Gotham City is a long way away from the Ponderosa. However, that didn’t keep actor Adam West from appearing in both “Batman” and “Bonanza” during the 1960s.
West, of course, is most famous for his portrayal as the “Caped Crusader” and his alter ego Bruce Wayne during the campy and beloved 1960s television adaptation of “Batman.”
This show was on the air from 1966 until 1968, according to IMDb. It is known for its over-the-top villains, theme song, fight sequences, and, of course, West’s performance.
But before he was Batman, Adam West had a job acting in an episode of “Bonanza,” MeTV reported. He appeared in an episode that was part of the popular Western show’s second season.
This episode of “Bonanza” was titled “The Bride.” It originally aired on Jan. 21, 1961. In it, West played the character, Frank Milton. Of course, the usual cast of the popular show appeared in the episode. This included Michael Landon, Lorne Greene, Pernell Roberts, and Dan Blocker.
The plot of the episode, per IMDB, is: “The Cartwright boys are shocked by the unexpected arrival of a beautiful young woman who claims to be Mrs. Ben Cartwright. But when Ben comes home to the Ponderosa that night, the new bride declares that he is not the man she married and the Cartwrights soon find themselves involved in what could become a fatal case of mistaken identity.”
In Addition to ‘Bonanza,’ Adam West Appeared in Other Western Series
Here’s another interesting fact: “Bonanza” was not the only Western show that hired Adam West for a role. He also had parts in “Maverick,” and three other Westerns in which he played Doc Holliday.
Adam West appeared on “Maverick” during 1959. He played three different parts in three different episodes.
His roles as Doc Holliday came in the shows “Colt. 45”, “Sugarfoot,” and “Lawman.” Each of these shows were produced by the same company – Warner Bros. Also, each of them aired on the ABC network.
His work in these shows even earned West the opportunity to film a pilot episode for a show titled “Doc Holliday.” However, the pilot did not lead to a series.
“And I played Doc and Leslie Martinson, who later directed our ‘Batman’ movie, directed the pilot,” West said during an interview with The Academy of American Television. “I played Doc Holliday before, I think, Madison Avenue would really accept these things. I played him as a consumptive alcoholic, you know, kind of like he was and they said, ‘Well, what would happen if he kissed his horse?'”
Interestingly, Adam West wasn’t the only actor who appeared on both the Ponderosa and in Gotham City. Three actors who played villains in the 1960s “Batman” television series also made appearances on “Bonanza.”
These actors included Burgess Meredith, Cesar Romero, and John Astin. In “Batman,” Meredith played The Penguin for 19 episodes, Romero played The Joker for 19 episodes, and Astin played The Riddler for two episodes.