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

FILE -- In this Jan. 23, 1966 file photo, actor Adam West, stars as the Caped Crusader battling the forces of evil on the new "Batman" television series. "Batman: The Complete Television Series," available in limited edition Blu-ray as well as DVD and digitally, releases this week and includes the 120 original ABC broadcast episodes with guest stars that ranged from Liberace to Vincent Price to Bruce Lee. Three hours of new content includes interviews with West and co-star Burt Ward. (AP Photo, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Adam West, whose straight-faced portrayal of Batman in a 1960s TV series lifted the tight-clad Caped Crusader into the national consciousness, has died at age 88, his family said Saturday on a verified Facebook page.

West died Friday night after “a short but brave battle with leukemia,” the family statement said.

West played the superhero straight for kids and funny for adults. He initially chaffed at being typecast after “Batman” went off the air after three seasons, but in later years he admitted he was pleased to have had a role in kicking off a big-budget film franchise by showing the character’s wide appeal.

“You get terribly typecast playing a character like that,” he told The Associated Press in a 2014 interview.

“But in the overall, I’m delighted because my character became iconic and has opened a lot of doors in other ways, too.” He returned to the role in an episode of the animated “The Simpsons.”

And more recently, he did the voice of nutty Mayor Adam West in the long-running “Family Guy” series.

In April 2012, West received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Born William West Anderson in Walla Walla, Washington, he moved to Seattle at age 15 with his mother after his parents divorced.

He graduated from Whitman College, a private liberal arts school, in Walla Walla.

After serving in the Army, he went to Hollywood and changed his name to Adam West, and began appearing on a number of television series, including “Bonanza,” ″Perry Mason” and “Bewitched.”

He was married three times, and had six children. He had homes in Los Angeles and Palm Springs, but he and his wife, Marcelle, spent most of their time at their ranch near Sun Valley, Idaho.

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