Adam West, TV's Batman, Dead at 88

Adam West, TV’s original Batman, has died. He was 88.

West passed away after a short battle with leukemia, his family confirmed on Facebook.

 

West rose to fame in 1966 as the star of ABC’s Batman, which produced a total of 120 episodes over three seasons before it ended in 1968. Burt Ward, who played Robin, issued the following statement to our sister site Variety:

I am devastated at the loss of one my very dearest friends. Adam and I had a special friendship for more than 50 years. We shared some of the most fun times of our lives together. Our families have deep love and respect for each other. 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 Knight.

In later years, West found work as a voiceover actor. Since 2000, he has voiced a fictionalized version of himself on Family Guy, playing the mayor of Quahog. Creator Seth MacFarlane took to Twitter to grieve the loss of a “friend,” thanking the “irreplaceable” Mr. Mayor:

West’s extensive TV resume included select episodes of The Detectives, Perry Mason, Gunsmoke and Fantasy Island. He also guest-starred on a number of sitcoms, including Laverne and Shirley, Murphy Brown, NewsRadio, George Lopez and The King of Queens. Most recently, he appeared as himself on the 200th episode of The Big Bang Theory.

Earlier this year, West filmed a guest spot on NBC’s one-and-done Powerless, where he was set to portray Dean West, the chairman of Wayne Industries who visits Charm City to deliver bad news to Bruce Wayne’s cousin Van. The series was ultimately pulled from NBC’s schedule and his episode never aired.

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49 Comments
  1. Butch says:

    RIP Caped Crusader

  2. Joey says:

    Aw, this one stings a lot. My dad loves Batman, and still watches the reruns. Plus I had the same birthday as Adam West.

  3. Riana says:

    I’m gonna miss Adam We

  4. Dr. Opossum says:

    Truly sad to hear this as the TV Batman was a childhood fave that I still watch and let be today. It is good, though, that West was so busy and appreciated in his final years.

  5. Cat says:

    Best of the Batman portrayers. Great sense of humor. He will be missed. Rest in Peace Adam West.

  6. c-mo says:

    Watching Batman with my neighborhood friends each week will forever be a treasured memory. Bruce Wayne was the Batman standard to which all other portrayals will be measured.

  7. He always seemed in on the joke, and never took himself seriously. Not the greatest actor in the world, but always charming and endearing. I loved the twice weekly episodes in the 60-s, when Batman and Peyton Place gave birth to a very nascent form of “binge watching.” Thanks for all the Wham, Bang, Pow memories, Mr. West.

  8. Joey Padron says:

    Sad news. He was a great batman and a great actor. He will be missed. RIP.

  9. iHeart says:

    that’s the second secondary family guy cast member to die in 6 months, I wonder how they’ll handle this

  10. MareCadTITNC says:

    Thank you, Mr. West, for Batman & your other contributions to entertainments, you’ll be missed.

  11. RIP Mr West, Batman! Just curious, where is his partner, Robin?

  12. nickp91 says:

    The Mayor of Quahog has passed I expect a special election on the next episode of Family Guy

  13. J.B. says:

    Sad to hear. I used to watch the reruns as a kid. Surprised nobody has mentioned the animated DC film “Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders” which was released a year or two ago. It was a fun nostalgic ride. A sequel was in the works so if he finished enough of the voice work it would be the last thing he was a part of. Would be fitting in my opinion.

    • Michael Summerset says:

      They could still do or finish a sequel with another VA impersonating him. But it depends upon how far along the sequel was. If it was just in the script stage it could easily get pulled. But if the voice work was finished then they could go ahead.

  14. suzi says:

    Adam West and Micheal Keaton–forever the best Batmans to me. RIP

  15. TvPeong says:

    May he rest in peace

  16. Kevin Tran says:

    HOLY SADNESS BATMAN. RIP Adam West :-(

  17. Wow!!! Iam sad today of hearing this news. But you are always in my heart BATMAN FOREVER!!!

  18. David S. says:

    TV Line, any news on whether NBC will somehow release the last episodes of Powerless, one of which featured Adam West?

    • ScottJ says:

      The 3 remaining episodes were released internationally last month. It would be a fitting tribute for NBC to air the Adam West one.

