HOLLYWOOD, Calif. - Batman is one of the most classic and iconic franchises in American pop cultural history and as the caped crusader celebrated his 80th anniversary, even the original “Robin,” Burt Ward was on-hand to join the party.
Batman's birthday is being honored in a special exhibit at the Hollywood Museum, where visitors from all over the world are alos welcome to come and celebrate.
“We are celebrating the 80th anniversary of the first-time the Batman character has ever been seen,” said Donelle Dadigan.
Drawn into inception by cartoonist Bob Kane in 1939, Batman has lived on through the decades in practically every form of media. From film, TV, and radio, to video games, and countless pieces of merchandise.
As the museum’s founder and President, Dadigan gets to curate the exhibits based on things in entertainment that she was inspired by, or what her parents enjoyed at all different stages of their lives.
She says when it comes to superheroes, they are trans-generational.
“They make everything look easier and it always gives us a glimmer of hope, and isn’t that what entertainment is about? Hope and happiness,” said Dadigan.
Of course, one of the most important parts of the superhero universe are the villains.
So on this anniversary, an entire exhibit is dedicated to the most purrfect of all Batman villains, Catwoman.
Dadigan grew up with Kitt Shapiro, whose mother Eartha Kitt delivered purrhaps the most iconic performance of the jump-suited villainess.
For Shapiro, seeing her mother’s Catwoman legacy honored, and curated by her childhood friend is truly coming full circle .
“She is so associated with that character even though she only played seven episodes, but people think of her as that role which is so amazing all those years later,” said Shapiro.
For Dadigan, it's easy to see how Batman has endeared, as two and three generations of fans come through the exhibit at the Hollywood Museum. Because over the past 80 years, this famous franchise has inspired not just films, TV shows, and comic books, but legions of dedicated fans.
“They all enjoy remembering the great lines from the TV shows and the films," said Dadigan. "What more can you ask for? It’s multi-generational and it brings happiness to everyone.”