Variety reports that Lorenzo Semple Jr., who brought “Batman” to television screens in the 1960s, passed away yesterday. He was 91.
A screenwriter whose credits included “The Rogues,” “Burke’s Law” and “Breaking Point,” Semple was hired by 20th Century Fox Television and ABC to create “Batman.” Semple wrote the first four episodes of the show, which starred Adam West and Burt Ward as the Dynamic Duo, but served as a story consultant on the entire series. He also wrote the 1966 “Batman” film based on the show, which featured Batman and Robin going against the combined forces of the Joker, Catwoman, Penguin and Riddler.
In the late 1960s, Semple moved from television to film, writing movies like “Pretty Poison,” “Daddy’s Gone a Hunting” and “The Sporting Club,” In the 1970s he would pen the films “The Drowning Pool,” “Three Days of the Condor” and the remake of “King Kong,” while in the 1980s he wrote the screenplays for “Flash Gordon” and the James Bond film “Never Say Never Again,” which saw Sean Connery return in the lead role.
In more recent years, he teamed with former literary agent and movie producer Marcia Nasatir on Reel Geezers, a web series where the duo reviewed films.
DC Entertainment released a statement on their website yesterday about Semple’s death: “DC Entertainment is saddened to hear of the passing of Lorenzo Semple Jr., creator of the classic Batman TV series starring Adam West and Burt Ward. Debuting in January of 1966 and running for three seasons, the show was, and continues to be, hugely popular with fans. Semple’s interpretation of Batman has left a lasting impression on the history of the character and further defined its iconic place in pop culture. Everyone at DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. would like to send our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.”
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