Adam West, who played Batman in the ’60s television series and occasionally lent his voice to Family Guy, has passed away. According to a BBC report on Saturday, West died at 88 shortly after being diagnosed with leukemia.
West was best known for playing Batman in the 1960s TV series on ABC — one of the rare times Batman was presented in a light-hearted, silly way. Despite ending up as on outlier on the grand scale of TV and movie Batmans, the ’60s series has had an enduring effect on Batman in pop culture. The most memorable Batman lines — “To the Batcave!” — all came from West’s Batman. It’s where we learned how to Batman up any item by adding Bat- to the beginning of it!
The campiness of Batman made it hard for West to get acting gigs after the series was cancelled after three seasons in 1968, but he saw a resurgence of popularity in recent years as appreciation for his turn as Batman grew. At the time of his death, he was still occasionally lending his voice to Family Guy as Adam West, the mayor of Quahog.
Per Variety, the West’s family said in a statement, “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.” With so many Dark Knights since then, we’ll always be able to appreciate remembering the one guy was able to have a little fun with Bruce Wayne, wacky transitions and all. He’ll be missed.