rescue and Adoptions is a nonprofit charity created by Burt and Tracy. Gentle Giants has rescued and adopted more than 15,500 giant breed and small breed dogs during their 22 years of operation. All of their dogs are socialized and behaviorally trained, and live communally together in their home. Gentle Giants is now the largest giant breed dog rescue in the world and rescues and finds homes for 45 different dog breeds, ranging from 2 lbs. to 300 lbs.

Traditionally, giant breed dogs usually have short lifespans, living 6-8 years or 7-9 years, depending upon the breed. Spending millions of dollars of their own money and more than a decade of research and testing, and combining their special care and feeding program with their own all natural Gentle Giants dog food, Burt and Tracy have successfully doubled the average lifespan of their rescued giant breed dogs, and significantly lengthened the average lifespan of their rescued small and medium breed dogs as well, with dogs living as long as 27 active, healthy years.

Gentle Giants Products manufacturers all natural Gentle Giants dog food which is sold in more than 1,250 stores in California, and in 339 Walmart Supercenters in Oregon, 3 Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Louisiana, North Carolina and Florida. Gentle Giants dog food is sold nationally through mail order on Chewy.com, Walmart.com, and Amazon.com. In California, Gentle Giants is sold in Walmart Supercenters, Stater Bros. Ralphs, and Gelson's.

Gentle Giants has a spectacular new line of wet (canned) dog food, with 90% Beef, 90% Chicken, and 90% Salmon. Gentle Giants Products also has a new line of super premium dog supplements and super premium dog treats.

The Caped Crusader has truly evolved into the Canine Crusader.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: ROGER NEAL- NEAL PR prstarus2000@yahoo.com

"Holy, TV stardom, Batman!" Burt Ward whopped, bammed, kapowed and zoomed to instant teen idolatry essaying one of DC Comics' most popular superhero comic creations with the cult smash TV series Batman (1966). He also suffered one of the fastest career downslides ever to befall a TV star once the show's camp-styled antics lost its appeal in its third season.

He was born Bert John Gervis, Jr. in Los Angeles, the oldest of three children. Father Bert, Sr. was the owner of a traveling ice show called "Rhapsody on Ice" and, by age two, Bert, Jr. had joined the act, billed as the youngest professional ice skater. His name would be featured in the book Strange As It Seems, a predecessor to the popular Guinness Book of Records. Bert's father sold real estate. Bright and athletically included, Bert, Jr. was active on the high school track and field, wrestling and golf teams. He also was an avid comic book reader, school chess champion and became proficient at karate (brown belt).

Following graduation in 1963, Bert met Bonney Lindsey, whose father was the well-known musical conductor Mort Lindsey. Through this contact, Bert and Bonney apprenticed at the Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope, Pennsylvania, where he worked behind the scenes building sets and assisting with props. It was enough to pique his interest in acting and, after attending USC at Santa Barbara (where he worked part time as a deejay at the local college station), Burt transferred to UCLA and became a film/theatre major, supplementing his income selling real estate. He and Bonney married in July of 1965 and had one daughter, Lisa.

In 1965, ABC began a search for a "new face" to appear in an upcoming comic strip series. Bert lucked out when he managed a screen test with the actor playing "Batman" (Adam West) for the "Robin" (aka "Dick Grayson," aka "The Boy Wonder"). His compact build, buoyant personality, slightly awkward sense of humor and assured athletic ability made him a perfect fit for the part, and he was cast.

Without any professional acting experience, the newly-named "Burt Ward" was suddenly thrust into the limelight big time. The series premiered in January of 1966 and caught on instantly thanks to the kitschy, tongue-in-cheek approach combined with the psychedelic-colored sets, gimmicky props, and numerous catchphrases. Big stars, past and present, couldn't wait to be a part of the outrageousness as guest villains -- Frank Gorshin, Burgess Meredith, Cesar Romero, Julie Newmar, Eartha Kitt, Vincent Price, Roddy McDowall, Victor Buono, even Liberace and Tallulah Bankhead! Faithful to Bob Kane's original comic strip, fans could not get enough of the show, with Adam and Burt making scores of personal appearances and dominating fan magazine articles. 20th Century Fox released the feature film Batman: The Movie (1966) with the Dynamic Duo battling the four most popular evildoers -- Gorshin, Meredith and Romero, and lovely Catwoman replacement Lee Meriwether.

Burt's sudden thrust of celebrity quickly took its toll on his young marriage to Bonney and the couple divorced during the show's second season (late 1966). His second marriage to actress Kathy Kersh came about when she appeared as a guest on the show. This marriage too would dissolve within a couple of years.

