ADAM WEST, TV's BATMAN, Dies at 88

Adam West as Batman
Credit: Lan Pitts (Newsarama)

Adam West died Friday, June 9, 2017 at the age of 88 after a battle with leukemia, according to a statement from his family. West was best known for portraying the lead in ABC's Batman TV series which ran for three seasons from 1966 to 1968

West was born William West Anderson in Walla Walla, Washington on September 19, 1928. He began acting after leaving the U.S. Army, taking the stage name "Adam" and appearing on the Hawaiian children's show El Kini Popo Show before breaking into roles on network TV westerns and crime series. 

West landed the titular role in Batman in 1965, taking on what would become the definitive role of his career. West's Batman was colorful and heroic, campy and earnest. The series defined Batman not just for fans, but for DC Comics' approach to aspects of the character for decades after the show was cancelled.

After Batman ended, West struggled to find nuanced roles on screen, before finding a career as a voice actor thanks to his part as Mayor West on Family Guy. West transitioned his voice acting success into a return to the role of Batman last year, reuniting with Burt Ward and Julie Newmar - the other surviving castmembers of the 60s Batman series - for an animated feature set in that universe, Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders.

West is survived by his wife, Marcelle, six children, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“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,” his family said in a statement.

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