It appears the Batman will have his day in Walla Walla.
Walla Walla City Council’s consent agenda for its June 28 meeting includes a proclamation that establishes Sept. 19 as Adam West Day in the city.
Councilmember Dick Morgan said he’d never met West, but he was “certainly aware of him, even before Batman.”
“We had a movie star in the area, and it was something that Walla Walla was proud of,” Morgan said, adding the proclamation is “pretty straightforward, and I’m pretty proud to support it.”
The actor, who died June 9 in Los Angeles after a battle with leukemia, was born William West Anderson in Walla Walla in 1928.
He moved to Seattle at 15, but returned to Walla Walla to attend Whitman College.
Changing his name in 1959 to Adam West, he began an acting career, scoring the role of Batman in the campy television show of the same name that ran from 1966 to 1968.
Finding himself heavily typecast after the show’s conclusion, West eventually embraced goofiness, famously portraying a fictionalized, deranged version of himself as Mayor of the fictional city of Quahog on the animated program “Family Guy” and regularly taking roles that cheekily referenced his past as the Caped Crusader.
He returned to Walla Walla regularly, and was well-known around town for his jovial nature.
“I had the pleasure of meeting him a few times when he stayed at the hotel,” Jonathan Grant, front office manager at the Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center, said of West. Grant was among those requesting the City Council issue the proclamation.
“You fall in love with the guy instantly. I became just such a fan of Adam West,” he said.
Grant hopes to hold a screening of the feature film that accompanied the 1966 “Batman” series when Adam West Day rolls around.
He said proceeds will go to Camp Rainbow, a free camp in Idaho for children who have survived or are undergoing treatment for cancer and blood-related disease or disorders. West, who had a home in Idaho, was a vocal supporter of the camp.
Grant plans to wear his own Batman costume to the screening and is urging others to join him.
“This is bigger than just one fan,” Grant said. “This is a community getting together and doing something that should have been done long ago to honor someone that they love, and that they’re very proud of.”