NEW YORK (AFP) – Adam West, the actor whose career was defined by his superhero role in the hit 1960s television series Batman, has died. He was 88 years old.
The actor died on Friday night after a “short but brave battle with leukemia,” his family said in a statement posted Saturday to West’s Facebook page.
Donning a cape, cowl and bat gloves, West catapulted to fame after portraying the superhero Batman and his alter ego Bruce Wayne on the popular campy television series that premiered in 1966 and ran three seasons until its 1968 cancellation.
In bringing Batman to life West delivered his often corny lines with deadpan earnestness, entertaining children and adding a touch of satirical humour for adults.
The series epitomized the era’s kitsch, with exclamations like “POW!” and “BAM!” written in pop-art script flashing across television screens nationwide.
The show gave rise to a movie version in 1966, in which West also starred, and fuelled a franchise that included merchandise like toy Batmobiles, dolls and lunchboxes.
A string of other actors would go on to play the Batman character, including Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christian Bale and Ben Affleck.