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Saturday, June 10, 2017

Acclaimed Actor Adam West Passes Away Aged 88

Actor Adam West, the star on the classic 1960s Batman TV series, sadly passed away at his home in Los Angeles on Friday 9th June 2017 at the age of 88 following a brief battle with leukemia.

“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.

The kitschy, lighthearted 1966-68 Batman television series, in which Adam portrayed Batman/Bruce Wayne, became a pop culture phenomenon and cemented the Caped Crusader's campy image for a generation until darker comic book and movie interpretations came along.

Rex Features

The role was so iconic for West that, ultimately, the greatest roles West landed after hanging up his cape and cowl were variations of himself and Batman.

Burt Ward, who played Robin to West’s Batman on the 1966-68 series, said Saturday he was devastated by the passing of his friend and co-star. The two last saw each other about two weeks ago when they traveled to the East Coast together for an autograph show. The duo worked together only for a few years on ABC’s Batman, but their friendship lasted a half-century.

“I am devastated at the loss of one my very dearest friends,” Ward said in a statement. “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 became known to a new generation of TV fans through his recurring voice role on Fox’s Family Guy as Mayor Adam West, the leader of Quahog, Rhode Island. West was a regular on the show from 2000 through its most recent season.

Adam West as Mayor Adam West on Family Guy.

Seth Green worked with Ward as a voice actor on Fox’s Family Guy and on Green’s Adult Swim animated comedy Robot Chicken.

“He was a true hero of mine — grew up watching him as Batman, and got the privilege of both working with and directing him,” Green said. “He’s generous and always classy. Very sad to think of the world without our beloved Mayor. How lucky we are he left so much behind.”

Julie Newmar, who co-starred with West and Ward as Catwoman on Batman, echoed Green’s sentiments.

“Stellar, exemplar, a king to the end,” Newmar said. “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.”

Adam West as Catman on Fairly OddParents.

West did a wide range of voice-over work, in addition to Family Guy, he also done voice-over work on such shows as Nickelodeon's Rugrats Captain Blasto ("Superhero Chuckie"), as himself and Catman on The Fairly OddParents (2003-2008), Young Mermaid Man on SpongeBob SquarePants, and on Adult Swim’s Robot Chicken. West also portrayed Principal Kent Schwinger on Nickelodeon's '90s live-action series The Adventures of Pete & Pete.

West also revisited the role of Batman in the animated movie Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders, which reunited him with his former co-stars Burt Ward (Robin) and Julie Newmar (Catwoman). He also voiced the Caped Crusader in its upcoming sequel, Batman vs. Two-Face, co-starring William Shatner as the voice of Harvey "Two-Face" Dent.

Before he donned the cape and cowl, the Washington-born West starred in such films as Robinson Crusoe on Mars and The Young Philadelphians and starred on the TV series The Detectives.

In April 2012, West was honoured with his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

I extend my condolences to Adam West's loved ones and will always remember the joy his Batman brought to so many of us. Adam West will always be my favourite Batman. Thanks, old chum.

Read more: Adam West Remembered on Social Media: ‘You Were MY Batman’ | Adam West Remembered on Social Media: ‘You Were MY Batman’

Sources: IGN, Gossip On This, Variety (I, II), IMDb, Fairly Odd Parents Wiki, Family Guy Wiki, Pinterest /@Stephanie Lauren Bounds

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