You can take all your Bales, Keatons, Kilmers and Clooneys and toss ‘em in the dustbin, as far as I’m concerned Adam West was the ultimate Batman. With his dashing good looks, deadpan humor and iconic speaking voice, West’s campy take on the caped crusader stands alone. What made the TV show so successful, was its ability to capture the vibrant look and feel of the golden age comic book and blend it seamlessly with spirit of the swinging sixties.
Burt Ward, who played his sidekick Robin on the series had this to say about his old partner.
“This is a terribly unexpected loss of my lifelong friend. I will forever miss him. There are several fine actors who have portrayed Batman in films. In my eyes, there was only one real Batman that is and always will be Adam West. He was truly the Bright Night.
Up to the end, West maintained a perpetually youthful vitality and relevance. He was always a hip dude…and funny as hell. His brilliant work on Family Guy, playing the bumbling Mayor of Quahog played an important part in the show’s success.
The show’s creator, Seth McFarlane said on Twitter, “Family Guy has lost its mayor, and I have lost a friend. Adam West was a joy to work with, and the kind of guy you always wanted to be around. His positivity, good nature, and sense of fun were undeniable, and it was always a big jolt of the best kind of energy when he walked in to record the show. He knew comedy, and he knew humanity.
“I am beyond fortunate to have had the privilege of working with him, and he will be profoundly missed by all of us. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you have given, Mr. Mayor. You’re irreplaceable.”
Though blessed with natural ability, and movie star looks, West never could escape the shadow of Batman. Still, he was always grateful for the association and went out of his way to extend himself to his loyal fans, appearing at conventions and signings all through his career.
Adam West fought a brave fight against leukemia, and will always be remembered for his dry wit, talent and humanity.
Farewell, Batman…you were the best of ‘em by far!