Adam West

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The world has lost a superhero acting legend.

Adam West, who played Batman in the original '60s TV series, died at age 88 Friday. His family said in a statement posted on social media Saturday that the actor passed away peacefully after a "short but brave battle with leukemia."

"He was a beloved father, husband, grandfather, and great-grandfather," they said. "There are no words to describe how much we'll miss him. We know you'll miss him too and we want you to know how much your love and support meant to him throughout the years. Hug your loved ones today. - The West Family."

West is survived by wife Marcelle, six children, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

Adam West, Batman


West was born William West Anderson in 1928 in Walla Walla, Washington. He made his on-screen acting debut in the mid-50s before he was cast in his breakout role of Batman / Bruce Wayne in the '60s series Batman and an accompanying movie, alongside Burt Ward, who played his sidekick Robin.

West reprised his role in the short-lived '70s series The New Adventures of Batman, the animated shows SuperFriends: The Legendary Super Powers Show and The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians, last year's Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders and the upcoming Batman vs. Two-Face. The typecast actor also played the character on The Simpsons. He also often portrayed parodies of himself and also voiced characters on shows such as Family Guy.

"I am devastated at the loss of one my very dearest friends," Ward, 71, said in a statement to Variety. "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 Night."

Ward had recently reminisced about West and their show and also talked about the new Batman films, including the recent ones with Ben Affleck, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

"I try to watch them, and Ben Affleck is a very good actor," he said. "For their audience, they want the darker version. On television, like Adam West likes to say, 'In the movie theaters there is a Dark Knight. On television you have the Bright Knight.'"

Both Affleck and Val Kilmer, who played Batman in the the 1995 film Batman Forever, paid tribute to West on social media.

"Adam West exemplified heroism. Kind, funny and an all around great guy. Thank you for showing us all how it's done," tweeted Affleck.

"Ah dear Adam West. He was always so kind when we met. A real gent," Kilmer tweeted. "Once when I was a kid we found ourselves in front the batmobile. I got in."

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