TV and Movies

Adam West, star of 1960s 'Batman,' dead at 88

The actor's distinctive, gentle voice was also heard on "Family Guy," where he played a cartoon mayor named after himself.

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Adam West as the Caped Crusader.

Getty Images

Adam West, the actor who played the delightfully campy Batman in the famed '60s television series, has died at 88 of leukemia.

West's family announced the news on social media.

"He was a beloved father, husband, grandfather, and great-grandfather," their Facebook post reads. "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."

West's Batman had a cordial gentlemanliness, and forever played the straight man even when facing such bizarre villains as Ethel Merman's Lola Lasagne. Most recently, West's distinctive voice could be heard as the Mayor of Quahog, Rhode Island -- also named "Adam West" -- on the animated comedy "Family Guy."

West was born on a wheat ranch in Walla Walla, Washington, moving to Seattle as a teenager and graduating from Walla Walla's Whitman College. After serving in the Army, he pursued an acting career, appearing in nearly 50 movies, including "Drop Dead Gorgeous," "The Young Philadelphians," "An American Vampire Story" and "Robinson Crusoe on Mars."

His television career beyond "Batman" included appearances on everything from "Bonanza" and "Bewitched" to "Laverne & Shirley." But it was his cultured and animated voice in voice-over roles that perhaps brought West to the attention of a new generation. In addition to "Family Guy," he played voice-over roles in "The Simpsons," "Animaniacs" and more. 

West continued to pay tribute to his most famous role. He teamed up with fellow "Batman" co-star Burt Ward to voice a young version of Mermaid Man (with Ward as Barnacle Boy) on "SpongeBob SquarePants." Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, voiced in adult form by the late Ernest Borgnine and Tim Conway, are that show's Batman and Robin spoof.

West married three times and had six children. 

It's with great sadness that we are sharing this news...Adam West passed away peacefully last night after a short but...

Posted by Adam West on Saturday, June 10, 2017