By Alex Stedman
March 28, 2014
Lorenzo Semple Jr., creator of the '60s "Batman" TV series and scribe
on thrillers "The Parallax View" and "Three Days of Condor," died on
Friday in his home in Los Angeles, according to reports. He had turned
91 on Thursday.
The screenwriter also had an extensive film writing career after
leaving TV, including 19732 s Steve McQueen-Dustin Hoffman pic
"Papillon," 19752 s "The Drowning Pool" and Jessica Lange-starrer "King
Kong." (1976) Recently, Semple worked on a YouTube series called "Reel
Geezers," in which he and former studio exec Marcia Nasatir reviewed
Semple created "Batman," starring Adam West as the Dark Knight and Burt
Ward as Robin, in 1966, and it quickly became a hit. He also wrote the
July 1966 "Batman" movie. Though he only wrote the first four episodes
of the skein, he served as script or story consultant on the rest of
"I think 'Batman' was the best thing I ever wrote, including those big
movies," he told the Archive of American Television in 2011. "As a
whole work, it came out the way that I wanted it to and I was excited
by it. I once went down to a fancy wine tasting benefit in Princeton.
When people found out I wrote 'Batman' they mobbed me! I was astounded,
but that was the way it was."
Though "Batman" was known for a lovable campiness, his work took on a
more serious tone as he moved to film. He wrote the script for cult
film "Pretty Poison" (1968), which would win the New York Film Critics
Circle Award. He would go on to co-write political thriller "The
Parallax View" (1974) starring Warren Beatty, Alan J. Pakula's
follow-up of Academy Award-winning "Klute."
He also penned a script for Sydney Pollack's "Three Days of Condor"
starring Robert Redford, though was eventually let go as David Rayfiel
Semple was a member of the WGA, and taught a class at New York
University's TISCH School for the Arts in the '80s.
Semple's survivors include his daughter Maria, writer-producer who
worked on "Mad About You," "Suddenly Susan" and "Arrested Development,"
as well as his wife Joyce, two children and six grandchildren.
SEMPLE, Lorenzo (Lorenzo Elliott Semple III)
Born: 3/27/1923, New Rochelle, New York, U.S.A.
Died: 3/28/2014, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Lorenzo Semple’s western – screenwriter:
Buckskin (TV) - 1958