Adam West, TV’s Batman, Has Died

Adam West, TV’s Batman, Has Died

Adam West, the iconic 1960’s Batman, has died of leukemia. He was 88.

West began his career as a contract player for Warner Brothers, and had small roles in a wide variety of television shows before his breakthrough casting as the Caped Crusader in 1966.

“The tone of our first show, by Lorenzo Semple Jr., was one of absurdity and tongue in cheek to the point that I found it irresistible…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,” West said in an interview.

The show started strong.  Batman was nominated for an Emmy for outstanding comedy series in its first season. A Batman movie was quickly released by 20th Century Fox before season two began. But ratings soon tanked and Batman was cancelled after its third season, in 1968.

West had trouble finding steady work after Batman ended because he was so closely identified with his character. However, he made peace with his status in pop culture, and found success with voice work in cartoons like The New Adventures of Batman SuperFriends: The Legendary Super Powers Show, The Simpsons, and notably as the mayor of Quahog on Family Guy.

A statement from West’s family declares, “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.”

Ours, too.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

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