Burt Ward: ''I've never felt silly about playing Robin.''

The actor depended on appearances to make a living.

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"You wouldn't believe how uncomfortable this costume gets," Burt Ward told a Newsday Service reporter in 1975. Ward and the reporter, Tony Kornheiser, were waiting for an elevator. The Boy Wonder did his best to stretch the elastic away from his thighs. 

The candid nature of the profile piece allows for unprecedented insight into what it's like to be (or at least play) Batman's sidekick.

"Now watch and see. Some people will get on this elevator, and they'll try and stay cool. They'll look at me, then they'll turn away and act like nothing strange is happening, like every day in the week they get on an elevator with Robin. People always try and stay cool, but they never make it. How can you stay cool when you're in an elevator with a runaway from a comic book?"

Even the "seen-it-all" people milling about Rockefeller Center that afternoon in October of '75 were awestruck by catching a glimpse at one-half of the Dynamic Duo.

But for Burt Ward, it was all just a part of the job. 

"Anything for a laugh," he said. "I put on a mask to put on the world."

Especially for an out-of-work actor, being able to make appearances as Robin was crucial to Ward's livelihood. After Batman wrapped, he was completely unable to find further acting gigs. Batman was his first show, and during production, Ward didn't really display the chops producers would need to see to cast him in something else.

And so, being Robin was his life and livelihood. 

"I've never felt silly about playing Robin," he said. "I'm not Burt Ward in a Robin costume; I'm Robin. I entertain all ages. I have the ability to please children, to make them smile wherever I go, and I love children. I've got a daughter of my own. I've got nothing to be ashamed of. You can ask me whether I feel silly going around the country playing Robin, but I don't have an ego hangup about it."

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6 Comments

Mannixishot 9 months ago
It's a shame Burt didn't have more acting opportunities after Batman ended. I'm not quite so sure about Burt because I've never seen him in anything outside of Batman but I wouldn't be surprised if he was in the same boat with Adam West. Adam West COULD act. I've seen him on reruns of The Rifleman and Mannix and he did a fantastic job. It's just a shame Adam was thought of as being a hammy actor that couldn't act outside of Batman and that diminished some of his opportunities. Batman was a silly show. Of course Adam would play it over the top. Might look up Burt on IMDB and see his other credits to see if I can catch him in anything to see for myself.

And I must say it was nice seeing he appreciated Robin. I feel like a lot of people would be bitter that Robin is the only thing to be seen as and he has to keep being Robin to make any sort of paycheck at all.
RedSamRackham Mannixishot 8 months ago
* I read that Burt Ward was considered for the role of Benjamin Braddock in THE GRADUATE and wanted to do it but couldn't get out of his TV Batman contract so the role went to Dustin Hoffman.
LoveMETV22 9 months ago
"Now watch and see. Some people will get on this elevator, and they'll try and stay cool. They'll look at me, then they'll turn away and act like nothing strange is happening, like every day in the week they get on an elevator with Robin."
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Runeshaper LoveMETV22 9 months ago
Great photo!
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