Sad news out of Hollywood this morning: actor Adam West, the original Batman, has died at the age of 88. West died last night in Los Angeles after a short battle with leukemia.
“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,” his family said in a statement.
West, of course, originated the role of Batman on the eponymous TV show back in the 1960s. He was the campiest of all Batmans, which has possibly led him to become the most beloved of all Caped Crusaders.
West originally caught the eye of Batman producers when he portrayed a James Bond-esque “Captain Quik” in commercials for Nestle’s Quik. He had a hard time getting work after Batman, at one point resorting to roles in soft core porn.
Americans are nothing if not nostalgic, and West’s good natured approach to life helped him remain popular among pop culture enthusiasts. He eventually became the voice of Mayor Adam West on the Seth MacFarlane animated show Family Guy, which introduced West to a whole new generation.
West is survived by his wife Marcelle, six children, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.