Adam West, the legendary actor who portrayed Batman in the 1960s, has died.
West’s family said in a statement today, “Our dad always saw himself as The Bright Knight and aspired to make a positive impact on his fans’ lives. He was and always will be our hero.”
They also wrote on Twitter, “Our beloved AW passed away last night. He was the greatest. We’ll miss him like crazy. We know you’ll miss him too.”
The Batman actor had four biological children, one of whom is Nina West Tooley. So who exactly is Nina West Tooley, the daughter of Adam West? Here’s what you need to know about her.
1. She is the Chief Marketing Officer of an Advertising Agency
According to The Huffington Post, Tooley started her career as an entrepreneur in the fashion industry, launching a line of women’s handbags and then a line of women’s active-wear. She went on to become the director of digital marketing for Guthy-Renker, also working in marketing for Yahoo.
“My daily challenge is to connect with the right people at the right time and to communicate our different points of differentiation in a meaningful and relavent way,” she told The Huffington Post. “It’s also one of the highlights – I love working for an agency that is so client-focused and has clearly defined principles.”
Tooley told The Huffington Post that she had a hard time getting started in her industry, partially due to sexism.
“I didn’t speak up enough, even when I knew I had the right answer,” she said. “I’ve also experienced outright, blatant sexism, which was shocking and disheartening. The advertising industry, like most industries, tends to skew male at the very top.”
2. Her Mother is Adam West’s Third Wife, Marcelle Lear
Nina Tooley was born in 1973, the daughter of Adam West and his third wife, Marcelle Lear.
Adam West was previously married from 1950 to 1956 to Billie Lou Yeager, and he was then married from 1957 to 1962 to Frisbie Dawson. Finally, in 1970, Adam West married Marcelle Tagand Lear, who he subsequently remained married to until his death.
Adam and Marcelle also had a son together, Perrin. And Marcelle had two children from a previous marriage: Moya and Jill.
In an interview, Perrin West, Adam’s son, said that a lot of people are surprised at how approachable he is.
“He occupies this superhero or superhuman position in some people’s imaginations,” Perrin West said. “I’ve seen people literally shaking with nerves before meeting him, but then in reality he turns out to be the ‘guy you’d like to have a beer with’ – albeit an exceptionally funny guy to have a beer with. He played Batman, but he’s really more the Joker. He always comes up with the perfect hilarious off-kilter icebreaker that instantly disarms people. It continues to surprise and amaze me too, how well he can get along with anybody, no matter who they are or what their background is.”
In a 2005 interview, Nina Tooley said that there is a curse running through her family. She was referring to the fact that Adam West’s mother, Audrey, was an alcoholic and suffered from manic depression.
“There is a curse running through our family,” Nina told The Independent. “Alcohol, and manic depression. That’s what she suffered from.”
3. She Had a Cameo in a Made-for-TV Movie Starring Her Father
In 2003, Adam West and Burt Ward reunited for the TV movie Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt, in which Adam West and Burt Ward play themselves, teaming up to try to locate the stolen Batmobile.
There’s a scene in the movie where Burt Ward pines after a sexy woman on set; she gives him her number, and they later sleep together. But things take a dark turn when she grabs a knife and tries to kill him.
This is the only movie that Nina has been in, although she also appeared in interviews on shows like E! True Hollywood Story and the documentary Starring Adam West. However, Nina did grow up all around film sets.
“My father is a well-known actor so I had a somewhat unusual upbringing, spending time on film and TV sets and never really being exposed to a traditional office environment or 9-5 type of schedule,” she told The Huffington Post.
4. Her Husband is James Tooley, a Filmmaker
Nina and James have a child together, who is now three years old. Nina told The Huffington Post that starting a family really forced her to become more organized.
“My husband and I have had to become a lot more organized in our personal lives so we can accommodate all of the things we want to achieve,” she told The Huffington Post. “Clear and frequent communication is key.”
James Tooley also said in an interview that the first time he met Adam West, he answered his door in his underwear covered in tanning oil.
“Adam does things his own way and that’s what makes him so surprising to people,” Tooley said. “I think it’s this uniqueness that fuels his sense of humor. Even now that I’ve gotten to know him much better, he still surprises me regularly and always makes me laugh.”
5. She & Her Husband Worked on a Documentary About Adam West
Nina Tooley’s husband James directed a 2013 documentary about his father-in-law called Starring Adam West.
In addition, in 2011, Nina and James Tooley were behind a campaign to get Adam West a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which coincided with the documentary. Adam West finally did get his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2012.
“I started working on a documentary about Adam and realized what a crime it was that he hasn’t been recognized in any official way for his years of hard work,” James Tooley said in an interview. “The two projects just naturally merged into one super project to try to use the star to tell Adam’s story and to use the film to help him get a Star.”