Adam West, the first actor to shape the on-screen role of Batman in the 1960s, died Friday night. He was 88.
He passed away surrounded by family in Los Angeles after battling Leukemia, a family spokesman told the Hollywood Reporter.
“Our dad always saw himself as The Bright Knight and aspired to make a positive impact on his fans’ lives. He was and always will be our hero,” the family said in a statement.
West portrayed the Caped Crusader on ABC’s “Batman” from 1966 to 1968, facing off against an all-star cast of villains that included Burgess Meredith as The Penguin, Vincent Price as Egghead, Ceasar Romero as The Joker and Julie Newmar as Catwoman.
The campy version of the show was also adapted into a 1966 film, “Batman: The Movie.”
The show’s ratings began to dwindle by 1968, however, and it was canceled that March after three seasons.
Despite its short tenure, the show — and West — developed a cult following.
West couldn’t match his fame as Batman, and he often appeared at conventions sporting the batsuit.
He reprised the role for the short-lived “The New Adventures of Batman” animated series in 1977.
The cartoon, which reunited him with co-star Burt Ward as sidekick Robin, lasted just 16 episodes.
Ward’s friendship with West lasted long after “Batman” was canceled almost 50 years ago.