Ben's the Last in Line
Who knew naming Ben Affleck the next Batman would upset Western civilization like it did? It's not like he's the first actor every to play the pointy-eared cartoon character - not even close! Let's go back in time, shall we?
Although many turn to Adam West as the first actor to play Batman, Lewis Wilson was actually the first guy to bring the DC Comics character of Batman to life. Columbia Pictures released the 15-chapter serial titled "Batman" in 1943 where Douglas Croft played Robin.
In 1949, Columbia Pictures released another 15-chapter serial titled "Batman and Robin." Robert Lowery played the man in black while Johnny Duncan portrayed Robin.
West is known best as the first actor to play Batman on screen, both on the '60s TV show and in the 1966 movie. In those days, Batman would be lost without his spry little sidekick Robin (played by Burt Ward), who helped him out of many a scrape.
Today, that is no longer the case.
After "Batman," Adam West had a hard time shedding his black cape since producers often typecast him. He eventually reprised his role as Batman for an animated series in the late '70s, and later lent his voice to another Batman remake in the '90s.
These days, West is a on the Fox animated series "Family Guy," and makes regular TV and movie cameos. The 83-year-old actor received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in April, 2012.
And what about Robin, you ask? Burt Ward was cast in "The Graduate" but chose to stay on the TV series as Robin. Oops. That was about it for him, acting-wise. These days he has a company that does visual effects, so that's still kinda cool.
The American actor, known at the time for comedies and not as a leading man, portrayed Bruce Wayne in Tim Burton's revival of the Batman franchise in 1989, and in its sequel in 1992.
Unlike Adam West, Michael didn't have a hard time shedding his Batman persona, perhaps because he was already an established star before taking on the role. Keaton went on to have a successful career in the '90s and '00s with movies like "One Good Cop" and "My Life."
In 2010, the 60-year-old starred in the cop comedy "The Other Guys" with Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell.
Kilmer stepped into the suit when Michael Keaton didn't return for the third installment, "Batman Forever," in 1993. The part was initially supposed to go to Billy Baldwin, Alec's brother, but Kilmer, known best for his portrayal of Jim Morrison in "The Doors," won the role and the film was released in 1995.
The actor continues to appear in movies, but so far, Batman looks to be his high point as a major movie star. This year, the 52-year-old actor can be seen in the movies "Seven Below" and "Wyatt Earp's Revenge." He also keeps threatening to run for public office, but has yet to make good on his pledge. (Whew.)
It's hard to think of George Clooney wearing a mask to cover his famously good-looking face. But that's exactly what the old rascal did in 1997 when he starred in the film adaptation of "Batman & Robin" alongside Chris O'Donnell.
Yes, Robin made it back into the franchise!
"Batman Returns" was universally panned, but Clooney's career only got hotter post-Batman. In 2001 he starred in "Ocean's Eleven," and then its two sequels.
Last year he got an Oscar nomination for "The Descendants."
Clooney also calls A-listers like Brad Pitt his best friends, so life has been good to the Cloonster.
O'Donnell (Robin) on the other hand, not so much. His movie career fizzled, and now he's doing a TV show, "NCIS Los Angeles."
The English actor is the most recent star to take on the role of "Batman" in the latest trilogy "Batman Begins" (2005), "The Dark Knight" (2008), and most recently, "The Dark Knight Rises."
Who wore the mask and tights? These guys!