Today, we are all mourning the loss of the man who, for many of us, was our very first superhero. Batman actor Adam West passed away at age 88, after a brief battle with leukemia. Although 88 is a full life by anyone’s measure, Adam West always seemed so joyous and youthful that it feels as if a much younger man had passed.
Although Adam West’s time as Batman was relatively brief (1966-68), its pop culture influence lasted much, much longer. As we all mourn the man who the Caped Crusader a household name, the outpouring of sympathy has been coming in from all across social media, starting with his co-stars from Batman ’66, former Boy Wonder Burt Ward (Robin) and Julie Newmar, the original Catwoman.Also paying tribute is the man who gave West a second wind career wise, by casting him as the Mayor on his series Family Guy, creator Seth MacFarlane. You can read his colleagues’s tributes down below:
Burt Ward said in a statement, via Deadline
“I am devastated at the loss of one my very dearest friends. Adam and I had a special friendship for more than 50 years. We shared some of the most fun times of our lives together. Our families have deep love and respect for each other. This is a terribly unexpected loss of my lifelong friend. I will forever miss him. There are several fine actors who have portrayed Batman in films. In my eyes, there was only one real Batman that is and always will be Adam West. He was truly the Bright Knight.”
Julie Newmar, Batman‘s original Catwoman (via Deadline)
Seth MacFarlane, Family Guy creator (via Deadline)
Family Guy has lost its mayor, and I have lost a friend. Adam West was a joy to work with, and the kind of guy you always wanted to be around. His positivity, good nature, and sense of fun were undeniable, and it was always a big jolt of the best kind of energy when he walked in to record the show. He knew comedy, and he knew humanity. I am beyond fortunate to have had the privilege of working with him, and he will be profoundly missed by all of us. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you have given, Mr. Mayor. You’re irreplaceable.”
The tributes have been pouring in from all over social media, including many from other actors who have followed West and did their best to fill his enormous bat-boots.
Goodbye my friend pic.twitter.com/VxdRwnCCSM
— Kevin Conroy (@RealKevinConroy) June 10, 2017
Ah dear Adam West. He was always so kind when we met. A real gent. Once when I was a kid we found ourselves in front the batmobile. I got in
— Val Kilmer (@valkilmer) June 10, 2017
RIP Adam West. You will always be Batman
— Will Arnett™ (@arnettwill) June 10, 2017
The comics community has responded with their sympathies, including Frank Miller, the creator who did the most to “darken up” the image of Batman in the wake of Adam West’s portrayal, who was nevertheless a huge fan himself:
Adam West kept Batman alive and thrilled my generation. It’s a sad day.
— Frank Miller (@FrankMillerInk) June 10, 2017
Words can’t express how much of an impact Adam West had my childhood. I lived to see his show… https://t.co/66bT1VFUqi
— Jim Lee (@JimLee) June 10, 2017
Extremely saddened to hear about Adam West’s passing. Had the privilege of meeting him a couple years ago and he was inspiring in person too
— Scott Snyder (@Ssnyder1835) June 10, 2017
Sad Sad day losing Adam West today! https://t.co/awWkvwrZh1
— Neal Adams (@nealadamsdotcom) June 10, 2017
And then there are all the folks for whom Adam West was their very first Batman, who sparked a love of comics in them that led to the careers that they have now.
I am shattered, but, I’ll always be grateful for the bit of cosmic magic that allowed my boyhood hero to become my close friend. RIP Adam. pic.twitter.com/cMxmrldCKl
— Ralph Garman (@RalphGarman) June 10, 2017
Oh Batman my Batman! I’m standing on my chair to honor #adamwest – the man whose portrayal of costumed justice made me wanna be a good person when I was a boy. The #adamwestbatman was my first Batman at age 4. His performance was campy to most, but to me, that’s how true heroes spoke. A lifelong love of the character started with Mr. West’s interpretation of what he called, instead of the Dark Knight, the Bright Knight. He brought joy to a somber character and a Fatherly tone to a TV role model. I was lucky enough to meet Adam many times, including the day at @stanleecomiccon when super-fan @ralphgarman and I hosted Adam, Boy Wonder #burtward and movie Catwoman #leemerriweather (where we took this pic). He was pure love and joy. He remained my hero, even in adulthood, as well as a real life role model for interacting with fans. Adam loved his fans – especially #ralphgarman, who worked tirelessly to get Adam a star on the @officialhollywoodwalkoffame. Farewell, Caped Crusader. Off to Superhero Heaven you go, where all your rascally rogues are ready to see you again! Atomic batteries to power. Turbines to speed. Heart to broken. #KevinSmith #adamwest #batman #foreverbatman #rip #legend #icon
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) June 10, 2017
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) June 10, 2017
Rest in Peace Adam West. We met once in 1987 and I was too embarrassed and too foolishly “cool” to tell you what you meant to my childhood.
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) June 10, 2017
Farewell Adam West. You were MY Batman. Such a super funny, cool, charismatic actor. Loved the show as a kid, still love the show now. POW! pic.twitter.com/6QAZnOhtMs
— edgarwright (@edgarwright) June 10, 2017
Holy heartbreak Batman. Adam West was a big part of my childhood. We were acquaintances in my adulthood. A wonderful man who will b missed.
— Jamie Lee Curtis (@jamieleecurtis) June 10, 2017
Mr. West, thank you for all those afternoons you helped me and other 70’s kids dream about the fun of being a hero. RIP, good sir.
— Greg Berlanti (@GBerlanti) June 10, 2017
Do you have a favorite episode of Batman or Family Guy where Adam West really shines the most for you? Be sure to leave us your own tribute for the late Adam West down below in the comments.
Images: DC Comics/Warner Brothers/Fox TV