Vale: Adam West

TV's iconic Batman star has died, aged 88.

TV’s iconic Batman star Adam West has died, aged 88.

West (pictured, left) died Friday night in Los Angeles after a short battle with leukemia surrounded by his family.

“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,” his family said in a statement.

West’s career spanned six decades, but nothing would eclipse his role as the caped crusader for just 3 seasons from 1966 to 1968.

He read the pilot script for producer William Dozier and knew after 20 pages that it was the kind of comedy he wanted to do. He signed a contract on the spot, only asking that he approve the casting of Robin the Boy Wonder, which went to Burt Ward (pictured, right). A feature was also released in September 1966.

West said that he played Batman “for laughs, but in order to do [that], one had to never think it was funny. You just had to pull on that cowl and believe that no one would recognise you.”

“You can’t play Batman in a serious, square-jawed, straight-ahead way without giving the audience the sense that there’s something behind that mask waiting to get out, that he’s a little crazed, he’s strange,” he once said.

Big screen credits included The Young Philadelphians, Robinson Crusoe on Mars, Redux Riding Hood, The Relentless Four, The Marriage of a Young Stockbroker, Geronimo, Tammy and the Doctor, The Outlaws Is Coming, and The Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood.

But West struggled to find work after Batman was cancelled, forced to make appearances at car shows and carnivals.

He returned to voice his iconic character in such cartoons as The New Adventures of Batman, Legends of the Superheroes, SuperFriends: The Legendary Super Powers Show and The Simpsons.

Other TV credits included Colt .45, Maverick, Hawaiian Eye, 77 Sunset Strip, Cheyenne, The Detectives, Diagnosis: Murder, Love American Style, Bonanza, The Big Valley, Night Gallery, Alias Smith and Jones, Mannix, Emergency!, Alice, Police Woman, Operation Petticoat, The American Girls, Vega$, Big Shamus Little Shamus, Laverne & Shirley, Bewitched, Fantasy Island, The Love Boat, Hart to Hart, Zorro, The King of Queens and George Lopez.

Seth MacFarlane later reached out to offer him a role in Family Guy.

“He asked if I would like to come aboard as the mayor, and I thought it would be neat to do something sort of absurd and fun.”

In February 2016, The Big Bang Theory marked the 50th anniversary of Batman with an appearance by West.

West once told a Comic-Con audience he thought Batman would be the end of him.

“I look around and I see the adults — I see you grew up with me, and you believe in the adventure. I never believed this would happen, that I would be up here with illustrious people like yourselves. I’m so grateful! I’m the luckiest actor in the world, folks, to have you still hanging around.”

Source: Hollywood Reporter

19 Responses

  1. When you think about it, there’s only a handful of actors that have such a multi-generational appeal, Adam West was certainly one of those from Batman to Family Guy that’s a good 50 year span of fans. He also starred in Batman: The Animated Series, voicing Batman’s hero “Gray Ghost”

  2. Everthing about this 60’s Batman starring Adam West with Burt Ward captured the childs imagination, the Batman costume with utility belt, the Batmobile, the Batphone. All the characters especially the villains had a Hollywood pedigree, it also exploited contemporary American culture which was a major attraction for non American viewers. The comic book style was genius, but then slapstick comedy writing was at its peak during the 60’s with other shows like I Dream of Jeannie and Hogans Heroes winning the ratings. Adam West was a TV icon of his time and like Leonard Nimoy he will live on in the memory.

  3. Another part of my early up bringing gone! I remember Batman & Robin chasing a crook across the road then Batman stops and said to Robin, “Citizens are watching us Robin we need to use the pedestrian crossing like all good folks” Pow, Wham, Pop, Bang etc lol

    1. lol…….. for some strange reason, i always remember, when they were climbing up the side of the building and Robin would say ” Look over there Batman” and the reply was always “Safety first Robin, both hands on the bat rope”, it always made me laugh!

  4. One of my earliest happy memories was walking to my Nana’s house after school so I could watch Batman on her tv (it was on a third channel we didn’t have at home). Happiness!

  5. Very sad, the batman show was one of many tv shows I grew up watching(Get Smart, The Six Million Dollar Man etc were some of the other shows watching). Him and Burt Ward made the 60’s show so good, cheesy and campy at times, but had some great villains like Burgess Meredith as Penguin and Casear Romeo as The Joker. R.I.P adam west 🙁

  6. Another indelible figure from my youth passes away today. Adam West was such a handsome and charismatic man on screen. Batman the series had a huge impact on me; it has been delightful if not really bizarre to hear him on Family Guy the past decade and a half. He certainly made his mark. I created this clip as soon as I heard; such was my affection for the late great Adam West!


    1. Yes, Adam was the original and the best Batman – he was perfect.
      Loved the campness and comic book feel of the 60s TV show.
      Agree that the Batman movies were far too dark and missing the humour of the original.

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