Batman actor Adam West has died at the age of 88.
According to a statement issued by his family, West died Friday night in Los Angeles after a short battle with leukemia. “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.
West starred in the original live-action Batman TV series between 1966 and 1968. The campy classic became iconic for the onomatopoeia graphics during fight scene and West’s deadpan delivery of ridiculously verbose and axiomatic dialogue.
Following the show’s original run, West reprised his role as the Cape Crusader in several animated TV series, including 1977’s The New Adventures of Batman, 1984’s Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show, and 1985’s The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians. He also donned the Batsuit in the 1979 live-action TV special Legends of the Superheroes. More recently, he reunited with Burt Ward (Robin) Julie Newmar (Catwoman) for a full-length animated movie, Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders, which was released in October 2016.
Beyond Batman, West lent his vocal talents to several other animated series, including Nickelodeon’s The Fairy OddParents, Family Guy, and SponeBob SquarePants, where he played Mermaid Man alongside Ward, who voiced the young Barnacle Boy.
Ward reacted to West’s passing in a heartfelt statement, writing, “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 Night.”