Adam West, who first portrayed The Dark Knight in the eponymous TV series Batman has passed away. He was 88.
The Batman TV series, which first aired in 1966 had a very different take on the caped superhero of the modern times. West’s portrayal of Batman and the billionaire Bruce Wayne was a very cheeky one as compared to the modern day brooding Dark Knight.
West also became an icon of the new generation with his voice acting in Seth MacFarlane’s Family Guy as Mayor Adam West. What a co-incidence indeed! He also acted in Disney’s Jake and The Neverland Pirates and Adult Swim’s ‘Robot Chicken’. But it was Batman which defined as well as restrained Adam West’s career.
West’s cheeky portrayal of The Caped Crusader along with Burt Ward’s portrayal as The Boy Wonder was an instant hit among the 60’s audience. The comedic fight sequences against Batman’s rogue gallery which was followed by ‘Wham! Pow!’ onscreen exclamations brought a humourous angle to the gloomy and dark superhero of 1940. With an array of flamboyant villains played by Cesar Romero (The Joker) and Burgess Meredith (Penguin), the show was aired twice a week at the same ‘Bat-Time’ on ABC’s network.
Surprisingly, the very show which made him famous was the sole cause for his years of struggle as an actor. After the cancellation of Batman, it became increasingly hard for West to find a role as an actor.
Apart from being an affable actor on the silver screen, West was also a prolific voice actor. His voice-overs in ‘Spongebob’, ‘Family Guy’, ‘Robot Chicken’ were highly successful. After the Batman TV show, he did return to the role of The Caped Crusader in various animated shows like ‘The Simpsons’, ‘Kim Possible’, ‘The New Adventures of Batman’. He also played as Thomas Wayne in Batman : The Brave and The Bold.
“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. Adam West died of Leukemia after a short and brave battle and is survived by his wife Marcelle Tagand Lear and their four children.