'Batman' Actor Adam West Dies From Leukemia At 88

Ivy Greene
June 12, 2017 04:46 AM EDT

Another Hollywood star was claimed by cancer - this time, the original "Batman" star, Adam West. The actor passed away last week from leukemia in Los Angeles. He was 88 years old.

Adam West On How He Got "Batman" Role

Born William West Anderson in Walla Walla, Washington, he finished a degree in literature and psychology from Whitman College. West initially worked as a radio a disc jockey, where he was able to develop a theatrical and striking voice, which he then used for his role as the Caped Crusader. The show, which had a cult following starred West as Bruce Wayne and his alter ego, The Dark Knight from the popular comics, which was brought to life by ABC-TV series.

According to CNN, West mentioned that a TV ad helped him bag the "Batman" role. He had been in Europe, working on films and came back to the US. He discovered that production for "Batman" liked his Nestle's Quik commercial, a James Bond spoof, in which he played Captain Quik.

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West had been wanting to do more serious roles but the pilot script to "Batman" changed his mind. "I knew after 20 pages it was the kind of thing, the kind of comedy, I wanted to do," he said. Although he had his fair share of acting parts through the years, West became typecast, but he didn't become bitter about it.

Life After "Batman"

Per The New York Times, After "Batman" ended, West had a hard time finding meatier acting jobs, since he was so closely remembered as "Batman." Although, he still continued to work in the big and small screens. 

In later decades, he did a lot of voice work, an impressive long run (from 2000-2017) on the animated series "Family Guy" as Mayor Adam West. At 76 - almost 40 years after "Batman" ended West said, "What I loved about Batman was his total lack of awareness when it came to his interaction with the outside world.

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