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

Adam West

LOS ANGELES — Adam West, whose straight-faced portrayal of Batman in a campy 1960s TV series lifted the tight-clad Caped Crusader into the national consciousness, has died at age 88, his publicist Molly Schoneveld said Saturday.

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

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.”

“He was bright, witty and fun to work with,” Julie Newmar, who played Catwoman to West’s Batman, said in a statement. “I will miss him in the physical world and savor him always in the world of imagination and creativity.”

Burt Ward, who played Batman’s sidekick, Robin, was friends with West for more than 50 years.

“We shared some of the most fun times of our lives together, Ward told the Variety entertainment media outlet. “This is a terribly unexpected loss of my lifelong friend. I will forever miss him.”