Adam West: TV’s Batman dead at 88

Adam West speaking at the 2014 Phoenix Comicon at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Adam West, best known for starring as Bruce Wayne/Batman in the campy television series, has died of leukemia at the age of 88.

The West family posted a statement on Facebook.

It’s with great sadness that we are sharing this news…Adam West passed away peacefully last night after a short but brave battle with leukemia. He was a beloved father, husband, grandfather, and great-grandfather. There are no words to describe how much we’ll miss him. We know you’ll miss him too and we want you to know how much your love and support meant to him throughout the years. Hug your loved ones today.

Batman debuted in January 1966 on ABC and ended after 120 episodes aired in March 1968.  Notable rogues from the Batman gallery made their appearances on the series, including the Joker (Cesar Romero), The Riddler (Frank Gorshin), The Penguin (Burgess Meredith), and Catwoman (Julie Newmar).  Burt Ward starred alongside West as his sidekick Dick Grayson/Robin.

The actor is survived by his wife, six children, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.  Among his final appearances were a voice role on Family Guy and a guest appearance on The Big Bang Theory.

The Seattle-born West saw a great amount of work in the 1950s and 60s as a result of a contract with Warner Brothers.  It wasn’t until he caught the attention of producer William Dozier in which West landed the role that would give him fame for life.

In the later years of his career, West would finally start to embrace his past by taking on roles in genres that appealed to comic book nerds.  In 2003, West and Ward reunited for a made-for-TV movie, Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt.

West was featured in the 2013 documentary, Starring Adam West.  For comedy fans, however, it should be noted that West was cast in the 1991 television pilot, Lookwell, written by Conan O’Brien and Robert Smigel.

Many notable actors and comic book writers have turned to social media to pay their respects for the man who played the Dark Knight in the campiest way.  Deadline has a large round-up of statements.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

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