Batman Actor Adam West Dies At Age 88

Variety reports:

Adam West — an actor defined and also constrained by his role in the 1960s series “Batman” — died Friday night in Los Angeles. He was 88. A rep said that he died after a short battle with leukemia.

“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.

West became known to a new generation of TV fans through his recurring voice role as Mayor Adam West, the horribly corrupt, inept and vain leader of Quahog, Rhode Island, on Fox’s “Family Guy.”

West was a regular on the show from 2000 through its most recent season. West in recent years did a range of voice-over work, on such shows as Adult Swim’s “Robot Chicken” and Disney Channel’s “Jake and the Neverland Pirates.”

  • Lazycrockett
    • JT

      Cesar Romero loved every contour of Adam’s crotch.

      • Mickey Bitsko

        Cesar’s nickname was Butch. True story.

        • Claude Jacques Bonhomme
          • TuuxKabin

            Oh Daddy!

          • Steverino

            Oh, daddy, he was hot! Unless I am confusing him with somebody else, I think he was close friends with Desi Arnaz and mentioned how he and Desi had sex, saying “Desi loved sex!” Even though Desi was basically heterosexual and a womanizer, how could he resist a hottie like Cesar?

            Oh, those Latin lovers…
            ; )

        • Cuberly

          I read that he never married. I guess even for appearances sake, he didn’t want to go there.

          • JDS

            He went out with a lot of Hollywood Starlets because the starlets knew he was “safe”.

          • Cuberly

            Yeah he had quite the list of gay friendly starlets to choose from apparently.

          • Mickey Bitsko

            He also escorted for the wealthy debutante set in his early days in his hometown of New York City. The girls’ parents knew, or at least hoped, he could be trusted not to take advantage. When I first read about that, I thought, wouldn’t it be funny if he was bi and did them all?

          • Phil2u

            He did a stint in the U. S. Navy, I believe.

          • Cuberly

            Yep, WWII.

  • Jim Foy

    Holy Graveyards!

  • crewman

    I really admire how he grew to join in on the loving mocking “Adam West” took as an ongoing representative of the campy Bat Man series. He found a special place in today’s culture.

  • Boreal
    • Claude Jacques Bonhomme
      • Oh’behr in Minnesota

        Hey, I resemble that remark. (a wee bit)
        sniffles.

        • Claude Jacques Bonhomme

          It’s particularly cruel for “celebrities”. I do like plump men, and don’t mind a belly on a man. It’s just that the change in Burt interferes with the childhood fantasies.

      • Texndoc

        I had read a while back (and didn’t know) that the producers of The Graduate along with Mike Nichols had originally wanted Burt Ward as “Benjamin” but Batman was such a TV phenomenon (it was actually at it’s prime on more than one weeknight) that the studio wouldn’t release Ward from his contract. I had no idea if at that time anyone knew The Graduate would be such a raging success and rather a timeless movie to boot.

        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8c22de11b6d593212ecd0cb2016bc07f1285888e72ab745ed2a76c2a846292ad.jpg

      • Anastasia Beaverhousen

        I met Burt Ward when I was 12. Batman was off the air for at least 3 years, but I had such a crush on him. I loved watching the show for him and his beautiful smile. I remember all thru 2nd grade the boys would play batman and robin the night after the show aired.

      • Doug Langley

        For the love of humanity, please don’t tell me he tried to jump over the door.

  • PickyPecker

    Goodbye, Mr. West. You were such a big part of my childhood. Thank you. You will be remembered.
    http://i.imgur.com/HZHGfVM.gif

    • Kristinajgonzalez

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    • Franceswwhitley

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  • That_Looks_Delicious
  • Jay Mills

    He looked good till the very end. I thank him for introducing the concept of camp to American viewing audiences.

  • Pollos Hermanos
    • Bryan

      I’ll dance the Batusi today in remembrance.

      • JCF

        I hope many Pride marchers Do The Batusi!

  • kanehau

    I was asked to call Burt Ward (Robin) once, to help him out with a graphics problem (he had a small video production company). It was just like talking to Robin. Amazing.

    • Lars Littlefield

      This Burt Ward? Oh, how the mighty have expanded.

      • BearEyes

        must be the dog food he’s now hawking.

  • MikeBx2
  • Meg is gonna be soo sad 🙁

  • bambinoitaliano
    • Michael R
    • Lazycrockett

      That’s The Green Hornet and Kato played respectively by Van Williams and the always HAF Bruce Lee.

      • Grumpy Old Man

        They actually had all their heroes related – uncles, aunts and WhatHisName of the Mounties was an uncle. I wish I could remember how they tied them all together (I believe the Lone Ranger was a great uncle of the Green Hornet.). If it wasn’t so late I would google it.

