Some extremely sad news this afternoon, as it has been announced that Adam West – known for his iconic role as the Caped Crusader in the classic 1960s Batman TV series – passed away yesterday aged 88 after a short battle with leukaemia.
“Our dad always saw himself as The Bright Knight, and aspired to make a positive impact on his fans’ lives,” reads a statement released by West’s family today. “He was and always will be our hero.”
Beginning his career in 1959 with a role alongside Paul Newman in The Young Philadelphians, West would make a number of guest appearances on the small screen throughout the first half of the 1960s, before securing the title role alongside Burt Ward’s Robin in TV’s Batman.
Premiering in 1966, the campy take on the DC superhero was an enormous success, running for 120 episodes across three seasons, as well as spawning the 1966 feature film. Batman was described as “the biggest TV phenomenon of the mid-1960s” and even saw West gracing the cover of Life Magazine.
Due to the enormous success of Batman, West struggled to shake of the image of the character and found it difficult to secure other work, although he did turn down the opportunity to play James Bond in 1970’s Diamonds Are Forever, believing that only a British actor should play 007.
West would return to the cape and cowl on numerous occasions, lending is voice to Batman in a host of animated shows, as well as donning the Batsuit once again in 1979 for the TV special Legends of the Superheroes. His final outing as the character would come in 2016 with the release of Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders (a sequel has been announced for this year, featuring William Shatner as the voice of Two-Face).
Since 2000, West also lent his voice to the character of Mayor Adam West on the animated series Family Guy, earning him a new generation of fans.