It was a night of interviews, action figures, and Showbiz Hero Accolades at the Hollywood Museum on the Thrilling 13th night of November, 2018, as fans, stars and Super Heroes alike descended upon the Old Max Factor building to assist in unveiling a most timely display: The 20th Century Super Hero Legends Exhibit – Fighting Evil!
Hosted by Hollywood Museum President and Founder Donelle Dadigan, highlighted speakers included Producer of Superman the Movie Ilya Salkind, Batman and Robin’s own original TV Robin, Burt Ward and Bionic Woman herself (and animal activist) Lindsay Wagner.
Exhibit pieces of note were ample and manifold and consisted of everything from the filmic but factual world of Superman and Wonder Woman encompassing the actual costumes from both the cinematic romp and 70s TV show respectively. Mannequins enrobed in authentic emulation of Batman, Robin and Catwoman also flanked the justice fighting duo, right out of the 1960s TV show in their own right!
According to Dadigan, “This exhibit [is] the first time these life-like Superheroes will stand together Fighting Evil, and they will be at the Hollywood museum forever! The exhibit includes: Batman (Adam West), Robin (Burt Ward), Batgirl (Yvonne Craig), Superman (Christopher Reeve) and Wonder Woman (Lynda Carter) as well as items from Lindsay Wagner (The Bionic Woman).
Dadigan could only add, “This new exhibit includes key pieces of memorabilia and collectibles relating to these ever-popular Superheroes. There’s something on display for every fan from kids, to teens, to adults and seniors! This exhibit happily unleashes our childhood memories.”
But hark and lo, the life-sized superhero replicas were not all!!! Down in the bottom corner of one of the most remote display cases, Batgirl got some additional play, embodying a form of the most diminutive kind: I.E. that of the Barbie Doll incarnation. Replete with sparkling body armor and arms akimbo, a myriad of alternate Batgirl toys surrounded her like funhouse mirrored imposters as the coltish countenanced Barbie Batgirl’s face could only scream, “Which counterfeit clone shall I clock first?!?”
Across the way, life-sized Jokers, Riddlers, Penguins, and black leather-clad cat women could only conceptually mock the idle figurine as they were decidedly the wrong camp to do anything but (and also behind a glass case all their own)! (Cue the tumbleweeds and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Theme song!)
Metallic lunchboxes flanked many a Superhero’s profile, no doubt evocative of ol’ skool bashing potential, should any smart-aleck belittle your “nerdy” Superhero fixation: Long before geekery was cool.
(DISCLAIMER: The LA Beat merely utilizes the term “bashing” and “metallic” in the form of literal urgency; revolving around mere imagery via elusory purposes and in no way promotes such violence by way of childhood or adult childhood metal-on-flesh contact i.e. Bully Beating!—Moreover, all that is manufactured nowadays is the plastic/foam mesh variety lunch cooler anyway…BOO!!! This coming from the writer, who sported quite the formidable plastic lenticular Bee Gees Lunchbox in her day!!!: A Gift from Grandma no less, who thought it was cool…)
Of note in particular on the top shelves of another couple of adjacent cases: A signed copy of the original 1980/81 “Superman The Movie” Script, Superman Jigsaw puzzle of the same era (that almost nobody could put together due to the X-Ray vision required to suss out its million and one microscopic pieces), stills from the selfsame movie, a “Wonder Woman Princess of the Amazons Magazine” graced by Lynda Carter herself in full red, white and blue regalia, (boasting a ‘freedouble-sided poster inside’!) right alongside a 1970s era TV script surrounding the adventures of the Paradise Island transplant entitled “Disco Devil”, along with several Wonder Woman/Diana Prince Barbie Doll action figures, a telltale metallic lunchbox and…the piece de resistance, and one about which the LA Beat could not halt its enthusiasm on the night in question, a photo of the lavender dress Goddess Diana so fetchingly sported on her island of origin: Paradise Island that is…!!!
Photos by Jennifer K. Hugus for the Los Angeles Beat:
And the life sized almost imposing black and red Batmobile itself rounded out the collection in the most catalyzing of fashions!!! (Or if a car cut from another cloth, Cadillacyzing…?)
