Adam West, the actor who played Batman in the 1960s TV series, has died. He was 88 years old.
The star passed away in Los Angeles on Friday night (June 9) after a short battle with leukemia, according to a representative.
As Variety reports, his family have released a statement following his death. “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,” it reads.
The actor played Bruce Wayne in the the ’60s TV series Batman, in what was his most iconic role. He made a guest appearance in The Big Bang Theory in 2016 in an episode that marked the 200th episode of the show and the 50th anniversary of Batman.
He made his film debut in The Young Philadelphians alongside Paul Newman in 1959, while he also had parts in The Detectives, Chicken Little, The Fairly OddParents and Family Guy. He also continued to play Batman in various TV shows and movies throughout his career.
Speaking to Variety about what Batman meant to him around the 50th anniversary, he replied: “Money. Some years ago I made an agreement with Batman. 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. And they’d be taking people away from the story. 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.”
West also wrote two books, including Back To The Batcave in which he revealed he was “angry and disappointed” not to have been asked to play his iconic character in Tim Burton’s movie adaptations.
He was born in Walla Walla, Washington state in 1928 and his real name was William West Anderson. He is survived by his wife Marcelle, six children, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Our beloved AW passed away last night. He was the greatest. We'll miss him like crazy. We know you'll miss him too – West Family pic.twitter.com/8bkEq1C2ao
— Adam West (@therealadamwest) June 10, 2017
Stars of Hollywood have begun paying tribute to the late actor. “Farewell Adam West. You were MY Batman,” wrote director Edgar Wright. “Such a super funny, cool, charismatic actor. Loved the show as a kid, still love the show now. POW!”
Actor Kumail Nanjiani, who has starred in Silicon Valley and Portlandia, added: “RIP Adam West. First person I saw who was funny, badass & cool all at once.”
Lucifer writer Neil Gaiman tweeted: “Rest in Peace Adam West. We met once in 1987 and I was too embarrassed and too foolishly “cool” to tell you what you meant to my childhood.”
See more tributes below.
— Seth MacFarlane (@SethMacFarlane) June 10, 2017
Farewell Adam West. You were MY Batman. Such a super funny, cool, charismatic actor. Loved the show as a kid, still love the show now. POW! pic.twitter.com/6QAZnOhtMs
— edgarwright (@edgarwright) June 10, 2017
Rest in Peace Adam West. We met once in 1987 and I was too embarrassed and too foolishly "cool" to tell you what you meant to my childhood.
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) June 10, 2017
RIP, Adam West. Thanks for being awesome. pic.twitter.com/BcxtK93yQ6
— Jordan Woods-Robinson (@jwoodsrobinson) June 10, 2017
RIP Adam West.
Thank you for the dance parties. pic.twitter.com/Cbgy1Qm4yH
— cory michael smith (@mister_CMS) June 10, 2017
Gotham City has lost a legend. Adam West was every bit as gracious and loving in person as you'd expect. @therealadamwest
— Robin Lord Taylor (@robinlordtaylor) June 10, 2017
— Sean Pertwee (@seanpertwee) June 10, 2017
Farewell, Adam West.
— Michael McKean (@MJMcKean) June 10, 2017