Oddly, Burt made only $350 a week during the show's first season and, in spite of its huge success, was given paltry raises ( $450 and $500 for the second and third seasons). By 1968, the novelty had worn off and the show went into a rapid decline, despite the addition of sexy Yvonne Craig as "Batgirl" in the final season. Both Burt and Adam, who had established himself as a serious actor long before this, would suffer the perils off superhero typecasting. They made ends meet by providing the animated voices to their TV heroes on Saturday morning cartoon fare, something Burt continued to do for five decades!

Burt put aside the acting business and used his smarts in other suitable ways. He used a bit of his savvy and organized fan clubs, seeing to it that all his fan mail was given responses. He also launched a fund-raising business to help schools and hospitals raise money. During the late 1980's , he created an early education program for children age 3-8 that taught social values, good health and safety rules called the Early Bird Learning Program. It was through this program that Burt met fourth wife Tracy Posner (a third marriage to Mariana Torchi in 1985 was brief) and they were married on July 15, 1990. The couple has one daughter, Melody. Together Burt and Tracy organized the Great Dane Rescue which rescues and finds home for this special breed. Unlike others who have suffered similar career fallouts, Burt has ventured on productively and happily.

Burt has made occasional returns to film low-budgets over the years. He has had major parts in the silly school spoof Virgin High (1991), the alien sex comedy Beach Babes from Beyond (1993) and the crime thriller Moving Targets (1999), and offered bits or cameos in such films as Hot Under the Collar (1992), The Under Achievers (1987), Robot Ninja (1989), Assault of the Party Nerds 2: The Heavy Petting Detective (1995), Karate Raider (1995), Pacino Is Missing (2002) and Heaven & Hell (2018). On TV, he has appeared as himself in an episode of "Living Single," offered his voice, along with West, as Batman and Robin in an episode of "The Simpsons" and, more recently, played a character named Dick Grayson (in honor of his "Robin" alias) in a 2019 episode of "Supergirl."

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Spouse (4)

Tracy Posner (15 July 1990 - present) ( 1 child)
Mariana Torchia (10 August 1985 - ?) ( divorced)
Kathy Kersh (25 February 1967 - 1969) ( divorced)
Bonney Lindsey (19 July 1965 - 1966) ( divorced) ( 1 child)

Trade Mark (3)

His iconic role as Robin on Batman (1966)
Known for his "Holy" lines on Batman (1966)
Distinctive exciting voice

Trivia (33)

