Adam West - Batman for all time
1928 - 2017
Although modern demographics may skew Batman's alter-ego identity recognition toward Christian Bale (of the Christopher Nolan Dark Knight films) or Ben Affleck (Batman V Superman), but across the globe and through the last fifty years one person more than any other had been identified with Batman, and that's Adam West.
Though the Batman show only lasted three seasons, it racked up 120 episodes which have been in syndication ever since. Whether as an antidote to the seriousness of the current screen renditions of Batman, or as a test-tube specimen of mid-1960s mod and hip culture (not to mention peeks at the pantheon of movie and TV celebrities which paraded through the series), the Batman TV show appears to be immortal, in television terms, and that longevity is mostly due to West's frank and sincere presentation of the 'freak in tights' (West's term), a character he has said requires an actor to put on the cowl to understand (a costuming chore which West, age 37 when he began, has said made him feel as if he were performing in the heat of 180 degrees).
Born William West Anderson, "Adam West" (his stage name) has a long list of movie and TV credits besides Batman. He was born in Walla Walla, Washington State. West died, he was 88, June 9, 2017 in Los Angeles from leukemia.
Adam West 1928 - 2017
Official Adam West Web Site
Hollywood Remembers Adam West: “Devastated At The Loss”, Says Burt Ward - Deadline Hollywood
"Adam West, TV’s Batman – and, for some fans, still the only Batman – is being remembered by fans and colleagues today. The 88-year-old actor passed away last night after a battle with leukemia."
"West, who had appeared in many Warner Bros. television series as a studio contract player, was filming the spaghetti Western The Relentless Four (1965) in Europe at the time. He returned to the States to meet with Dozier, “read the pilot script and knew after 20 pages that it was the kind of comedy I wanted to do,” he said in a 2006 interview with the Archive of American Television.
West said that he played Batman “for laughs, but in order to do [that], one had to never think it was funny. You just had to pull on that cowl and believe that no one would recognize you.”
He signed a contract on the spot, only asking that he be given the chance to approve who would play his sidekick, Robin, the Boy Wonder. (He would OK the casting of Burt Ward, who had a brown belt in karate but zero acting experience).
....West, who was at the pinnacle of pop culture after Batman debuted in January 1966, only to see his career fall victim to typecasting after the ABC show flamed out, died Friday night in Los Angeles after a short battle with leukemia, a family spokesperson said. West died peacefully surrounded by his family and is survived by his wife Marcelle, six children, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
ADAM WEST 1961 - Perry Mason TV Show
"Batman co-star Julie Newmar, Mark Hamill, Jamie Lee Curtis and Family Guy writer David Goodman were among those who paid tribute to West Saturday after the news broke. Newmar said in 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."
Burt Ward, who played Robin to West's Batman, remembered his co-star in a statement to THR: "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."
Famed 'Batman' actor Adam West dies at 88 - UPI
"Asked by UPI at the convention if he wanted to give Batman back to children after decades of increasingly dark portrayals by other actors made movies about the crime-fighter more appropriate for adults, West replied: "You know what you've just done? You've just described what we intended to do and did. When you see the movie, you' ll see this was done primarily for kids. You know, of all ages. So, the adults will be amused, of course, again. But this one is really just hammering right in to please the kids and you see it updated. They've taken our Batman and given it an homage and then brought it more in tune with what's happening out there today. All the technology, you know, the new stuff. We're in space. I'm a little spacey anyway. But we're out in space!"
Adam West, star of 'Batman' TV series, dead at 88 - ABC News
"It's with great sadness that we are sharing this news ... Adam West passed away peacefully last night after a short but brave battle with leukemia. He was a beloved father, husband, grandfather, and great-grandfather. There are no words to describe how much we'll miss him. We know you'll miss him too and we want you to know how much your love and support meant to him throughout the years. Hug your loved ones today," the statement reads.
Adam West, Who Played The Dark Knight At His Brightest, Dies At 88 - NPR
"...Despite this revolving door of big personalities, it was West's bright spin on the Dark Knight that came to be synonymous with the series. The show — and its 1966 film adaptation — managed a distinctive "tonal jiu jitsu," NPR's Glen Weldon wrote last year: "high silliness executed with grave seriousness."
....."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 once told Variety.
"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."
Adam West Dead: 'Batman' TV Actor Dies at 88 - US Magazine
"West starred in the Batman 1966 TV series from January 1966 to March 1968. He also played the DC Comics superhero and his alter ego, Bruce Wayne, in the 1996 Batman movie. Throughout his career, he struggled to find other roles because he was so closely associated with the beloved character.
The actor most recently voiced Quahog Mayor Adam West on Family Guy, and also made a guest appearance on The Big Bang Theory last February to celebrate the CBS sitcom's 200th episode."
Adam West, TV's 'Batman,' Dead at 88 - Rolling Stone
"My Batman has endured because it had something for everyone," West told the Daily Express [ TV's original Batman Adam West spills the beans on his superhero life ] in 2015 of the Batman role. "When you were a kid you could enjoy all the adventure, the color, the crazy costumes, the wonderful villains. Then as you got a little bit older you saw the satirical elements, the bizarre stuff."
TV Batman actor Adam West dies at 88 - BBC
"The Batman TV series, with its onscreen fight-scene graphics of Wham! and Pow! became an unexpected hit. West and his co-star Burt Ward, who played Batman's sidekick Robin, won widespread acclaim for their kitsch portrayal of the Dynamic Duo."
Adam West - The Batman
Batman art by Anthony Summey
Adam West - Batman 1966 TV Series
Batman TV Show 1966 & Feature Film
Adam West on the cover of TV Guide
Adam West - 1961
Perry Mason TV series "The Case of the Barefaced Witness" broadcast March 18, 1961
Adam West and Lynda Carter
Art by Alex Ross
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Batman 1966 - Adam West - now on Bluray and DVD
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Original Page Nov 2013 | Updated June 10 2017