He may not have been your favorite Batman, but he was the one that everybody knew.
Adam West said something like that himself. “I don’t have to say I’m Batman,” he said. “I just have to show up and everybody knows who the hell I am.”
And it was true. As Batman on TV in the sixties he reached more people than all the other actors who played Batman combined. When most people – people on the street, not comic book fans – think of Batman they think of West. They think of: “Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na BATMAN!” They think of “Holy Sardines, Batman!” and POW! WHAM! KA-POP! They think of the Lincoln Futura with fins and the fire coming out of the exhaust port.
For as much as Batman is so much more than West’s portrayal it is West in the gray tights that everybody knows.
And today it is Adam West’s passing that everybody mourns. No more his distinctive voice, his stiff delivery.
West began acting in films in 1959, playing opposite Chuck Connors in Geronimo (1962) and The Three Stooges in The Outlaws Is Coming (1965). He also appeared in the science-fiction film Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964), and did voice work on The Fairly OddParents, The Simpsons, and Family Guy, playing fictional versions of himself in all three.
Adam West was 88 when he died Friday night in Los Angeles. Leukemia did what the Joker, the Penguin, the Riddler and the rest of the villains could not do.
Goodnight, sweet prince. May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.