The superhero world was hit with a ‘POW!’ with the death of actor Adam West, who passed away Friday night after a short battle with leukemia at the age at 88.
West was, is, and will forever be known as ABC’s “Batman”, which aired from 1966 to 1968. Over the course of 120 episodes and one feature film, there was pure grade-A Adam West as the cool and campy Caped Crusader and dashing millionaire Bruce Wayne. With Burt Ward’s eager-beaver Dick Grayson/Boy Wonder Robin, Batman fought for law and order, decency, and justice for the good citizens of Gotham City as the masked deputy against the rogue gallery of evildoers: the united underworld of crime that includes the Riddler (Frank Gorshin), the Penguin (Burgess Meredith), the Joker (Cesar Romero), and Catwoman (Julie Newmar, Lee Meriwether, Eartha Kitt).
West continued to make Batman’s name legendary among derring-do crime-fighters, as Batman was part of ABC’s masks of justice alongside Clayton Moore – and John Hart – as “The Lone Ranger”, Guy Williams as “Zorro”, and Van Williams as “The Green Hornet”.
“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,” said West’s family said in a statement via The Hollywood Reporter.
After ABC canceled “Batman” in 1968, West was forever typecast as the Caped Crusader. But a superhero is still a superhero, as “Batman” becomes both a guilty pleasure and a cult fan favorite thanks to reruns in syndication: introducing a new generation of fans to Adam West, who became in-demand with appearances on talk shows, and as a voice-over actor with recurring roles as Mayor West on FOX’s “Family Guy” and Mayor Grange on “The Batman”, as well as lending his voice for “The Simpsons”, along with a special guest appearance for the 200th episode of CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory”.
In 1992, West played washed-up veteran actor Simon Trent in an episode of FOX’s “Batman: The Animated Series” entitled “Beware The Grey Ghost”, where the brooding Dark Knight (voice of Kevin Conroy) enlists the aid of his favorite childhood hero The Grey Ghost – aka Trent – to catch a villain called the Mad Bomber. West and Ward became the Dynamic Duo one last time in the DVD entitled “Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders”, with Newmar lending her purr-fect voice once more as the Catwoman.
West, who received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2012, is survived by his wife Marcelle, six children, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.