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Iconic Batman Adam West dies in LA aged 88

June 10, 2017

The actor gained cult status for his role in the 1960s Batman TV series - and also voiced eccentric mayor Adam West in Family Guy.

Adam West, the actor who played the iconic 1960s Batman, has died at 88.

 

Mr West died on Friday night in Los Angeles after suffering from leukaemia, his family said.

He died peacefully surrounded by his family and is survived by his wife Marcelle, six children, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

"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.

Mr West was born in 1928 in the city of Walla Walla in Washington state. After being drafted into the US Army, he served as an announcer on American Forces Network television.

His acting career began in Hawaii before he moved to Hollywood as the eponymous hero in the live-action television series of Batman.

While the actor's career waned after the show was cancelled, both West and the show earned cult status for its tongue-in-cheek style.

In an interview with the Archive of American Television, West explained that the tone of the show "was one of absurdity and tongue in cheek to the point that I found it irresistible".

He added: "I think they recognised that in me from what they'd seen me do before. I understood the material and brought something to it.

"You can't play Batman in a serious, square-jawed, straight-ahead way without giving the audience the sense that there's something behind that mask waiting to get out, that he's a little crazed, he's strange."

 

Mr West also did much voiceover work, including as the eccentric mayor of Quahog - also named Adam West - in the animated series Family Guy.

Mr West supported numerous charities and, in 2001, won $250,000 on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire on behalf of an organisation supporting underprivileged women and children in Idaho.

On his website, he wrote: "Sometimes, when I think about my (life) 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.

"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."

 

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