1960s Batman star Adam West dies at 88


After a short battle with leukemia, Adam West of 1960s Batman fame dies at 88.

Very sad news in the world of superheroes and comic books today. Fans are mourning the loss of one of the most famous and beloved Batmen—Adam West. West passed away at the age of 88 after a short battle with leukemia.

Batman, in modern times, has become one of the darkest superheroes. But to an older generation, the Dark Knight wasn’t always … you know … dark. We remember a time when the Caped Crusader had lighthearted stories of villains wanting a to rob a bank while wearing bright costumes. There were no moral ambiguities. It was purely good vs. not so evil. And it was this Batman that Adam West brought to life.

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William West Anderson was born on September 19, 1928 in Walla Walla, Washington to Otto West Anderson, a farmer, and Audrey V. Speer, an opera singer and concert pianist. After his parents divorced, William moved with his mother to Seattle, Washington.

William attended Whitman College and received a bachelor’s degree in literature with a minor in psychology. He was later drafted into the United States Army and served as an announcer for the American Forces Network. After being discharged, William moved to Hawaii and worked as a milkman.

William’s lifelong goal was to be an actor, a profession his mother had to abandon in order to care for her family. In 1959, William, who was now married with two children, moved to Hollywood to pursue his dreams. He soon took the stage name “Adam West.” He chose “Adam” because it paired well with his middle name “West.”

West’s early career saw him in a number of guest-starring roles in television Westerns. He also made a few appearances on Perry Mason and The Real McCoys. In his initial stints, he often worked with many Hollywood legends (Steve McQueen, Jackie Gleason, and Paul Newman).

In 1966, producer William Dozer would cast West in his most famous role—as Bruce Wayne / Batman. The television show ran on ABC from 1966 to 1968. The series also spawned the Batman (1966) feature-film. West’s portrayal of Batman was very far from Bob Kane’s original idea of the character—one who often operated in the shadows and had more of a violent edge. West’s Batman was family-friendly and clean-cut.

After the series was canceled, West and a number of his co-stars (Yvonne Craig and Burt Ward) were typecast, making it difficult to find new roles. However, he was able to find further work making guest appearances as the Caped Crusader. Later, the actor would return to guest-starring roles in television and major appearances in film.

Decades later, West would return to the role of Batman for a number of animated series—The New Adventures of Batman, The Batman/Tarzan Adventure Hour, Tarzan and the Super 7, Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show, and The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians.

Due to his status as a pop culture icon, West worked throughout the 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s. He guest-starred in Goosebumps, NewsRadio, Murphy Brown, The Adventures of Pete and Pete, The Ben Stiller Show, and The Drew Carey Show. In 2010 he was awarded the Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars. And on April 5, 2012, he was honored with the 2,468th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

West is survived by his wife, Marcelle, of 47 years, six children, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

Biography Source: Wikipedia