    • Treant

      “The bat line isn’t what’s holding me up.”

    • JT

      Holy tip of the totem pole, Batman! You said just the tip!

  • Todd20036

    He was also the voice of Catman, an occasional character in Fairly Odd Parents

    • Oh’behr in Minnesota

      I learned something new. Thank you.

  • another_steve

    The 1960s Batman series was important to us pre-Stonewall queers. There weren’t yet many TV shows that did camp that well. Plus all the pretty eye candy in that series.

    Plus the wonderful guest stars: Cesar Romero, Burgess Meredith, Frank Gorshin, Julie Newmar, Eartha Kitt and Victor Buono among them.

    • That_Looks_Delicious

      And Vincent Price, Ann Baxter, Joan Collins, Otto Preminger, Milton Berle, Roddy McDowell, Ethel Merman…. plus cameos by Leslie Gore, Jerry Lewis, Dick Clark, Sammy Davis Jr., Edward G. Robinson and then-mayor of NYC John Lindsay.

      • another_steve

        True story: I was a member of my high school glee club when it performed at a ceremony welcoming the then-new school principal. This was the 1960s. The Guest of Honor at the ceremony was then-Mayor of New York City, John Lindsay.

        The glee club stood right behind the seated assembled dignitaries and I stood directly behind Lindsay, not three feet away from the back of his head.

        Lindsay was a handsome man. As a young queerling that day, I remember seriously lusting after him.

        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/559c4fe3751a56c8323834133933e35706bc7f13956f3853ae1f02c3040c0a31.jpg

        • pablo

          The mayor of Gotham City was named John Linseed.

          • Oh’behr in Minnesota

            That is fascinating. The details of the show I’ve forgotten.

        • DonnaLee

          Oh my….saying in my best Takei voice.

      • Doug Langley

        Batman was the show that was “in” to be “on”.

    • SpiderPIG

      I was a very, very late bloomer joining the “Baby Jane” fandom, I watched “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” for the first time a few months back, in “preparation” for Ryan Murphy’s “Feud”.
      As soon as I saw Victor Buono I screamed: “that’s King Tut!!!”

      • another_steve

        One viewing of Baby Jane is not enough. You have some catching up to do.

        You must watch it at least three more times: once as you focus solely on Bette Davis’s performance, once as you focus solely on Joan Crawford’s, and once as you focus on the supporting cast (Buono included).

        After these three viewings, report back and we’ll grant you a Merit Badge.

        • SpiderPIG

          Ha ha ha
          Will do!

        • Phil2u

          “Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte” is the same; when Moorehead is on camera, I can’t watch anyone else…same for Mary Astor (who is perfection).

          • another_steve

            Exactly.

            Another film that requires multiple viewings with a different focus each time.

  • Natty Enquirer

    Holy octogenarianism!

  • Michael R
  • Todd20036

    He lived a long life and embraced his own campiness, not to mention his gay following.

    You lived long and prospered Mr. West.

  • WiscoJoe

    I’m pretty sure Adam West and Batman ’66 made me gay, and I’m so grateful.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ed3e86f1de853e7254e6fb7c78d5d30f6406c1751c32089e886d4ce9073881bc.gif

    • Daveed_WOW

      Robin was nothing to sniff at, but I’m pretty sure it was Julie Newmar that made me a member of the church.

      • bambinoitaliano
        • Claude Jacques Bonhomme

          Oh, My!

        • JDS

          Burt Ward’s autobiography titled “My Life in Tights” is an interesting read.

      • metrored

        I was mesmerized by Robin’s lips when I was a little boy.

      • motordog

        As much as I loved Julie Newmar’s Catwoman, I always preferred Eartha Kitt’s rendition. Julie’s seemed too infatuated in Batman, but Eartha clearly didn’t give a cat’s ass about him. XD

        • Doug Langley

          Julie did strange things to my 10 yr old hormones.

    • Red Sonia made me what i am today, but they don’t seem to want to make a good movie about her. they could but they won’t, she’s not the type of character they want to do right now. maybe the success of WW will change that.

  • bambinoitaliano

    You will never see the current crops of Batman using such cool Batnoculous 🙂 https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2ba814d9596194576e8037590e4c8f084d1add453e677ceb8fca2fbaf0bbcf1d.jpg

    • Mickey Bitsko

      “I see dark Batman movies approaching, Robin, and they suck!”

      • JCF

        LOL!

  • Ray Page

    As a nine year old watching “Batman” at my friend Mike’s house he turned to me and said, “You can see Robins dick.”

    “What”? I asked.

    “You can see Robins dick through his green swim suit thing,” Mike answered.

    I pretended I hadn’t been obsessed with Robins crotch all along.

