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Adam West, who played 1960s-era Batman, dies at 88

"Our dad always saw himself as The Bright Knight, and aspired to make a positive impact on his fans' lives." reads a statement quoted by CBS News.

The West family released the following statement Saturday on Facebook: "It's with great sadness that we are sharing this news ..."

After serving in the Army, he went to Hollywood, changed his name to Adam West and began appearing on a number of shows, including "Bonanza", "Perry Mason" and "Bewitched". His other voice-over work also included Adult Swim's Robot Chicken. Difficulty finding acting roles led him to hit the road for personal appearances at fan conventions, vehicle shows and the like.

And while West did end up typecast because of the part, he later embraced it, reprising his role as Batman, playing parodies of Batman, or playing parodies of an actor who had one iconic superhero role.

Despite this revolving door of big personalities, it was West's bright spin on the Dark Knight that came to be synonymous with the series. He was 88 years old.

"Batman" was the role he would remain associated with throughout his life.

"In conversation, he was very animated and once told me that Batman was the father that everyone wanted!" she added. And they'd be taking people away from the story. "First person I saw who was amusing, badass & cool all at once". "I thought, 'Tonight, I just want to be alone".

West starred a Bruce Wayne in the popular 1960's ABC series "Batman" that made him both internationally and nationally famous.

Pre-"Batman", he co-starred in the 1965 Three Stooges feature film "The Outlaws Is Coming" and the 1964 sci-fi film "Robinson Crusoe on Mars". The style was quite tongue-in-cheek and the series was an unexpected hit. The show had a catchy, and at times annoying, theme song.

The show's various memorable villains - Cesar Romero as the Joker, Frank Gorshin as the Riddler, Burgess Meredith as the Penguin and Julie Newmar as Catwoman - were allowed to chew the scenery. He knew that to be amusing on that show, he had to take Batman seriously. He most recently played a character in the animated comedy Family Guy.

However, West later struggled to find acting work. The attendant publicity seemed to put West back on the cultural radar, at least as a source of nostalgia.

William West Anderson was born on September 19, 1928 in Walla Walla, Washington to Otto West Anderson, a farmer, and Audrey V. Speer, an opera singer and concert pianist.


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