William West Anderson was born September 19, 1928. He was commonly known as Adam West. He was an American actor whose career spanned seven decades. He was best known for his portrayal of the title role in the 1960s ABC series Batman and its theatrical feature film. On June 9, 2017, West died in Los Angeles after a short battle with leukemia. West died peacefully surrounded by his family and is survived by his wife Marcelle, six children, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He was 88.
“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.
West was born in Walla Walla, Washington] to Otto West Anderson and Audrey V. Speer . He was of Swedish descent from his father, and English, with small amounts of Welsh, German, Irish, and remote Scottish from his mother. His father was a farmer; his mother was an opera singer and concert pianist who was forced to abandon her own Hollywood dreams to care for her family.
West graduated with a bachelor’s degree in literature and a minor in psychology from Whitman College in Walla Walla. He also participated on the speech and debate team. Drafted into the United States Army, he served as an announcer on American Forces Network television. After his discharge, he worked as a milkman before moving to Hawaii to pursue television.
His acting career began in films in 1959. He played opposite Chuck Connors in Geronimo (1962) and The Three Stooges in The Outlaws Is Coming (1965). He also appeared in the science-fiction film Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964), opposite Paul Mantee, and did voice work on The Fairly OddParents, The Simpsons and Family Guy (playing fictional versions of himself in all three) and also Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders.
“The only thing I thought is that it would be the end of me, and it was for a bit,” he told an audience at Comic-Con in 2014 of how he felt when Batman was Cancelled. “But then I realized that what we created in the show … we created this zany, lovable world.
“I look around and I see the adults — I see you grew up with me, and you believe in the adventure. I never believed this would happen, that I would be up here with illustrious people like yourselves. I’m so grateful! I’m the luckiest actor in the world, folks, to have you still hanging around.”
But possibly the ultimate character West ever played was himself. Years spent nurturing and preserving his fan base at progressively influential comic book conventions made the actor an iconic figure in fandom. He played on himself on both the small and big screen, establishing a prosperous career as a voiceover artist while landing cameos in productions including Drop Dead Gorgeous, the Goosebumps TV series, The Adventures of Pete and Pete, The Ben Stiller Show, 30 Rock and, most notably, as Mayor Adam West on Seth MacFarlane’s Family Guy. In February 2016, West guest-starred as himself on the 200th episode of The Big Bang Theory.
“If I had the chance to do it all over again I would,” West once said. “It was tough for a while but I’m the luckiest guy in the world because I got to create a character that lasts and that people love. So I made up my mind that if people love Batman, I’ll love Batman too.”
Written by The Bold Blogger
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