Tuesday, 13 June 2017

In Memory of Adam West (1928-2017)

Adam West (1928-2017)

Hello everyone, it is with huge sadness to inform you that Adam West, the noted television and film actor known for portraying Batman in the 1960s titular campy show and movie adaptation has died in June 9th 2017 after a short battle with leukemia at the age of 88. West was appreciated by many comic book readers as the third known actor to take on the cowl of the caped crusader. Not everyone was very appreciative of his horseplay, and goofy tone of the show when the dark, gritty tone was introduced and became a integral part to the comic series in the 1980s. He definitely had a huge sensation with the Bat fandom which he will be remembered within our memories.

West's acting in television began in the late 50s in a children's show where he had not yet taken the stage name of Adam West until in 1959 when he moved to Hollywood. West's film appearances prior to Batman include supporting roles on "The Young Philadelphians' opposite Paul Newman, 'Robinson Crusoe on Mars' and 'The Outlaws Is Coming' with The Three Stooges and numerous guest appearances and a supporting roles on various classic television programs. It is then when Producer William Dozier discovered the young actor after seeing him perform in a commercial for Nestle Quik that he cast him as Bruce Wayne and his eponymous alter-ego in the campy television series that aired on American television from 1966 to 1968. In addition to his appearances as the character in television and film, West is also featured in a public service announcement telling schoolchildren to heed Lyndon B. Johnson's call for them to buy stamps of U.S. savings to support the Vietnam War. Shortly after Batman, West and few of his co-stars like Yvonne Craig and Burt Ward had fallen on hard times when they were severely typecast because of their high-profile roles. Not even his first post-Batman film 'The Girl Who Knew Too Much' tried to avoid his status with Batman and despite all of his issues, West continued acting in more films. He even did more guest spots in television programs like 'Fantasy Island', 'Bewitched', 'Bonanza', Maverick', 'The Love Boat', 'Laverne and Shirley, etc. In later years during his pop-cultural status that he appeared as himself in shows like 'NewsRadio', 'The Adventure of Pete and Pete', 'Murphy Brown', The Ben Stiller Show', 'The Drew Carey Show' and 'The Big Bang Theory' and also in the feature 'Drop Dead Gorgeous'.

Outside from his live acting, West was a professional voice actor because of his distinctive voice and did voiceovers where he did a few films like 'Chicken Little' and 'Meet the Robinsons'. Even on television where he did guest voices in shows like 'Rugrats', 'The Simpsons', 'The Critic', 'Johnny Bravo', 'Kim Possible', 'Futurama', and 'SpongeBob SquarePants'. Before that he often reprises the Batman character in Saturday morning cartoons produced by Filmation and Hanna Barbera and recently in two direct-to-DVD movies (with one forthcoming) including 'Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders' and 'Batman Vs. Two Face'. West also voiced in a episode of 'Batman: The Animated Series' as Gray Ghost in the episode 'Beware the Gray Ghost'. Rather to return as the dark-winged avenger (whose role has been taken by Kevin Conroy), he instead plays a character whomlike him is also a former actor named Simon Trent who has trouble finding work after portraying a superhero in the classic TV series of The Gray Ghost. He later had a recurring role in 'The Batman' animated series as Mayor Grange and guest-starred as Thomas Wayne in a episode of 'Batman: The Brave and the Bold'. He was also known as the voice of the eccentric mayor of Quahog in Seth MacFarlane's animated sitcom 'Family Guy' and he voices a parody of himself as portraying a cat-like superhero Catman when having a obsession with felines in Nickelodeon's 'The Fairly OddParents'.

Anyone who is old enough to remember Adam West will definitely miss him as long as his memory lives on.

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