Adam West has gone to the great Batcave in the sky. The iconic Batman star was died from leukaemia at the age of 88. For many West’s portrayal as The Caped Crusader was their introduction to Batman (Movies In Focus included) and he continued to embrace the character throughout his lengthy career.
Debuting in 1966, Batman was a phenomenon, it’s high camp and star-studded villains (Julie Newmar, Frank Gorshin, Caesar Romero and Vincent Price to name a few) made it a hit with adults and children alike. Partnered with Burt Ward’s Robin (and later Yvonne Craig’s Batgirl), West’s Batman blitzed through 120 episodes and one movie of BIFF!, POW and BAM! before it ended after three seasons.
West was a jobbing actor who starred in a a multitude of TV shows and movies throughout the 1950s and 1960s. He was spotted by Batman’s producers in a commercial and cast as Bruce Wayne/Batman – and the rest is pop culture history. West shared incredible chemistry with Ward’s Robin and they really did make a dynamic duo.
West was typecast when the show ended and work offers were difficult to come by. The ‘70s and ‘80s were wilderness years, with a lot of bad movies with even worse titles. He never shied away from Batman and in recent times riffed on the character and his screen persona on the likes of Family Guy and The Big Bang Theory. A memorable role for Batman fans came in the 1990s when West voiced The Grey Ghost in the poignant Batman: The Animated Series episode, Beware The Grey Ghost. West and Ward recently returned to their iconic characters in the recent animated film Batman: Return Of The Caped Crusaders.
To many, Adam West was a hero and the ultimate screen Batman. His interpretation of the character is as iconic and valid as any before or since and it’s sad that the end credits have finally rolled for Adam West.
Atomic batteries to power. Turbines to Speed…
Adam West 1928 – 2017