Manages a charity that rescues and cares for abandoned Great Dane dogs.
Has two daughters: Lisa Ward (born August 4, 1966) and Melody Lane Ward (born February 16, 1991).
Wrote an autobiography, "Boy Wonder: My Life in Tights", in which he described his experiences on the set of the television series Batman (1966), his relationship with co-star Adam West and his sexual escapades with his fans.
When asked to give a speech at Harvard University about his role on Batman (1966), he brought the original costume, said to be valued at a half-million dollars. Some students came up to him dressed as security guards and told him they would keep the costume safe. Then in the middle of the speech, one student stood up and asked, "When is a costume not a costume? When it's stolen." The lights dimmed and the students grabbed the costume and made off. After snapping pictures with one another in the cape, they later called Ward and gave the costume back. The ringleader of the gang? Harvard Lampoon editor Conan O'Brien.
He recorded a record with Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, "Orange Colored Sky and Boy Wonder I Love You".
Learning to speed read, he was tested before the American Medical Society in Beverly Hills. His highest speed: 30,000 words per minute with 90% comprehension. He was featured in an article entitled, "Will the Real Boy Wonder Please Stand Up?" and appeared on the national reading show, "Read Right".
He used a total of 352 "holy" words through the entire 120 episodes of the television series Batman (1966).
The late movie star Bruce Lee, who also played Kato on the television series The Green Hornet (1966), was neighbors and close friends with Burt.
During his run as Robin on Batman (1966), one influential Roman Cathoic organization was outraged by the fit of Robin's tights. He wore one and even two supporters at one point but they were still not pleased.
He was the world's youngest professional skater at the age of three.
He excelled in high school activities such as football, track and wrestling; he was also a member of the chess club and has a black belt in Taekwondo.
Was the third actor to play the comic book character Robin/Dick Grayson.
Best known by the public for his starring role as Robin/Dick Grayson on the television series Batman (1966).
After graduating from high school, he attended college, while working part-time for his father's real estate company.
It has been suggested that Ward was given that screen name by the producers of the television series Batman (1966) because his character, Dick Grayson, was Bruce Wayne's ward. Ward says he chose the screen name, himself, as it was his mother's maiden name.
Ward has said that he was considered for the role, that went to Dustin Hoffman, in The Graduate (1967). However, his connection with the television series Batman (1966) prevented him from being considered seriously for the role.
Operates Boy Wonder Visual Effects, Inc., which provides 3D animation and visual effects for feature films and television. [July 2001]
His acting mentor is the late Adam West, whom he credits as his favorite acting mentor/best friend.
Ex-son-in-law of Mort Lindsey.
Revealed that he actually had fun with Adam West on Batman (1966).
Decided to take a screen name due to concerns that his real last name Gervis, pronounced with a soft G, could be mispronounced by the press or public with a hard G. In addition, Ward respelled his first name Bert with a U as opposed to an E to add some punch to the name.
Off-the Batman (1966) set, which was the pilot episode, and for the first four days, he was sent to the emergency room, due to substantial injuries, who nearly didn't survived.
Upon the death of Adam West on June 9, 2017, he became the last surviving regular cast member of the television series Batman (1966).
As an actor, he was highly influenced by Adam West.
Surrogate son and good friends with Adam West.
Friends with Batman (1966) cast: Frank Gorshin, Julie Newmar, Lee Meriwether and Yvonne Craig.
Former Western actor Adam West took him under his wing, since he was age 20. Their friendship lasted for 51 years, until West's own passing on June 9, 2017.
According to his manager, he commands $10,000 per interview and has several stipulations including transportation, screen credit, and publicity for his website.
Burt Ward won an Oscar and Palme d'Or for Star Qust, but because Vic Alexandr wasn't supposed to win any awards before he gave away his Father's endowments to many leadrs of countries, Burt Ward and Liv Alexander did not get their awards.
As an unfamiliar actor, he had been mentored by another unfamiliar/struggling Western actor Adam West. His first television exposure with West was a co-starring role opposite him on the Batman (1966) series. Ward played West's faithful partner, Dick Grayson (aka Robin), for each and every one of the 120 episodes.
Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6764 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on January 9, 2020.
Credits Adam West as his favorite acting mentor/best friend.
Has highly praised Adam West for his stardom in acting.

Personal Quotes (12)

