For some people, Michael Keaton is the Batman of their childhood. For others, Christian Bale might be the Batman of their childhood (and to those I say, “The fuck is wrong with you? Why are you reading this? Tell your parents to put parental controls on your phone!“) But to many, many of us, the Batman of our childhoods, and the one true Batman, is Adam West. Many, many hours were spent on the carpet in my living room taking in massive amounts of perfect 60s campiness and technicolor glamour while watching reruns of the Batman TV show. And now, Adam West is charming the angels and BAM! POW!-ing any of them who mess with him.
A rep for the West family tells The Hollywood Reporter that Adam West died at his home in Los Angeles last night after a short battle with leukemia. His family was with him when he died peacefully. He was 88. His family released this statement:
“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.”
Back in the days when the studios had contract players, Adam was one for Warner Bros. and he was in many movies (like The Young Philadelphians) and TV shows before he shimmied into Batman’s hot leotard and Spandex chonies. He played the title role in the Batman TV show for all three seasons (120 episodes) from 1966 to 1968. Once Batman ended, Adam was hit with typecasting and it was hard for him to get roles that weren’t Batman-esque. So to earn a living, he continued to make appearances as Batman in PSAs and events. Throughout years, he also did voice work in a few Batman animated series.
But Adam’s resume is so much more than Batman. He was in Drop Dead Gorgeous! The Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood! Family Guy! The Simpsons! 30 Rock! And The Drew Carey Show, where he played one half of a gay couple with Wojo from Barney Miller.
THR says that Adam is survived by his wife of 46 years Marcelle Tagand Lear, six children, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Rest in peace, Adam West. You know he surfed into the afterworld like this: