Adam West, star of the popular and campy 1960s “Batman” TV show, died Friday night after “a short but brave battle with leukemia,” his family said in a statement. He was 88.
In a signature role, West played Bruce Wayne and his alter ego, the crime-fighting, costumed Batman, a popular comics character who came to life on the ABC-TV series. The show, with a catchy — some might say aggravating — theme song, earned a cult following.
With its “Wham! Pow!” onscreen exclamations, flamboyant villains and cheeky tone, “Batman” became a surprise hit with its premiere on ABC in 1966, a virtual symbol of ’60s kitsch. The half-hour action comedy was such a hit that it aired twice a week on ABC at its peak. But within two seasons, the show’s popularity slumped as quickly as it soared.
West received his star just over five years ago on April 5, 2012. The star, which is located in front of the Guinness Museum at 6764 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California, is the 2,468th star to be placed in the Walk of Fame. Prior to his Hollywood Star, West also received a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars in 2012.
While an entire generation grew up with West’s portrayal of the Caped Crusader, a whole other generation grew up with West’s voice over work, whether it was as Mayor West in Family Guy or numerous roles in The Fairly OddParents, SpongeBob SquarePants, or Futurama.
By many accounts, West maintained a good sense of humor about his fame and his caped alter-ego. He remained a favorite of many producers for comedy guest shots, logging roles in recent years on such shows as “30 Rock,” “George Lopez,” “The King of Queens” and this year’s short-lived NBC comedy “Powerless.”
The actor is survived by his wife, Marcelle, six children, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
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