While 2016 was devastating in regards to celebrity deaths, this year hasn't been without its tragedies. Roger Moore's passing affected generations of James Bond fans, and now the same will now occur with the Batman fandom. Because the legendary Adam West, of Batman '66 fame, has unfortunately passed away at the age of 88.
This news comes to us from THR, who reports that Adam West has died after a short battle with Leukemia. West was reportedly surrounded by loved ones in his final moments, and is survived by his wife, six children, five grandchildren, and two great grand children.
Adam West's passing will surely affect the many fans who grew up watching his iconic performance as Bruce Wayne/Batman in the campy 1960's Batman TV series. West played the role for a whopping 120 episodes over the course of two years, alongside Burt Ward's Robin. The series even aired multiple times a week, with a cliffhanger encouraging the audience to watch both episodes.
This version of Batman would also gain even more popularity following the 1966 film Batman. Filmed after the show's first season, Batman was the first full length movie adaptation of the Dark Knight, and featured much of the TV show's cast reprising their roles. The movie further cemented Adam West's iconography as the character, including some massively quotable moments like "Some days you just can't get rid of a bomb".
Adam West's career would struggle a bit following his role as Batman. The legend has publicly revealed his struggles with typecasting, and how he and his Batman co-stars tried booking work after the series wrapped. He would eventually go into voice acting, which would open up West's talents to new audiences.
Most notably, Adam West had a recurring role in the animated comedy Family Guy, playing a fictionalized version of himself. Family Guy's Adam West was the mayor of the town of Quahog, often delivering somewhat random but nonetheless Batman-esque lines during the series. A character signifying political corruption, Mayor Adam West was often shown wasting taxpayer money, although he was also a sleeper KGB agent in one episode. He would later appear in the series in live-action opposite Rob Lowe. This wasn't the first time that West would play a fictionalized version of himself, as he did the same in campy 90's mockumentary Drop Dead Gorgeous.
Adam West's passing is sure to affect generations of Batman fans. While we've seen many actors don the cowl over the years, the light hearted and witty Batman that West played was the the first. And as Baby Boomers had children of their own, West's portrayal of Bruce Wayne was passed down to the younger generations. Add in his role in Family Guy, and it's unlikely that you haven't heard of the legendary Adam West.
Our thoughts are with his loved ones at this time. Thanks for the memories, Bats.
Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.
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