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Today is a sad day for fans of both Batman and Family Guy, as the legendary and always delightful Adam West has died at the age of 88. The iconic actor is known for being the very first live-action Batman, and his short battle with Leukemia shocked his generation of fans. But while the fandom may be collectively mourning, so are the many actors that West worked with in his long career in the business. And many of those peers have already written thoughtful statements on his passing, including his two Batman co-stars.
Burt Ward and Julie Newmar played starred in Batman as Robin and Catwoman respectively. They've each penned tributes to Adam West, which reflect on the legend's life. While Batman only ran for a few years, Adam West and Burt Ward's friendship lasted throughout the years and various appearances together. Burt Ward wrote,
I am devastated at the loss of one my very dearest friends. Adam and I had a special friendship for more than 50 years. We shared some of the most fun times of our lives together. Our families have deep love and respect for each other. This is a terribly unexpected loss of my lifelong friend. I will forever miss him. There are several fine actors who have portrayed Batman in films. In my eyes, there was only one real Batman that is and always will be Adam West. He was truly the Bright Night.
This personal message is sure to also affect the generations of Batman fans. While many live-action incarnations of Bruce Wayne/Batman have come and gone throughout the years, Adam West's witty and campy interpretation of the character will always be the very first one. And in a time where superhero movies are so constantly focusing on gritty interpretations, the Batman TV show and accompanying movie is one that adds a sense of brightness to the property.
Variety has also curated Julie Newmar's official statement regarding Adam West's passing. Newmar was the original Catwoman, although Eartha Kitt eventually took over the role in the show's final season, and Newmar didn't appear in the film. She said,
Stellar, exemplar, a king to the end. He was bright, witty and fun to work with. I will miss him in the physical world and savor him always in the world of imagination and creativity. He meant so much to people. A friend said: 'The father that we wanted.' That is a great gift, no matter how you live it.
The trio of original Batman actors recently reunited to reprise their roles through voice over work in the animated film Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders. This last project as Batman feels all the more important and precious after Adam West's death. Plans for a sequel were in the works with William Shatner set to play Two-Face, although West's passing likely puts a wrench in those plans.
Our thoughts are with Adam West's many loved ones at this time.