Adam West, who played 1960s-era Batman, dies at 88

Tributes have flooded in for the late Adam West, with one of his Batman successors and his Family Guy co-star leading the emotional outpouring. "He was and always will be our hero", said his family in a statement. He is survived by his wife Marcelle Tagand Lear, his six children, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

Faced with the prospect of being forever defined by his appearance on a television show many people saw as a slightly embarrassing historical oddity, West leaned into his reputation, playing himself as a Batman-obsessed crank in a memorable appearance on The Simpsons classic "Mr. Plow" episode.

More recently, he did the voice of nutty Mayor Adam West in the long-running Family Guy series.

The actor was born William West Anderson in Walla Walla, Washington, and went on to earn a degree in literature and psychology from Whitman College.

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"We were making overstated morality plays for children that adults could watch and enjoy", West told the Los Angeles Times in a 2004 interview.

From the very first episode of the dayglo-a-go-go Batman series, which premiered on January 12, 1966, West nearly intuitively understood the best way to play an oddball gazillionaire-turned-vigilante: Make him the least outwardly insane figure in a world of over-the-fop bad guys and ding-a-ling bureaucrats.

West rose to fame during the 1960s for his camp TV portrayal of the superhero and his alter ego Bruce Wayne. The actor died Friday night after a "short but fearless battle with leukemia". "I will miss him in the physical world and savor him always in the world of imagination and creativity". West also voiced the Caped Crusader and other characters in numerous animated incarnations of Batman. "It's OK with me, because it's given so many people worldwide so much pleasure".

"Family Guy has lost its mayor, and I have lost a friend", the show's creator, Seth MacFarlane, said on Twitter. "He was and always will be our hero", it read. He brought joy to legions of fans around the world and was the gateway for many of them to discover or in some cases rediscover their love of comic books. The cowl was very tight and I couldn't see down and around, but you deal with those things.

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