Burt Ward and Adam West, Batman

Screenwriter and early Batman TV proponent Yale Udoff dies at 83

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Jul 27, 2018

Screenwriter Yale Udoff, writer of an episode of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and Tales From the Crypt in addition to being a proponent of the 1960s Batman TV series, has died at age 83.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Udoff passed away after suffering cardiac arrest due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease on July 19 in Burbank, Calif.

In addition to his work as a screenwriter on several feature films (thriller Bad Timing/A Sensual Obsession and sci-fi film Eve of Destruction), Udoff also might've changed the course of history for the iconic character of Batman. Many credit Udoff with the idea of bringing the DC Comics hero to the small screen in the 1960s.

In the book Batman: A Celebration of the Classic TV Series from 2016, TV producer Edgar Scherick said underling Udoff insisted on the idea of bringing the character to television. "Udoff came in and said we ought to do Batman," said Scherick (via THR). "We threw him out of the office, but he persisted and we decided to look into it."

The idea ultimately made it up the chain at ABC. 

"Suddenly, all these executives were flying back to New York from L.A. reading Batman comic books hidden in their Fortune magazines so that they could get an idea of what was happening. Eventually it got on the air," Udoff recalled in the book.

From television to stage to film, Udoff had successful careers across media. He received a law degree from Georgetown University and served in the Army before deciding to work in entertainment, starting with his time at ABC. Having grown up in Brooklyn, Udoff moved back to New York City to pursue playwriting before later moving to Los Angeles to begin his career as a screenwriter.

Udoff's wife, Sally Shulamit Udoff, also a screenwriter, passed away in 2010. The couple had no children. There will be a memorial for Udoff on September 23.

(via THR)