Wilson in 1943
Lewis Gilbert Wilson
January 28, 1920
|Died||August 9, 2000 (aged 80)|
|Alma mater||Worcester Academy|
|Children||Michael G. Wilson|
|Relatives||David G. Wilson (grandson)|
Lewis Gilbert Wilson (January 28, 1920 – August 9, 2000) was an American actor, who was most famous for being the first actor to play DC Comics character Batman on screen in the 1943 film serial Batman.
Life and career
Wilson was born in Framingham, Middlesex, Massachusetts, the son of Lucile (née Gregg) and John Henry Wilson. He grew up in Littleton, Massachusetts, where his father was minister of the First Unitarian Church from 1927-1945. Wilson graduated from Worcester Academy in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1939. His family had long roots with the school and his father and grandfather were graduates.
Following the entry of the United States into World War II, in 1943 Columbia Pictures created the first Batman live action series, simply called Batman. Wilson was cast as the title character in the 15-episode serial against J. Carrol Naish who portrayed a Japanese spy called Dr Daka who headed a group of American traitors in a fight to take over America for Japanese control. It was Wilson's screen debut at the age of 23. A sequel to the serial was made in 1949, but Robert Lowery replaced Wilson as Batman.
After the war concluded, Wilson and his family moved to California and he and his wife joined the Pasadena Playhouse. His final film was the Jerry Hopper film, Naked Alibi, in 1954. He then left show business and worked for General Foods for many years.
Wilson married novelist and actress Dana Natol, and they had a son, Michael G. Wilson. They met while attending the Academy of Dramatic Arts at Carnegie Hall in New York, but separated and divorced after moving to California.
|1943||Redhead from Manhattan||Paul|
|1943||Good Luck, Mr. Yates||Parkhurst||Uncredited|
|1943||Batman||Bruce Wayne / Batman||Serial|
|1943||First Comes Courage||Dr. Kleinich||Uncredited|
|1943||My Kingdom for a Cook||Reporter||Uncredited|
|1943||There's Something About a Soldier||Thomas Bolivar Jefferson|
|1943||Klondike Kate||George Graham||Uncredited|
|1944||The Racket Man||Capt. Anderson||Uncredited|
|1944||Beautiful But Broke||Pilot||Uncredited|
|1944||Sailor's Holiday||Jerome 'Iron Man' Collins|
|1944||Once Upon a Time||Man||Uncredited|
|1952||Craig Kennedy, Criminologist||Walt Jameson||26 episodes|
|1954||Naked Alibi||Border Patrol Officer||Uncredited|
- "Michael Wilson Biography (1942-)".
- MA, First Church Unitarian, Littleton. "About - History - Complete History". www.fculittle.org. Archived from the original on 2015-07-27. Retrieved 2015-09-14.
- Legge, Charles (8 September 2008). "The masked man; Caped Crusaders: Lewis Wilson and Douglas Croft in the 1943 film". Daily Mail. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
- Kukuruzovic, Simon (17 June 2005). "Bale Piles of Weight for Batman Capers". Coventry Evening Telegraph. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
- "Oscar Batman". The Malay Mail. 16 June 2005. Archived from the original on 5 November 2013. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
- "Dana Broccoli (Obituaries)". Daily Variety. 8 March 2004. Archived from the original on 5 November 2013. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
- "Obituaries: Dana Broccoli". The Daily Telegraph. 3 March 2004. Retrieved 4 June 2012.