Adam West, best known for his portrayal of Batman in the campy 1960’s television show and later Mayor of a fictional town passed away at the age of 88.
Adam West died Friday night after a brief battle with leukemia, surrounded by his family.
“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.
Both Adam West and Lyle Waggoner were up for the role of Batman before West was cast, playing alongside Burt Ward as his sidekick Robin. In an interview West talked about the tone of the very first Batman show and what he felt you had to give the audience.
“The tone of our first show, was one of absurdity and tongue in cheek to the point that I found it irresistible. I think they recognized that in me from what they’d seen me do before. I understood the material and brought something to it. You can’t play Batman in a serious, square-jawed, straight-ahead way without giving the audience the sense that there’s something behind that mask waiting to get out, that he’s a little crazed, he’s strange.”
Batman would premiere on January 12, 1966 and West’s life changed for ever. When the show came to an end after three seasons in 1968, West found himself typecast, but never became bitter about it. Eventually he would come across another role, one that would make Adam West a household name once again.
Seth MacFarlane would cast West as the Mayor West in his animated comedy “Family Guy”.
“I had done a pilot with Seth that he had written for me. It turned out we had the same kind of comic sensibilities and got along well. When Family Guy came around and Seth became brilliantly successful, he decided to call me and see what I was doing. He asked if I would like to come aboard as the mayor, and I thought it would be neat to do something sort of absurd and fun.”
Ever since the world heard about the passing of Adam West, Hollywood has been paying tribute to the actor.
Burt Ward, who co-starred with West as Robin said.
“I am devastated at the loss of one of 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 and that is and always will be Adam West; He was truly the Bright Knight.”
Seth MacFarlane wrote on Twitter with.
“Family Guy has lost its mayor, and I have lost a friend. Adam West was a joy to work with, and the kind of guy you always wanted to be around. His positivity, good nature, and sense of fun were undeniable, and it was always a big jolt of the best kind of energy when he walked in to record the show. He knew comedy, and he knew humanity. I am beyond fortunate to have had the privilege of working with him, and he will be profoundly missed by all of us. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you have given, Mr. Mayor. You’re irreplaceable.”
Jim Carrey posted on Twitter.
When I was a kid POW BLAM Adam West was Batman! With his pal Robin and his tongue planted firmly in his cheek he brought me so much joy.
Affleck wrote on Twitter.
“Kind, funny and an all around great guy. Thank you for showing us all how it’s done “
Batman co-star Julie Newmar said in a statement.
“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.”