Adam West, star of Batman TV series, dies at age 88
Adam West, who starred in the iconic 1960s TV series Batman, has died at the age of 88.
A family spokesperson reports that West died in Los Angeles on Friday after a short battle with leukemia, passing away peacefully surrounded by his family, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The late actor is survived by his wife Marcelle, six children, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
“Our dad always saw himself as The Bright Knight and aspired to make a positive impact on his fans’ lives,” West’s family said in a statement. “He was and always will be our hero.”
West was a frequent guest star on TV series in the late 1950s and early 1960s, appearing in such series as 77 Sunset Strip and Perry Mason, but his big break came when he donned a cowl and tights for Batman, which debuted in 1966.
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Burt Ward co-starred as the Caped Crusader’s “Boy Wonder” sidekick Robin, West’s straight-faced performance in the campy comic-book series was a hit with viewers, sending Batman to the top of the ratings.
The show’s popularity, however, was short-lived, and Batman was cancelled in 1968, which led to a difficult period for West when he found he was typecast. Difficulty finding acting roles led him to hit the road for personal appearances at fan conventions, car shows and the like.
West returned for a second act in the 2000s, lending his distinctive voice to numerous animated TV cartoons.
He found a whole new level of late-in-life fame thanks to Seth MacFarlane, who cast him as a over-the-top version of himself in Family Guy, in West’s recurring role as the mayor of Quahog, Rhode Island.
“I had done a pilot with Seth that he had written for me. It turned out we had the same kind of comic sensibilities and got along well,” said West in a 2012 interview. “When Family Guy came around and Seth became brilliantly successful, he decided to call me and see what I was doing. 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.”
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