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Adam West, who died on Saturday aged 88 , became a TV legend for his camped-up portrayal of the hero in the Sixties. But behind the batmask was a sex-mad actor who slept with up to EIGHT women a night — and turned to booze when the show was axed. He and co-star Burt Ward, who played sidekick Robin, also romped with eager groupies in their dressing rooms in between scenes. In fact West discovered the only limits to his bedroom batpowers were those caused by his famous costume.
And he had an awful lot of them, as well as dates with fellow stars including actress sisters Natalie and Lana Wood, and Raquel Welch. It was the Swinging Sixties with free love and women threw themselves at us. Orgy is a harsh word, but it was eight at one time. So I immediately went into the Batman character, and Frank went into the Riddler character, because we were getting the big giggles. And we were kicked out. We were expelled from the orgy.
Meanwhile trusty Boy Wonder Ward, who is now 71, claimed West was definitely the ringleader when it came to their own adventures. West was 37 years old and twice-divorced when he was offered the role that would define his life. After years of small roles, he was deemed to be Batman material after bosses saw him playing a type spy in a Nesquik advert. When the show hit screens in he and Ward became overnight sensations, in what was the most expensive show on television at the time.
But in , after just three seasons and episodes, Batman was defeated by the most fearsome breed of arch-villains — bean counters. For West, being famous for wearing his underpants on the outside and for his joyous sense of kitsch, did not translate into new job offers. One exception, incredibly, was an offer in to take over from Sean Connery as the new James Bond. It was a mistake. Despite a few bit-parts he soon found himself reduced to appearing in safety adverts and schlepping round for paid personal appearances.
The lowest point was being fired out of a cannon at a carnival in Indiana dressed in his famous outfit. I became very self-destructive. I was bitter when I realised Batman had caused me to lose a lot of roles afterwards. He turned increasingly to booze, triggering behaviour so bad that he was even barred from the posh ski resort of Aspen, Colorado, for life.