Adam West died on Friday, June 9, 2107. West was famously known for being TV’s first Batman. The show made its debut in the year of 1966 on ABC. Batman lasted on ABC for a total of two years. A good portion of West’s career was dominated by his Batman role.
According to CNN Entertainment, West died at the age of 88 due to “a short but brave battle with leukemia,” his family said in a statement. The passing has shaken up the entertainment world as West was a highly respected actor. West is survived by his six children, his wife Marcelle, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
“Adam West” adopted his stage name after the success of his role in Batman. However, he was born William West Anderson on September 19, 1928. West hails from the city of Walla Walla, which is located in the state of Washington. One of his first acting breaks was when he played in the 1959 movie “The Young Philadelphians.”
The producers of the James Bond series asked West to take over the part in the 1970s; he refused because, as he told one interviewer, “I didn’t want to seem greedy.” He later admitted there were moments afterward when he wished he’d said yes. (courtesy of Vulture)
Playing the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman in the 1966 ABC series had gotten so big for West that it appeared that was all the actor had to offer. This was something that became a bit strenuous for the actor at times of his career.
In an interview with Variety last year that was tagged to his guest appearance on the CBS comedy The Big Bang Theory, West said getting to play the World’s Greatest Detective seemed to put a damper on his early career — but he learned to embrace the enduring part.
“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,” West said, adding, “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.” (courtesy of NBC News)
Since Batman went off the air in 1968, it has been survived to this day. There have been many Batman movies as well that have been box office hits. There have even been cartoons for the Caped Crusader since the show’s debut.
One of the most recent successes in the Batman catalog was its “Dark Knight” movie series starring Christian Bale as Batman. When the “Dark Knight” debuted in 2008, the movie grossed an amazing $1 billion in box office sales. The success of the movie series has shown how the Adam West originated character has grown over the years.
Since his glory days of playing the role of Batman, West has found success in other roles. The ones, in particular, he seemed to excel in was doing voice overs for animated scripts. In 1997 he contributed his voice to the Oscar-nominated short film titled “Redux Riding Hood.” He also was able to reprise his voice in several animated cartoons as Batman in shows like “The Legend of Superheros” and “The New Adventures of Batman.”
In the hit cartoon series of “Family Guy,” West was offered the role of Mayor “Adam West” by the creator of the show Seth MacFarlane. West took the role in 2012 and has remained a character since. In 2012 he was also given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Family and friends took to social media to share their love for the legendary actor.
Adam West exemplified heroism. Kind, funny and an all around great guy. Thank you for showing us all how it's done. @therealadamwest
— Ben Affleck (@BenAffleck) June 10, 2017
[Featured image by Mike Coppola/Getty Images]