Adam West, one of the first actors to bring Bruce Wayne and his secret identity to life on TV, died Friday night in Los Angeles after a short battle with leukemia, a family spokesperson said, according to 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,” his family said in a statement.
The actor was 88.
West emerged as a pop icon during the 1960s for his role in "Batman," a campy, tongue-in-cheek TV adaptation of the superhero comic book series. The show was known for its upbeat theme music and its simplistic humor and moral undertones. It was also known for West's absurdity, who brought a funny side to Batman that has not been seen in subsequent adaptations.
"Batman" was nominated for an Emmy Award for outstanding comedy series in its first year, falling short to CBS’s "The Dick Van Dyke Show." One PBS documentary called the show "the biggest TV phenomenon of the mid-1960s."
The show was short-lived, however, cancelled after only three seasons.
The actor struggled to find acting jobs after being typecasted as the caped crusader on TV. Decades later, he would attain a recurring voice-over gig on the hit animation series "Family Guy," in which he played the mayor of Quahog, also named Adam West.
West grew up on a ranch outside Walla Walla, Wash. He served in the Army as an announcer on the American Forces Network.