TV's Batman Creator Lorenzo Semple Jr. Has Died At Age 91
Reported by Outsiders - 2014.03.29
Screenwriter Lorenzo Semple Jr. has died of natural causes after turning 91 on Thursday. Before moving on to write for movies, he is known as the creator of the classic Batman TV series with Adam West as the Caped Crusader and Burt Ward as Robin the Boy Wonder.
Producer and Batman narrator William Dozier hired Semple to create the superhero show for 20th Century Fox Television and ABC with Semple writing only the first four episodes, but he served as a script or story consultant on every other installment. He also penned the show’s “bible” for the other writers. (One rule: Batman should never break the law, not even to park in a no-parking zone during a crime-fighting emergency.)
Semple came up with the idea for interspersing the show’s fight scenes with exploding and colorful Pow! Zap! and Kapow! graphics; found the Riddler’s riddles in books popular with third-graders; and named every device the Bat-this or the Bat-that. For Robin’s “Holy (Fill in the Blank!),” he riffed off a similar phrase used by an elderly character in the Tom Swift books.
Semple also penned the Batman movie that was released in July 1966 between seasons one and two; that took him two weeks.
His movie work includes the Steve McQueen-Dustin Hoffman escape tale Papillon (1973); Paul Newman’s Harper sequel The Drowning Pool (1975); Dino De Laurentiis’ King Kong (1976) starring Jessica Lange; and the rogue James Bond movie Never Say Never Again (1983).