Actor Burt Ward
Gentle Giants Dog Rescue
Actor Burt Ward, best known for his role as TV's "Robin" in the 1960's ABC hit TV show Batman joins Barbara to discuss his passion and mission for rescuing and finding homes for dogs, especially large breeds. His non-profit rescue shelter is called Gentle Giants. Burt will share his story about how he got involved in this noble effort.
Little did aspiring actor Burt Ward know that learning to speed read in addition to his mental and athletic prowess would change his life forever.
As a teen-ager, Burt had all the makings of a true boy wonder. As an all around athlete, strong in martial arts, wrestling, track, tennis and golf, combined with a sharp intellect, playing “first board” in chess for Beverly Hills High School, achieving top 3% in the U.S. in math and science tests at UCLA, and becoming one of the fastest readers in the world – Burt tested before the American Medical Society in Beverly Hills, California and was clocked at 30,000 words per minute with 90% comprehension (the average reader reads 240 words per minute with 40% comprehension). Burt was featured in an article entitled, “Will the Real Boy Wonder Please Stand Up” and subsequently appeared on the national television educational show “Read Right.”
With the help of his father, a prominent real estate broker in Beverly Hills, CA, Burt became one of the youngest real estate agents in California, and met producer Saul David who arranged for him to sign with a Hollywood agent. An interview was set up at 20th Century Fox Studios, and a few weeks later, Burt was called back for a screen test with Adam West. Holder of a brown belt in karate, Burt showed off his athletic ability for the producers by demonstrating some falls and tumbles, and even broke a one-inch pine board with his hand. It wasn’t until six weeks after the screen test that Burt learned that he had won the coveted role of Robin, the Boy Wonder in the new “Batman” TV series for ABC-TV.
Batman Was an Overnight Sensation! Biff, Bam, Boom! The Ratings Soared!
In 1994, Burt and his wife, Tracy rescued a Great Dane in distress. From this experience, they learned about dozens of other Great Danes also needing homes. When they called two weeks later to see what had happened to the others, they was horrified to hear that they had all been destroyed. Both Burt and Tracy have a huge love for animals. They made a decision and created a rescue for Great Danes and other giant dog breeds. Located 50 miles east of Los Angeles, Gentle Giants Rescue and Adoptions is a non-profit charity.
After seventeen years of operating their rescue and finding homes for more than 14,000 homeless giant breed dogs, Gentle Giants is now the largest giant breed dog rescue in the world and rescues and finds homes for 45 different dog breeds, ranging from 2 lbs. to 300 lbs. The Caped Crusader has truly evolved into the Canine Crusader.
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