Actor Adam West, Best Known As TV's Original Batman, Passes Away At 88

“Our dad always saw himself as The Bright Knight ... and always will be our hero."

It's a sad day for all Batman fans out there in the world. Adam West, the actor who played Bruce Wayne and the DC Comics superhero on ABC's 1960s series Batman died Friday night in Los Angeles after a short battle with leukemia. He was 88.

West's family — who surrounded him as he peacefully passed away — confirmed the news to outlets. "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, via The Hollywood Reporter. West is survived by his wife Marcelle, six children, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.


Batman began in 1966 and ran for 120 episodes before ending in 1968 after three seasons — including 1966's Batman: The Movie. West earned a spot in the pop culture zeitgeist forever with his campy take on the Caped Crusader. But, despite the show being nominated for an Emmy for its first season (losing out to The Dick Van Dyke Show), the actor was typecast from then on out.

"Stellar, exemplar, a king to the end," Julie Newmar, who played Catwoman opposite West on Batman, told THR in a statement. "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."

"I am devastated at the loss of one my very dearest friends," said Burt Ward in a statement, according to Variety. Ward played Robin in the 1960s Batman TV show. "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."

West — who was born William West Anderson in 1928 — lent his voice to future adaptations of Batman, such as 1977's The New Adventures of Batman, 1984's SuperFriends: The Legendary Super Power Show, 1985's The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians, and even a 2002 episode of The Simpsons. The original Batman TV series finally arrived on DVD back in 2014.

Outside of playing Gotham's greatest protector, West was featured in films such as 1959's The Young Philadelphians, 1964's Robinson Crusoe on Mars, and 1997's Redux Riding Hood — an animated short film which received an Oscar nomination — just to name a few. Perhaps his best-known contribution outside of playing Batman was as a voice actor on Family Guy for more than 100 episodes.

This, of course, is just scraping the top of a man's career that has been going on for over seven decades. Hollywood is already reacting to West's loss and remembering the impact he had on their lives and show business in general:


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