batman logo on front of black car

The news about Ben Affleck being cast as Batman in the 2016 release of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice certainly keeps the interwebs in a tizzy. The new Dark Knight seems to eclipse all other news, cuz, really, nothing else is really going on in the world, right?

Well, regardless of the roles he plays, Affleck is a true hero in his civilian life. Because his voice has the amplification of his career status, he is our nation’s number one shouter to the rooftops about the atrocities occurring every day in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. His huge efforts on behalf of the Eastern Congo Initiative help the organization in their efforts to increase international investment, boost awareness of the war-torn region’s immense challenges, and affect changes in governmental policy on behalf of the African nation. In addition, Affleck smoothly moves into philanthropist roles with many other charities, quick to lend his name, clout, and direct effort to an array of causes here and abroad.

Since Batman's alter-ego, Bruce Wayne, is always described as a billionaire philanthropist, let’s have a gander at the charitable work of others who have portrayed the Caped Crusader

Adam West

gave us the super-campy version of Batman that set the bar (either nosebleed high or subterranean low, depending on your preferences). He has, through the years, given his support to numerous charities, lending his name and talents to events, and occasional memorabilia to auctions to raise bucks for causes.

Michael Keaton

also shows up at events as a celeb to raise the profile and raise funds for various causes. He has given particular weight to charities devoted to education opportunities and kids pursuing academic excellence.

Val Kilmer

has spent many years in the philanthropic world, and directly supported, among others: First Star, shining a light on child abuse and neglect; Global Green, working toward green buildings and cities, food and water scarcity issues, and eco-causes; LIFEbeat, which is a music industry charity focused on youth and HIV/AIDS prevention; V-Day and its global work to halt violence against women and girls.

George Clooney

is kind of the Grand Poobah of charitable famous folks, often putting more energy toward making the world a better place than he does toward movie-making. His Not on Our Watch charity—founded with Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Jerry Weintraub, and David Pressman—works to end mass atrocities around the world. It is because of Clooney that many first heard of Darfur and Sudan and their outrageous situations. Clooney is also involved with dozens of other charities and philanthropic pursuits, and is well known for dropping giant chunks of change for causes and people he believes in, as well as the occasional stranger in need.

Christian Bale

has a terrific focus on global ecology and animals, with his support of Greenpeace, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, WWF/World Wildlife Fund, and others.

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About The Author

Andrew Mersmann's picture

Andrew is the author of Frommer's global guide to volunteer vacations, "500 Places Where You Can Make a Difference" (Gold Medal Winner from Society of American Travel Writers: Best Guide Book 2010). He spent more than a decade on the editorial team of PASSPORT Magazine. He has volunteered and led teams on service projects around the world, and is honored to be on the boards of directors for the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation (AARBF.org) and Mentor Artists Playwrights Project (mentorartists.org). Mersmann has been a featured speaker, interview guest, or moderator on several travel talks, from the New York Times Travel Show, Smithsonian Associates, and the 92nd Street Y-TriBeCa to Oprah and Friends, Animal House, and The Focus Group on satellite radio as well as on NY1 television. Past participant at the Clinton Global Initiative and judge for Condé Nast World Changers Conference, he blogs about volunteering and service travel at www.ChangeByDoing.com. As part of the evox television team, he is dedicated to audience engagement, so if you're not engaged, he needs to be thumped on the head (gently)...or at least told (nicely). Twitter: /ChangeByDoing

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