In Memoriam: Adam West

We’re sorry to note the passing of Adam West, the actor who played Batman in the iconic eponymous TV show alongside Burt Ward as Robin, has died at the age of 88.

West is best known for his role as Batman on the original television programme that ran from 1966 to 1968, a show that was internationally successful and even produced a feature film.

After Batman, West gave a convincing lead performance as cynical tough guy Johnny Cain in the 1969 film, The Girl Who Knew Too Much. then returned to his most famous role this time in animated form on the Super Friends cartoon in 1983.

During the 1990s, West appeared in several films: The Size of Watermelons and Drop Dead Gorgeous. He also lent his distinctive voice to The Simpsons and Batman: The Animated Series, and appears on Family Guy as Mayor Adam West.

He also appeared on Nickelodeon’s The Fairly Odd Parents, the Disney channel’s Kim Possible and Cartoon Network’s Johnny Bravo.

“Adam West was a true American icon,” his official web site notes. “From his humble beginning on a wheat ranch in Walla Walla, Washington, Adam skyrocketed to fame in Hollywood, pursuing an extraordinary career in entertainment that has spanned half a century. His role as Batman in the classic television series and feature of the same name continues to be seen throughout the world more than 40 years after its debut. While Batman, and his alter ego, Bruce Wayne, remains his signature role, Adam has a multitude of motion picture, theatre, and TV credits to his name.”

was such a wonderful actor and so kind,” commented actor Mark Hamill on Twitter. “I’m so lucky to have worked with him and tell him how much he meant to me and millions of fans.”

“140 characters doesn’t do him justice, commented Butch Hartman, creator of The Fairly Odd Parents and The Noog Network, who chose to post a longer video tribute to the actor.

In all, Adam West made nearly 50 movies, including starring or co-starring roles in Drop Dead Gorgeous, The New Age, The Young Philadelphians, An American Vampire Story, Soldier in the Rain, Robinson Crusoe on Mars and Nevada Smith.

Adam West with with "Barney the Woolly Monkey" in the 1964 film Robinson Crusoe on Mars
Adam West with with “Barney the Woolly Monkey” in the 1964 film Robinson Crusoe on Mars

He also had starring roles in several TV series other than Batman, including The Detectives, The Last Precinct and The Clinic. His theatre credits include Volpone at the Mark Taper Forum at the Los Angeles Music Center.

Adam West has also lent his voice to other animated characters in addition to the more recent roles mentioned above, including Rugrats, Animaniacs, Jonny Bravo, Spydogs, The Super Adventure Team and many others. His voice-over work in animated film includes the roles of Ace, Hollywood Chicken Little in Disney’s Chicken Little and Uncle Art in Disney’s Meet the Robinsons. In 2000, he also contributed the voice of Leonard Fox to the animated short, Redux Riding Hood, which went on to win an Academy Award nomination.

Adam West was the author of two books, Back to the Batcave and Climbing the Walls. He lent his support to numerous charities and won $250,000 on the US version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, on behalf of an organisation supporting underprivileged women and children in Idaho. Adam splits his time between homes in Palm Springs, California, and Ketchum, Idaho.

More than 50 years after starting his career in Hollywood, Adam West continued to work consistently in TV and film. His most recent work included a guest starring role on the hit series 30 Rock and a viral video for Funny or Die.

“His undeniable talent and unique brand of humour have become truly iconic in entertainment and he continues to entertain fans around the world,” his official site notes.

Adam West as Batman by Simon Williams
Adam West as Batman by Simon Williams

“Sometimes, when I think about my over the past 40 years, it is hard to remember all of it. Of course, Batman has been an important part of it, and recently, Family Guy,” Adam himself once said, going on to pay tribute to his many fans. “Thanks to your loyalty, both shows have become an enormous success, and Batman has become iconic all over the world.

“You have no idea how much I appreciate this. We worked hard to make the Caped Crusader innovative, fun and fresh. The colourful characters were brought to life by some great and amazing guest stars. The same thing is happening with Family Guy.

“When I think of the other TV series, the TV pilots and all those years of movies and stage work I have done, they fade a bit from memory. But I am able to continue my work because of the enormous and positive reaction you’ve given to batman and Family Guy.”

Washington Post: R.I.P: How Adam West made peace with life and career after his iconic Batman role

Tripwire tribute

John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a "freelance comics operative", currently working as a freelance editor for TITAN COMICS, as Creative Consultant on the new DAN DARE audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL and LANCASTER COMICS DAY. John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years, starting out at Marvel UK, where he edited a number of the Genesis 1992 books with Paul Neary. His numerous credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines, where he was Managing Editor. He also edited STRIP Magazine and worked as an editor on several audio comics for ROK Comics, including TEAM M.O.B.I.L.E. and THE BEATLES STORY. Most recently he is writing CRUCIBLE as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and DEATH DUTY and SKOW DOGS with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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