Burt Ward says he went to extreme measures to hide his anatomy while shooting the original Batman series on ABC more than 50 years ago. The classic TV star, who played Boy Wonder Robin on the campy ’60s series, has revealed that his snug costume got the network in hot water back in the day and that he was told he had to take pills to “shrink” himself.
Ward detailed the bizarre story to Page Six as he received his long-awaited star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The 74-year-old actor said that during his Batman fame in the late 1960s, the Catholic League of Decency called out his form-fitting green shorts as being too risque for TV.
“They thought that Robin had a very large bulge for television,” Ward told the outlet.
The original Batman star revealed that the studio made him go to a doctor who prescribed medication “to shrink me up.” Ward added that he didn’t take the pills for long for fear of the side effects.
“I took them for three days and then I decided that they can probably keep me from having children,” the actor admitted to Page Six. “I stopped doing that and I just used my cape to cover it.”
While Ward’s “crotch crisis” had ABC scrambling, Ward claims the network had less of a problem with series star Adam West, who played Batman.
“With Adam they put Turkish towels in his undershorts,” Ward explained.
This is not the first time Ward has talked about the problems that his too-tight shorts raised during Batman’s original run from 1966 to 1968. In Ward’s 1995 memoir, Boy Wonder: My Life in Tights, he revealed that the crew of the campy superhero series called him “the beast in the BatTrunks.”
In a chapter titled “Battle of My Bulge,” Ward also revealed that in lieu of pill-popping, he went to great lengths to hide his anatomy before he succumbed to covering himself with his cape.
“Dancer’s belts, jockstraps, double-thick jockey shorts, dong socks, testicle supports, padded underwear… nothing reduced the swelling! Not even ice packs!” the actor wrote, as excerpted by SBS.
Ward, who landed the role as Robin at age 20, previously talked about the wild times he engaged in during his Batman fame alongside West. The actor once revealed that there was something about the Batman and Robin costumes that attracted women. The former TV star also pointed out that every one of the 120 Batman TV episodes included sexual innuendos.