    We did as countless other boys did. We stripped to our Jockeys, held bath towels over our shoulders as capes, and ran around the house shouting, “Wham! Pow! Bam! Zowie!”

    Thanks, Adam.

  • SpiderPIG

    In the 60’s, my working parents left the TV on to “babysit” for me many, many afternoons.
    I spent countless hours of my childhood watching TV, (‘Lost in Space’ and ‘The Banana Splits’ were some of my favorites) but I was particularly fascinated with the Caped Crusader.
    R.I.P. Adam West, the first Batman I’ve ever known.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ee0a510c7c5ab5b5197018413088533ff36735bc25f9c31af79cca9d4d2d9322.jpg

    • That_Looks_Delicious

      Same here. So many afternoons spent with Batman, Bewitched, Gilligan’s Island, Lost in Space and the Wild, Wild West.

      • Treant

        So many afternoons of fantasizing about Darren getting rescued by Batman and then getting lost with Major West and the Professor on Gilligan’s Island.

        • Mickey Bitsko

          … and stumbling upon the Land of the Giants…

          • Treant

            Which just happens to be the location of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea…and it’s been a long, lonely voyage…

          • Reality.Bites

            I forget where or when, or who to credit, but I once saw a reference to “Voyage with a Bottom to the Sea.”

          • TuuxKabin

            Saw it as a double bill with “Journey to the Center of Uranus.” Great special effects. Or were they affects? Wonderful Saturday matinee.

        • Reality.Bites

          There were so few guys I gravitated towards (hot teenage guys) on the shows I watched. For me, Lost in Space may as well have been the L Word.

          • fiizok

            I had delirious fantasies about my two TV dads, Dr. John Robinson and Ranger Porter Ricks, and their unbridled passion for each other.

          • Lars Littlefield

            I still have fantasy sessions in the mornings prompted by my own imaginings of Chuck Connors engaging in naked stuff with a very young Johnny Crawford. Sometimes I include Micah or the town blacksmith in the mix. ;P

          • E.J.
          • Oh, Parker

            Mine was Ron Ely as Tarzan and Robert Conrad on The Wild Wild West, with those painted on jeans and him always tied shirtless to something. Good times…

          • motordog

            Ron Ely in Tarzan…probably my earliest crush. I was so freakin’ jealous of that kid on the show that got to live with him.

      • orion dumptee

        so true!, Im lucky…right now I get an ‘over the air’ tv station (ME-TV)’ That brings the– Wild Wild West- into my living room on Saturdays @6-7

        • Oh, Parker

          I’m jealous that Dr. Miguelito Loveless has had more hunky shirtless guys in tight pants tied up than I have.

      • Phil2u
    • JDS

      He was the only Batman 🙂

    • greenmanTN

      Batman was in syndication in the afternoon. I wasn’t even in kindergarten yet so I made my older brother read all the words to me during the fight scenes. So we’d be sitting on the couch and he’s saying, absolutely deadpan with no inflection, “Bam” “Sock” “Boff” “Wham”

  • Kruhn

    Holy departures, Batman!

    Man! That really stinks. Always loved Adam West’s over the top delivery when he did voice work.

  • Claude Jacques Bonhomme

    My childhood superhero. I wonder how much the campy subtext got absorbed in my subconscious. I remember going to an auto-show in the ’60s and having a picture taken of me in the real Batmobile.

    • TuuxKabin

      Oh yeah. I remember the Batmobile at the SF auto-show. What a flood of memories now.

  • Jeffg166

    So weird I was thinking about him yesterday. Recalling a line from Batman. Robin said something like “Gee Batman you know everything.” West replied something like “Actually Robin there are several things I don’t know.”

  • Mickey Bitsko
  • TheManicMechanic

    Another childhood hero of mine is gone. 🙁

    RIP, Mr. West.

  • Claude Jacques Bonhomme

    I saw, a few years ago, the movie The Young Philadelphians (1959) where Adam West played a closeted gay man who dies in a tragic car crash, shortly after his marriage of convenience. Was it suicide? In the 1950’s, it never ended well for the gay character.

    Years later, his “legitimate” — not “biological” — son, played by Paul Newman, discovers his parents’ real story. A pretty good movie, if you haven’t seen it.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053462/plotsummary?ref_=tt_ov_pl

    • TexasBoy

      You can stream it from Amazon for $2.99

  • WhitewaterDave

    He was one of my more memorable star sightings. About 4-5 years ago we were having brunch in Palm Springs when a man and 2 women came in. They were taken to a booth below a mirror, and as they were being seated the man looked into it and, in a VERY distinctive voice, said “who is that handsome devil?”
    Yep, Adam West. One of the only men I can think of that could get away with that.

