Sadly, yesterday news broke of the passing of Adam West. West was best known for his roles as Bruce Wayne in the 1960s TV series, and for his voice work as Mayor West in the animated comedy Family Guy.
West as an actor was always someone I loved to see making an appearance on a TV show. Never afraid to poke fun at himself, West’s roles in Family Guy and his cameo appearance in The Big Bang Theory often poked fun at his iconic role in the Batman series, including a scene of him ranking the other actors who had played Batman and arguing why he was clearly the definitive version of the character. His humour and comedy in his roles always made his appearances fantastic.
West will undoubtedly go down in the history of live-action superhero films and series. His role as Batman was one of the earliest live-action portrayals of a superhero, and is one of the most memorable versions by far. The popularity of the show, despite its simplistic morality and formulaic structure, has gone on for decades, as has the appeal of West. While he never really worked his way out from under the shadow of this show, his voice work in various Batman animated series, including an iconic role in the episode ‘Beware the Grey Ghost’, in which he played a star who had come to fame from a role as a superhero in a popular TV show, helped him reach a new generation of fans.
This new generation also found a new appreciation for West’s original Batman role, leading to DC recently releasing a new animated feature film, starring West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin, based on the classic series, and a run of Batman ’66 comics.
The legacy of Adam West will never be forgotten, his role in Batman undoubtedly laid the groundwork for the current level of live-action superhero films and TV shows on our screens.
RIP Adam West, the original Caped Crusader.