Adam West was a beacon of fun and glorious escapism for so many people and for us personally he was someone that started us on our path to becoming the nerds we are today. That is why it is so devastating to report that the actor has passed away at the age off 88. He lived a full life, embraced the character who made him famous and introduced Batman to an entire generation that may not have ever picked up a comic book if it wasn’t for him.
West made his first appearance as the Dark Knight back in the 1960’s show on ABC, which was hardly a dark version of the character at all. It was lighthearted, silly, and inspired so much of what you’ve seen in comic books ever since, from the “wham!” “boom!” “pow!” sound effects to many of the costumes. The theme song may also be the most iconic comic-book theme song of all time.
In a statement (per Variety), West’s family passed along the following statement:
“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.”
There was also a really wonderful quote published by the site in which West describes how playing the character ultimately defined much of his life, and how he eventually chose to embrace that rather than running from it:
“Money. Some years ago I made an agreement with Batman. There was a time when Batman really kept me from getting some pretty good roles, and I was asked to do what I figured were important features. However, Batman was there, and very few people would take a chance on me walking on to the screen. And they’d be taking people away from the story. So I decided that since so many people love Batman, I might as well love it too. Why not? So I began to reengage myself with Batman. And I saw the comedy. I saw the love people had for it, and I just embraced it.”
To many younger generations, West may also be known for his voice-over work as Mayor Adam West on Family Guy, or from his guest spot on the recent 200th episode of The Big Bang Theory. To us, he will always be our favorite Batman, someone who loved the role and also understood comic-book fandom years before anyone else in the acting community. People loved him for it, and he loved them back in a way that always felt real and never forced.
West will be dearly missed. Check out some highlights of him as the character below. (Photo: ABC.)