Arts & Entertainment

Batman star Adam West dead at 88

Adam West, who played Batman in the original TV series, poses while kneeling on his just unveiled star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame on April 5, 2012 in Hollywood, California.
Adam West, who played Batman in the original TV series, poses while kneeling on his just unveiled star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame on April 5, 2012 in Hollywood, California.
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images
Adam West, who played Batman in the original TV series, poses while kneeling on his just unveiled star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame on April 5, 2012 in Hollywood, California.
American actor Adam West dressed as 'Batman' for the filming of a road safety advert for children, 7th May 1967. (Photo by Watson/Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Watson/Getty Images
Adam West, who played Batman in the original TV series, poses while kneeling on his just unveiled star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame on April 5, 2012 in Hollywood, California.
Adam West (R), who played Batman in the original TV series, poses with George Barris (L), creator of the Batmobile at a ceremony ahead of the unveiling of West's star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame on April 5, 2012 in Hollywood, California. In the early 1960’s, Batman was simply a cartoon character in a comic book that was close to cancellation, but Adam West’s performance in the ground-breaking TV adaptation propelled Batman into becoming one of the most-famous characters in modern fiction. AFP PHOTO/Frederic J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images
Adam West, who played Batman in the original TV series, poses while kneeling on his just unveiled star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame on April 5, 2012 in Hollywood, California.
Adam West, "Batman", arrives in his original Batmobile at the TV Land and Nick at Nite Upfront in "The Bat Cave" on Broadway in New York City on April 24, 2002. photo by Gabe Palacio/ImageDirect
Gabe Palacio
Adam West, who played Batman in the original TV series, poses while kneeling on his just unveiled star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame on April 5, 2012 in Hollywood, California.
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 06: Actor Adam West attends the Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders Press Room at New York Comic-Con - Day 1 at Jacob Javits Center on October 6, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
Mike Coppola/Getty Images
Adam West, who played Batman in the original TV series, poses while kneeling on his just unveiled star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame on April 5, 2012 in Hollywood, California.
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 29: Actors Lee Meriwether (L) and Adam West speak onstage at 'Batman: The Movie' during day 2 of the TCM Classic Film Festival 2016 on April 29, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. 25826_006 (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Turner)
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Turner


Adam West, whose straight-faced portrayal of Batman in a 1960s TV series lifted the tight-clad Caped Crusader into the national consciousness, has died at age 88, his family said Saturday on a verified Facebook page.

West died Friday night after "a short but brave battle with leukemia," the family statement said.

West played the superhero straight for kids and funny for adults. He initially chaffed at being typecast after "Batman" went off the air after three seasons, but in later years he admitted he was pleased to have had a role in kicking off a big-budget film franchise by showing the character's wide appeal.

"You get terribly typecast playing a character like that," he told The Associated Press in a 2014 interview.

"But in the overall, I'm delighted because my character became iconic and has opened a lot of doors in other ways, too." He returned to the role in an episode of the animated "The Simpsons."

And more recently, he did the voice of nutty Mayor Adam West in the long-running "Family Guy" series.

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In April 2012, West received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

 

Ana Martinez with the Hollywood Walk of Fame remembers that day. "He was thrilled," she tells KPCC. "His fans were dressed in Batman attire, t-shirts. We had the Batmobile there. He was there with his family. He gave a beautiful speech about how excited he was."

Born William West Anderson in Walla Walla, Washington, he moved to Seattle at age 15 with his mother after his parents divorced. He graduated from Whitman College, a private liberal arts school, in Walla Walla. 

After serving in the Army, he went to Hollywood and changed his name to Adam West, and began appearing on a number of television series, including "Bonanza," ''Perry Mason" and "Bewitched."

Celebrities and fan reacted on Twitter to the news of his death.

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He was married three times, and had six children. He had homes in Los Angeles and Palm Springs, but he and his wife, Marcelle, spent most of their time at their ranch near Sun Valley, Idaho.

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