Adam West, star of the classic 1960s TV version of ‘Batman,’ has passed away at the age of 88.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the actor had been through “a short battle with leukemia.”
Born William West Anderson on 19 September 1928, the Seattle native worked his way up through various TV and film roles before being cast alongside Burt Ward’s Robin as the Caped Crusader in the hit TV series.
‘Batman’ ran from 1966 to 1968, and spawned big-screen spin-off ‘Batman: The Movie.’ A pop culture sensation, it was noted for its colourful and overtly tongue-in-cheek approach, and West’s droll delivery was key to this.
While he was not the first actor to portray Batman on screen (Lewis Wilson first donned the cowl in a 1943 serial), West provided many with their introduction to the character, and has remained a treasured figure among fans.
In more recent years, he reached a new audience as a regular voice actor on TV’s ‘Family Guy.’
A petition was launched in 2014 to give West a cameo role in ‘Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice,’ to no avail. However, 2015 saw West and Ward reunite to voice animated film ‘Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders.’ Another animated feature, ‘Batman Vs Two-Face,’ is currently in post-production.
In recent years, in response to the considerably less optimistic tone of the more recent Batman movies – notably the ‘Dark Knight’ trilogy – West had taken to referring to his version of Batman as ‘The Bright Knight.’ His family used these words in their official statement on his passing:
“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.”
Millions of bat-fans feel much the same way.
West is survived by his wife, their six children, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, to whom we extend our deepest sympathies.