Ben Affleck and Val Kilmer lead tributes to Adam West

12 June, 2017, 10:52 | Author: Courtney Perry
  • Marcelle Tagan Lear and Adam West in the 1970s

Beginning in 1989, West regained some popularity when the movie Batman, the first of a series, was released.

Seth MacFarlane, the creator and star of the hit Fox animated series Family Guy, is speaking out to pay tribute to his friend and co-star Adam West, who just passed away.

Born William West Anderson in 1928 in Walla Walla, Washington, the actor later adopted his stage name, and began his career in earnest when he moved to Hawaii in the 1950s to star in a local children's programme.

West portrayed Batman and his alter ego Bruce Wayne as painfully earnest, straight-laced, clean-cut and trustworthy. Adam West's Batman firmly established that a non-brooding, approachable Batman - a take fermented from those stories - could be a viable approach for character borne of gothic tragedy. "I mean, how many actors are lucky enough to play a character that becomes iconic?"

West's Caped Crusader, alongside his youthful ward, Robin (Burt Ward), battled the likes of the Joker, the Riddler and Catwoman, with an array of incredible gadgets in his seemingly inexhaustible utility belt, including Bat-shark repellent. "Salt and corrosion. The infamous old enemies of the crime fighter", he once said.

See more in the video below. Batman premiered about two years after the JFK assassination, and two years before the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy of NY.


While West appeared in almost 50 films, the actor never escaped Batman's shadow. After the cancellation of the television series, which lasted merely two years, the actor had difficulties finding new acting gigs, as he had grown inseparable with his role as Batman and was often typecasted by studios as a result. Except for being offered the role of playing James Bond, which he turned down because he rightly felt that Bond should be British.

In his later years, West's most famous role was himself.

Ward, 71, told the BBC that the two had enjoyed "an unbelievable friendship", describing the actor as "a lot of fun". He brought us so much entertainment and was a truly class act.

Without Adam West as Batman, we never get Christopher Reeves as Superman, Lou Ferrigno as The Hulk or the 1970s Spider-Man show.

The actor died peacefully surrounded by his family and is survived by his wife Marcelle, six children, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. "He was and always will be our hero".

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