Lewis Wilson

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Lewis Wilson
Lewis wilson.jpg
Wilson in 1943
Lewis Gilbert Wilson

(1920-01-28)January 28, 1920
DiedAugust 9, 2000(2000-08-09) (aged 80)
Alma materWorcester Academy
Years active1943–1973
SpouseDana Natol (divorced)
ChildrenMichael G. Wilson
RelativesDavid G. Wilson (grandson)

Lewis Gilbert Wilson (January 28, 1920 – August 9, 2000)[1] 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[edit]

Wilson was born in Framingham, Middlesex, Massachusetts, the son of Lucile (née Gregg) and John Henry Wilson.[2] He grew up in Littleton, Massachusetts, where his father was minister of the First Unitarian Church from 1927-1945.[3] 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 named Dr. Daka.[4] It was Wilson's screen debut at the age of 23.[5] A sequel to the serial was made in 1949, but Robert Lowery replaced Wilson as Batman.[citation needed]

After the war concluded, Wilson and his family moved to California, and he and his wife joined the Pasadena Playhouse.[6] His final film was 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.[6] They met while attending the Academy of Dramatic Arts at Carnegie Hall in New York, but separated and divorced after moving to California.[6][7]

After retiring from acting, he lived in North Hollywood, California.


He died on August 9, 2000, in San Francisco, California at age 80.[8]



Year Title Role Notes
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
1951 Wild Women Trent
1954 Naked Alibi Border Patrol Officer Uncredited


Year Title Role Notes
1952 Craig Kennedy, Criminologist Walt Jameson 26 episodes
1973 Orson Welles' Great Mysteries Police Sergeant Episode: "Unseen Alibi"


  1. ^ "Michael Wilson Biography (1942-)".
  2. ^ https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QLGT-4WY1[bare URL]
  3. ^ MA, First Church Unitarian, Littleton. "About - History - Complete History". www.fculittle.org. Archived from the original on July 27, 2015. Retrieved September 14, 2015.
  4. ^ Kukuruzovic, Simon (June 17, 2005). "Bale Piles of Weight for Batman Capers". Coventry Evening Telegraph. Retrieved June 4, 2012.
  5. ^ "Oscar Batman". The Malay Mail. June 16, 2005. Archived from the original on November 5, 2013. Retrieved June 4, 2012.
  6. ^ a b c "Dana Broccoli (Obituaries)". Daily Variety. March 8, 2004. Archived from the original on November 5, 2013. Retrieved June 4, 2012.
  7. ^ "Obituaries: Dana Broccoli". The Daily Telegraph. March 3, 2004. Retrieved June 4, 2012.
  8. ^ Lentz, Harris M. (2000). Obituaries in the Performing Arts - Harris M. Lentz - Google Books. ISBN 9780786410248. Retrieved September 14, 2022.

External links[edit]