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Saturday, June 10, 2017

Adam West, Star of My FAVOURITE Batman, passed away at 88.

Adam West, everyone's favorite Batman, dead at 88
by Adario Strange, Mashable

Adam West
Holy epic career, Batman!

If you haven't already heard, the iconic face and voice of the '60s version of Batman, Adam West, has died at 88 years old.

The actor died in Los Angeles on Friday following complications related to leukemia, according to a report from Variety.

West wasn't the very first actor to play Batman in a live action film, but he was definitely the most iconic before the new army of Batman actors began taking the role up again beginning in the late '80s.

Playing the role with equal parts dramatic flair and understated satire, West made running around Gotham City in ridiculous tights with his sidekick Robin somehow look reasonable.

West's often self-deprecating approach to the role was due as much to his own theatrical skills as it was a nod to the '60s hippie culture the TV series was born in. Today, we have our own, incredibly serious and definitely psychotic Batman played by the appropriately intense Christian Bale (nice try, Ben Affleck, but you're no Bale). But West's '60s version of the character did things like, oh, well, just a little Bat Watusi aka the Batusi:
Over the years, West went on to play many other roles, but he never managed to shake being recognized most for his amazingly unique approach to one of the best known superheroes in comic book history.

Well, that's not exactly true.

It turns out that one of those '60s Batman fans, Seth MacFarlane, got his own show on Fox called Family Guy and promptly made West the mayor of the show's fictional city of Quahog, Rhode Island.
MacFarlane took West's comedic approach to Batman and turned up the volume several notches, making Mayor West one of the strangest and most brilliantly written animated characters in recent memory.

And while he was allowed to be himself on Family Guy, becoming a popular staple of the show, West did give Batman fans a bit of his old costumed magic in an episode of The Simpsons ("Large Marge) back in 2002.
And he appeared in an even earlier episode of the show in 1992, playing a version of himself as out of work actor still holding on to the good old days of '60s Batman. The spot was classic West (always ready to use his serious, actorly voice to poke fun at himself) and laid the foundation for his subsequent work on Family Guy.
In fact, West even graced the offices of Mashable a few years ago, leaving us with a bit of that old Bat-magic that we'll continue to miss for many years to come.

Wizard's note: Adam West was the first Batman I watched. Loved his comedic style and timing. Saw him in person at a Car Show in Winnipeg. Will miss him, for sure.

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