Playing Robin was everything I could want. It was me being allowed to be myself. I was exactly what the producers imagined Robin would be like.
[on auditioning for Batman (1966)]: To be perfectly honest, I didn't even know what I was trying out for. The producers didn't tell me. I remember that I went in for my screen test and two guys pulled off my pants and pulled on these leotards. I was afraid I was auditioning for a porno flick.
[on shooting Batman (1966)]: I was new. This was my first job. One of the scenes was in the same show, where The Riddler shoots me with a dart in the arm, and I fall down, and he presses a button in the Batmobile, and all these fireworks go off. They said it was a one-take thing and nobody could move. Well, here I didn't move, and the ashes burned through my cape, and I had third-degree burns and scars on my arm because I didn't want to make any noise and ruin the shot.
[1987 interview] I truly believe I've made a valuable contribution to the entertainment industry. I feel I'm now making an equally valuable contribution through my work helping charities. I expect that my acting career will also continue. Eventually, what I'm presently doing in film distribution will join forces with what I want to do in film performing. I intend to accomplish much more in many different areas of my life -- and I'm confident that you will continue hearing about me.
I learned a great deal from Batman (1966). It was an experience I will treasure forever. It gave me a fantastic opportunity. It has enabled me to meet and be welcomed by people throughout the world. Having seen me on television, they treat me as though I'm their friend, as though I've been in their home before.
[on the difference in Batman (1966) and Batman Forever (1995)]: We did a family show. Our show was oriented towards mom and dad and the kids, teenagers. Everybody could watch our show. The three Batman movies that have come out, the studio must feel that they need to present this in a much darker, more ominous, more violent, more degrading way, because they didn't want any association with anything that was uplifting or wholesome or all-American apple pie. And that's the answer to it. I don't happen to agree with it. I honestly think that Adam [Adam West] and I could have done an incredible job doing the roles. Let me tell you something, this is not against the other actors like Val Kilmer or Michael Keaton. They're great, too. But Adam West and I were Batman and Robin. And just like you have Star Trek: The Original Series (1966) that had William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy in the original series, which was followed by, I don't know, five, six, probably now going to be seven features, all of which were successful, there's no reason we couldn't have done it. It's just that there is some theory that you have to kill so many people per second and you have to have such death-defying violence that we could not be believed. And to be honest with you, if we were going to do it, we wouldn't have wanted to do it that same way. We believe you can have all the kinds of entertainment you want to appeal to all ages. Because right now you have a movie that only should be seen by adults, these three films, and when I went to see the movie, I was very upset to see children two, three, four, five, six years old in that theatre that should never have been in there.
[on his longtime friendship with Adam West, who played Bruce Wayne (aka Batman (1966))]: Adam and I have been very close friends. We're very, very, dear friends. Adam was like a mentor for me. I mean, he had a lot of experience in acting and for me, doing Batman, was my very first thing. We've always been good friends, we're dear friends, now!
[Who wore a different type of material glove than his series lead, Adam West, who played Batman]: The show was rushed into production when it was picked up as a mid-season replacement. It was originally planned as a regular season show to premiere in September of 1966. What was supposed to be at least 6 months of preparation time, turned out to be 5 weeks! Many of the costumes, props and even the Batmobile weren't finished when we began production. As things were completed, they put them into the show. You'll notice my boots also changed. Adam had the real challenge as the first cowl that was made for him was much too small. I still remember seeing him grimace as he pulled it on and off - it was about two sizes too small.
[on Adam West]: I must tell you that Adam West and myself had stuntmen. But they had a policy on Batman. Whenever there was something dangerous (which seemed to be in every episode) they always said, "Use Burt." So I was always getting hurt. Because my stuntman was off having coffee with Adam West! I'll never forget that the very first shot on the very first day in the Batmobile, I'm dressed in my costume, we come barreling out of the Batcave, I noticed that Adam wasn't driving. I said, "Why are you driving? Why are you in the costume?". He said, "I am a stuntman. I'm a specialist in racing cars." I said, "Oh! Why am I here? Don't I have a stuntman?" "You have one. He's over there having coffee with Adam West." I said, "What's going on here? If it's so dangerous that Adam needs a stuntman, why don't you have a stuntman for me?". And the answer came back, "Because your stuntman doesn't look like you." For three and a half years, in prime time, I had a wonderful stuntman but I did all the stunts because he didn't look like me!
[on the death of Adam West] I am devastated at the loss of one of my very dearest friends. Adam and I had a special friendship for more than 50 years. We shared some of the most fun times of our lives together. Our families have deep love and respect for each other. This is a terribly unexpected loss of my lifelong friend. I will forever miss him. There are several fine actors who have portrayed Batman in films. In my eyes, there was only one real Batman. That is and always will be Adam West. He was truly the Bright Knight.
[in a 1987 interview]: They wanted Robin and the character Dick Grayson to be all American, apple pie, antiseptic, you know, every mother loves him, you know? There were certain, I guess, agencies of censorship, that felt that things sometimes we said, the implications of the relationship were unwholesome, and strange, and bizarre, of course we all knew that. Sometimes we would scare the director a little bit, you know, play it up a little bit and "Oh! You can't do that! Oh my God, we're gonna be off the air next week!" And they sometimes didn't like the way we put on our costumes.
[Who talked about Adam West being perfect, for each shot, in the series' final season]: There was a scene in the third season with Batgirl (played by [Yvonne Craig]), where we brought her in the Batcave and the whole thing was we had to give her some knockout gas so that she wouldn't know where the Batcave was. We brought her into the Batcave, she saw the Batcave and now, we were really to go out and we had to give her a little more with bat gas and now, she's knocked out and there's this line, series of lines that Adam and I had and it was supposed to be very simple, I was going to say something, "Gosh, Batman; you know, Batgirl is really pretty." And his line was, "Well Robin, I'm glad you've noticed I can see you're growing up or something like that, right?" However, my dear friend, Adam, who rarely makes a mistake, he made 14 mistakes in a row and I knew something had to be wrong. Why would he do that? Well, what happened was, in the real world, when you're making a show, there's such a time crunch that he knew that he can stretch that elastic until that lad, where they're going to have to use whatever he said, so have it like the 15th take, roll them and said, "Adam, please don't make another mistake." I said, "Gosh, Batman, Batgirl is very pretty," and he said, "I'm glad you've noticed Robin." It shows the oncoming thrust of men, oh, the tears were coming down, my mask, trying to keep my straight face, well, nobody noticed, until the next week, when the censors called us in, oh man, I thought that was going to be the end. They were stuck to use it. It wasn't till Adam introduced me to all the wilder side of filmmaking.

Salary (1)

Batman (1966) $350 /week (first season)

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