Variety is reporting that Adam West, star of the 60's television show Batman as well as his voice work on shows such as Family Guy, has died at the age of 88. He passed away after a short battle with leukemia.
I first became aware of Adam West when reruns of Batman hit the airwaves soon after the 1989 film. His deadpan take on Bruce Wayne and Batman were quite different to the tone that the modern movies took. The show was intended to make you smile at the camp and silliness you saw on screen. What made it work for me was the seriousness the actors brought to the roles. Adam West got the most laughs as Batman by playing it straight.
Mr. West faced the woes of typecasting that such an iconic role could bring onto an actor. He found work through voice over roles and through personal appearances which kept the money rolling in. One such voice over role I remember was a spot on The Simpsons season four episode, Mr. Plow.
Mr. West also had a chance to work with The Three Stooges. Released in 1965, The Outlaws IS Coming saw Adam work with Moe, Larry, and Curly Joe in the trio's last film. While not a cinema classic by any means, it was a chance for The Three Stooges to make some money after Columbia Pictures screwed them out of money for years. It was also a clinic for the other actors involved to learn from comedy masters.
In later years, Adam West said he wanted his take on Batman to be called The Bright Knight. More than anything, Adam West seemed to enjoy making people happy. Sure, his take on Batman was silly. But that was the intention. In this crazy world we live in, if it takes a little silliness to make your trip through the day a little easier, than I see nothing wrong with that.
So what do you think? What is your favorite Adam West memory? Sound off in the comments section below.
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