  • JT
  • Ninja0980

    Remember watching this series as a kid on reruns.
    Provided a lot of laughs for my brother and I.
    RIP Mr. West and thank you for the memories.

  • That_Looks_Delicious

    For those who have seen ‘The Dark Knight Rises’, this is kind of wonderful.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sSuObidLTk

  • Oh’behr in Minnesota

    I’m glad Adam West is (er, was) on Big Bang Theory* (past seasons).

    * (that almost a joke in itself with the title of the TV show).

    It gave me a chance to see an older him. As I only knew him as the Batman from when I was a child in the mid-1960s.

  • Comixbear

    No ‘Biff’.
    No “Bam’
    No “Pow’
    Just loss.

  • Rebecca Gardner

    I’m so sad.

    • TuuxKabin

      That’s all I could think of as well. So sad. Childhood crushes eldery losses.

  • Robincho

    Someone is slicing bat onions in here, goddamnit…

  • Mihangel apYrs

    It’s sad when a face from your childhood goes. However, 88 is a good innings, and he seems to have lived a happy life, so, goodbye Mr Wayne

  • Mickey Bitsko

    Adam West was the Batman of my generation, and still the best imo. Heroic, funny, self-deprecating, pure pop art. And I was glad he kept up that self-deprecating humor for the rest of his career. Alas, he won’t be around for the thrilling conclusion tomorrow night at the same Bat Time, same Bat Channel…

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f54c785449c3ac023848f9812d1dde8d9f3b8467953c07c3a7e79ca223a08e2e.jpg

  • BearEyes

    Sad news. Long life. Best of the Batmans
    Batman and Robin fueled many a fantasy in my early years.

  • astroworf

    Doing Time on Planet Earth would never have been the same without you Adam. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e3cd07d4c454a66f4131cf412d16cc7491eff541718c7b3696651df9dbac109f.jpg

  • David
  • David

    CANCER SUCKS

  • TexasBoy

    Commissioner Gordon sent a Bat Signal from the hereafter, he had no choice but to answer.

  • there are a few actors i really can’t stand. guess who made that list? so i’ll say RIP, but i wanted to come over to this thread and see if anyone was also deeply annoyed by the original TV batman series and specifically west’s stuffy sense of importance on it. i’m heretical and i’m glad he lived a long and iconic life for his sake but gosh he was a bad actor.

    • leastyebejudged

      he isn’t the white man that hurt you, though.

  • orion dumptee

    Sad, another ‘hero’ passes on…Im old enuff to have watched (@drive in) western,— West,,as the leading man in ‘The Outlaws is Comming” early-mid 60s,.film . the”Three Stooges ” last. The Stooges were on top of the stage coach,throwing PIES at the bandits lol… ahhhh to re-live those days lol!

  • RJ Bone

    Leukemia 🙁

    I hope his family finds peace.

  • Phil2u

    West had a much too brief appearance in “Robinson Crusoe on Mars” with a very hunky Paul Mantee.

  • ian

    Very sad news. I was a kid in the ’60’s and loved Batman. I’ve always loved Adam West as a result. A piece of my childhood has passed.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpWVV8wuM1A

  • Michael R
    • JCF

      {Takei voice} Oh Myyyyy!

  • Henry Auvil

    1960s Batman was my entree to camp. Thank you sir.

  • fuzzybits

    Even though he lived a long life,this stings some. I guess it’s that thing about your childhood disappearing. RIP Mr. West.

  • JCF

    SUCH a big part of my childhood: “Batman . . . In Color!” From it, I learned what “camp” was (though I didn’t learn that term for another 20 years or so).

    POW! Ka-BOOM! RIP, Adam.

    • JCF

      This show was SO freaking funny! [Be sure to watch till the end.]

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjRphRTk6EM

      • Michael R

        The original ” jump the shark ” ?

        • JCF

          Nah, that was Fonzi on “Happy Days”. This is the original Shark Repellant/Exploding Shark! :-p

  • ‘Til Tuesday

    If you have a local MeTV station, Batman comes on at midnight Eastern on Saturday nights. I knew him more as Mayor West on “Family Guy” than the Batman series. I really liked his self-deprecating humor. He liked laughing at himself. I shall miss him.

  • Michael R
  • greenmanTN

    One more miracle and he can be declared a saint!

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b22a117dd4b468664ecd43bf0d84279263eccd6cc16d83e437bb62c7f3836835.jpg

    https://www.geek.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/batusi.gif

    Me to my mother after she nearly missed the entrance to a store parking lot and suddenly jerked the steering wheel and made a 90 degree turn while going 40MPH. “Call Alfred and tell him to pick up the bat-chute.”

    Her “You are such a little asshole.”

    Then we laughed for 5 straight minutes.

  • Grumpy Old Man