'Batman' actor Adam West dies at age 88

Mr West died on Friday night in Los Angeles after a short battle with leukaemia, his family said.

"But in the overall, I'm delighted because my character became iconic and has opened a lot of doors in other ways, too".

While West dealt with typecasting after the initial Batman series went off the air, starting in 1977 he began to play the role again in multiple animated shows, buoyed by the pop culture conventions that were becoming a fixture of the landscape, and that first generation of children who'd loved him growing up with fond memories.

Younger fans got to know West for his voice work on several cartoon series, particularly his recurring role as mayor of Quahog, Rhode Island, in Fox's "Family Guy". There are no words to describe how much we'll miss him. The movie version, Batman: The Movie, was released in 1966 and earned West the "Most Promising New Star" award in 1967. Numerous Hollywood luminaries stepped in to play Batman's demented adversaries in the show's 120 episodes.

Born William West Anderson in Washington, West began acting in films in the late 1950s. He graduated from Whitman College, a liberal arts school, in Walla Walla. "And that is: if I am being turned down for other roles because of my association with Batman, then maybe what I should do is really embrace Batman".

The TV show was among the most popular in 1966, the year of its debut, and some of the era's top actors signed on to play villains. Eartha Kitt purred as Catwoman.

Years later, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christian Bale and Ben Affleck would don Bruce Wayne's camouflaging cape and cowl.

While Adam West was been best known for puncturing almost every stereotype of the classically stoic superhero, somehow it was impossible to see him as a mere mortal, vulnerable as all human beings are to the passage of time itself. "Such a super amusing, cool, charismatic actor". His wry sense of humor and sarcasm - which we didn't get as kids but is vividly apparent on the show looking at it now- made "Batman" a phenomenon.

Headland wrote: My childhood hero & still my favorite Batman. He had homes in Los Angeles and Palm Springs, but he and his wife, Marcelle, spent most of their time at their ranch near Sun Valley, Idaho.

  • Larry Hoffman