For some fans, there is only one Batman: Adam West.
The world lost West at 88 after batting leukaemia.
While Batman only lasted three series (1966-68), and one movie, West and Burt Ward (Robin) embraced the campy ridiculousness of it, from the elaborate cliffhangers and famous BIFF! BANG! POW! sound effects during fights. It turned West into a revered pop culture icon. West would reprise his role during the seventies and eighties and the 2003 self-referential TV movie Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt. The show was iconic, with the “Battusi” dance and big name actors Cesar Romero (the Joker}, Burgess Meredith (the Penguin), Frank Gorshin (the Riddler), Julie Newmar/ Eartha Kitt/ Lee Meriwether (Catwoman), Vincent Price (Egghead) and Milton Berle (Louie the Lilac). While the current wave of superhero TV shows are dark, gritty and realistic, Batman was happy to be as over-the-top as possible, embracing its formulaic structure, reminding viewers to come back next week with the famous catchphrase “Same Bat-time, same Bat-channel”. The series was recently revived in the Batman ’66 graphic novel.
West’s game portrayal of Batman opened the way for future big screen Batmen Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christian Bale and Ben Affleck.
Younger fans know West for his regular role in Family Guy as Mayor Adam West, voicing the eccentric politician from 2002 until 2017. West wasn’t afraid to poke fun at himself, gleefully turning Mayor West into a caricature of the real West.
The 2013 documentary Starring Adam West showed a wonderful side of West. The documentary revolved around West’s family and fans campaigning to get West’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. While West appreciates the efforts, he wasn’t too concerned, though he deservedly got his star.
West will be missed by Hollywood and ordinary fans alike.