A few weeks ago I was genuinely devastated by the tragic passing of a key element of my youth Chris Cornell and I hoped that that would be the end of it for a while. As much as I mourned Cornells loss however it pales in comparison to how I feel right now after hearing that Adam West has died at the age of 88.
Everyone who knows me will attest to the fact that I am both a geek and a huge Batman fan as the Caped Crusader is my goto hero of choice, always has been and always will be. And it was through Wests portrayal of the not so Dark Knight that I was introduced to Bruce Wayne, his trusty ward Dick Grayson and all the supporting characters.
True the show originally aired in the late 1960's and it only ran for two seasons and one film (West and co-star Burt Ward would reprise the characters in other tv shows such as Legends of the Superheroes) but it resonated with fans and became such a cult smash that it has been shown by way of repeats somewhere in the world ever since and I fell in love with it when I saw it as a kid.
I'm not going to discuss the pros and cons of the show and its take on the Batman mythos because there will be plenty of others who have an opinion on that, all I will say is that every part of it filled me with childish delight as it still does today and for me West is my favourite live action Batman ever committed to screen (my top guy remains Kevin Conroy from the Animated Series).
Everything about the 60's Batman show was awesome, whether it was the batdance, the can of shark repellent, Caesar Romero refusing to shave off his moustache to play the Joker or the constant one liners being delivered by Robin for me it just never put a foot wrong.
Adam West amassed almost 200 acting credits during his 63 year career and during that time he showed that he had real acting chops and could have been a terrific leading man had the role of Batman not acted as an albatross around his neck as studios weren't prepared to look past his performance on Batman and see what a great actor he actually was.
That said he did carve out a career for himself and younger fans will recognise him best as Mayor Adam West in Family Guy (I hope he gets a worthy send off in that show) though he could never escape the Shadow of the Bat as evidenced by his final acting credit as the voice of Bruce Wayne and Batman in the animated feature Batman vs Two Face which is the sequel to the brilliant Return of the Caped Crusaders from last year.
In closing I have to say that it strikes me as a touch ironic/poignant that just yesterday I watched the finale of Gotham season 3 which saw the beginning of David Mazouz taking his young Bruce Wayne down the path to being Batman, its almost like one new Batman emerges as one of the pioneers of the role leaves this mortal coil.
At least now West can keep the likes of Gorshin, Meredith, Romero and co in check as they play out their game of cunning plans and dastardly traps for all eternity.
RIP Adam, you will be sorely missed but never forgotten.