Other distinguished guests (I.E. those the LA Beat could recognize provided they were not in full garb Catwoman/Batman mask or costume) encompassed, “The Big Bang Theory”’s Alice Amter (aka Raj’s mom) crowned in all her Wonder Woman-haired glory, Kate Linder aka Esther Valentine (the honorary superhero of all hearts’ desires for the evening in light of her namesake’s work on “The Young and the Restless,”) “Valley Girl” herself, (and honorary Valley Villain-thwarter to be sure), Lee Purcell, “Growing Pains”’ Jeremy Miller aka Ben (sound and successful combatter of any and all aches and stings pertaining to anything maturation related), “General Hospital” and “Seinfeld” cameo cohort Patrika Darbo I.E. the prime goddess-adversary in the ultimate George Costanza smackdown (and seriously, who in their right mind has never wanted to defeat Costanza?), Sofia Milos of “CSI Miami” fame (engendering her own form of Justice in our most dewy-skin-provoking, frizzy-hair-invoking of all 50 states), Meredith Thomas of “Pajama Party” fame (and one who could, no doubt, antagonize antagonists in her sleep, unless insomnia was that of the antagonizer), and penultimately, Composer Martin Blasick, along with his insightful (about all things non-inciteful) wife Natasha, but certainly not LEEast, Lee Meriwether one of the most slick and Matrix-y Catwoman there ever was!!!
“As a kid…[I just loved going over and looking at all the magazines about] Wonder Woman and Superman…‘cause they were only 10 cents, ‘cause I’m old…” (looking not a day older than her George Costanza-bashing days, Patrika Darbo). “And then to suddenly see them come alive on television [was just a thrill]… I watched ‘Superman’…all the time and then [‘Wonder Woman’] in the 70s… But I also grew up with Batman and Robin and that was a wonderful iconic television show that everybody wanted to be on…and with Lee Meriwether in the other room it’s just amazing. I was looking at it going, ‘I watched these people as a kid and now I’m hobnobbing with them.’ So, life is wonderful, and you can always have your dream, and this is a dream come true!”
“Well I’m dressed tonight as a tribute to Wonder Woman,” declared a Tiara Sporting, bracelet slinging Meredith Thomas. “Lynda Carter [as Wonder Woman] was just awesome. So, any time she fought with her wristbands, or she did that twirl…I would say those are my favorite scenes.”
“Growing Pains”’ Jeremy Miller could only admit to being, “…really happy to be here at the 20th Century Super Hero legends. I am a comic book nerd/superhero nerd. I grew up on the original Batman. That was my ‘everyday…could-not-miss-it’. …Something about the whole attitude of the show, the campiness, the fun…my brothers [and I] couldn’t get enough of it. So getting to see all this original stuff [is just great]…and truthfully as a young boy…I had a massive crush on Lynda Carter/Wonder Woman so, to get to see the original outfit and to get to see all the original costumes is amazing!!!”
Photos by Bill Dow Courtesy of The Hollywood Museum:
“Superman Turning back time. I mean seriously that is as good as it gets,” declared composer Martin Blasick. “The [Superman movies] were meaningful for me.” Blasick’s take on the display: “I think this exhibit is off the hook amazing: All these classic costumes, seeing the Riddler from the 1960s; such an iconic role. It’s really a thrill to be here and see such great talent here too: Lindsey Wagner from ‘Bionic Woman’, Burt Ward. It’s really, really, really cool!: Great exhibit!!!”
Blasick’s wife Natasha proved not to disappoint in her own parallel enthusiasm, offering a few gems of observation in kind: “I am really touched and blown away to be here because…I learned about super hero culture quite recently. I’m from Ukraine and it was not…such a big thing there but when I moved here, my first encounter was [with] Wonder Woman and I just fell in love with the character. The last film was incredible and now learning about this, and seeing actors and seeing how much talent goes into the portrayal is inspiring]… Just listening to the speech today of Lindsey Wagner…talking about strength and being vulnerable and…what it means to be human…was beautiful… So, we are all super heroes. We just …need to learn our powers…It’s a beautiful night!”
The ultimate observation of the night, however, came from Catwoman aka Lee Meriwether: “This is an incredible display because you have all the Batman memorabilia. You can really see everything that went into the [Television program and the] movies and I feel very honored that they asked me back [to the Hollywood Museum tonight].”
As to her favorite Batman memory, she could only admit what most would have been thinking: “Working with Adam West, God rest him, was a joy! I hang on to that scene in the carriage when…I have the cat and I’m sending signals to the villains. We had such a fun time. I was so lucky to get to work with him!”
All in all, a super, stellar, star n’ strip filled-evening with which to be reckoned, and with 50 years’ worth of memorabilia appealing to fans from the early/mid 20th century to the present, who wouldn’t balk or perhaps even delight at such a notion?
For more information, please visit The Hollywood Museum.