  19. Tony says:

    I grew up with The Caped Crusader and there will NEVER be another. RIH Adam West

  20. STEVE YOUNG says:

    ADAM WEST BATMAN IS MY FAVORITE ACTOR TO ME. ADAM WEST KINDNESS SHARING AND CARING WITH DEEP LOVE FOR HIS FANS LIKE ME IS THE WORLD OF HAPPINESS TO MY LIFE. ADAM WEST KINDNESS WITHLOVE SHARING WITH HIS FANS WITH HIS FAMOUS POT ROAST. AND THE WARM SMILE WITH LOVE OF SHARING WITH HIS FANS. I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU ADAM WEST. FROM FOREVER LIFETIME ADAM WEST FAN STEVE YOUNG BALTIMORE MARYLAND USA

  21. I always enjoyed seeing Adam West on screen. Dang it, this one really hurts. RIP, Batman. So long, Mr. Mayor. You were one of a kind.

  22. Brian says:

    Hated seeing this news. I grew up watching Batman and just recently saw him at last year’s NY Comic Con and he looked great.

    RIP Mr. Adam West

  23. Kailey says:

    Holy Crying Emojis, Batman…this one hurts, a lot. I remember when Adam and Burt were at a Richmond comic con telling stories about when they filmed Batman. Never laughed so hard in my whole life! I probably never will laugh like that again. RIP Mayor West

  24. Gromitfan says:

    Adam West was a large part of millions of people’s childhoods.

    He had a dry wit and had a great way of poking fun at himself, whether it was in his two appearances on “The Simpsons,” hosting one year of the “MST3K” Turkey Day on Comedy Central, or in the documentary “Starring Adam West.”

    For those who don’t know, “Batman” is on DVD after years of rights issues and West’s final performance, in the animated film “Batman vs, Two Face,” is in postproduction

  25. ragnar51 says:

    RIP Adam West. Is the ep count accurate? 120 episodes for 3 seasons? A far cry from 10-13 and done today, not to mention you’re lucky to get 43 minutes including intros and outros in a one hour show!!

  26. Carrie says:

    He’ll always be my favorite Batman, and he was absolutely hilarious on “Family Guy.” R. I.P.

  27. annieo53 says:

    RIP…to my first Batman. Wouldn’t it be cool if NBC aired the episode of Powerless where he appeared?

    • Michael Summerset says:

      They likely will eventually. Now that we’re into summer there’s likely to be a burn-off some time before the fall.

  28. parstl says:

    Mr. West was an icon and one of a kind. I thank him for all of the fun he brought into my living room as a child. God bless.

  29. Ray says:

    A true icon and class act. He will always be remembered for his role as Bruce Wayne/Batman. Thank you for bringing many hours of delight to my childhood, sir.

  30. lrdslvrhnd says:

    Farewell, old chum.
    .
    I always liked that he embraced the campiness. I have no idea if that was genuine, or if he was just desperate enough for money to bite his tongue, but I’d like to believe it was the former.
    .
    I always felt he could’ve been the DC movie version of Stan Lee, if given the chance… showing up for a 10 second cameo as a bit of comic relief (or at leat a bit of a lighter moment).
    .
    One of my favorite roles of his was on “Batman: The Brave and the Bold”, when Batman gets sent back in time and meets his parents, played by West and Julie Newmar… at a masquerade party… costumed as a bat and a cat. So very awesome.

  31. TV Gord says:

    Adam West fans, do yourself a favor: go to YouTube and find his early-1990s pilot, Lookwell. The entire episode is there, and it’s brilliant! You will love it and you will wonder why it didn’t become a series.

    Aside from being hilarious, Adam West will be remembered as a TV star who never let his fans down. He was always gracious to us, never complained despite being typecast as our favorite Batman, and always seemed to appreciate us. We should all be so gracious!

  32. Rex the Wonder Dog says:

    Be nice if NBC airs the Powerless episode with Adam West.
    R.I.P., Mr. West.

  33. Jason says:

    Would it be too much to ask NBC to air that episode, sometime this summer.

  34. Leesa says:

    I love the old Batman tv show and I enjoy watching the Batman reruns.. Adam West will forever be the greatest Batman ever! May he rest in peace.

  35. Lazada says:

    The Sadness is almost unbearable. For those of us who grew up in the 60s and 70s, although the cinema has given others, very good in theirs, it was he who gave us many joys in childhood and we waited week after week the outcome of situations that astonished those who were children, Rest in peace, Batman.

  36. Deborah Kaplan says:

    There have been many portrayals of Batman over the years. However, my favorite Batman will always be Adam West. Rest In Peace.

  37. Ann M Stokman says:

    Sorry to hear of the loss