Yesterday evening Adam West passed away at the age of 88. I'm stunned. He's someone I thought would live forever. Even in his 80's he seemed to be in excellent health. In the end he lost the fight against leukemia.
Was he a great actor? Probably not. I don't think he would have been a good Hamlet, but he was the best possible Batman, setting the bar so high that no other actor could possibly hope to reach it.
Was he a great man? Undoubtedly. Anyone who followed him on Facebook was overwhelmed by the loving warmth of his personality. The tributes are still rolling in online, and I dare to say that everyone who ever met him in person loved him, whether it was this year or 55 years ago in his Batman days. Like me, Adam West was a husband, father and grandfather, but I doubt that I live up to the example he set for his family.
For those who don't know much about him as a person, I have two recommendations. First, listen to his audio commentary to the film "Batman". The film was made in 1966, and the audio commentary was recorded shortly before 2002 when it was first released on DVD. It's the most entertaining audio commentary I've ever heard, nothing like the usual commentaries where a bored director drones on because it's expected of him.
Secondly, watch the semi-biographical film "Return to the Batcave", made in 1973. Adam is playing himself, and he's having fun doing it.
And of course, watch the Batman TV series. If you don't already have the excellent Blu-ray box set at home, why not? Pull out your credit card now! That's the best way you can show your appreciation for this wonderful man. The world is a sadder place without Adam West, but Batman lives on forever.
September 19, 1928 – June 9, 2017