"BAM," "POW," "BIFF," and "ZAPP" are familiar phrases for those who grew up watching the "Batman" television series on ABC from 1966-1968. Adam West -- who portrayed the Caped Crusader -- died today at age 88. West passed away at home surrounded by his family. The cause of death was Leukemia.

Batman longevity

Although the original series did not last very long, it runs in syndication, and many viewers new and old are still fascinated by it. Currently, "Batman" can be viewed on Saturday nights on METV. West's dual role as millionaire Bruce Wayne and the masked hero has continued to be appreciated through the decades.

He was good-natured about his loyal fans and never tried to distance himself from that persona or his fans.

There was a full-length Batman movie in 1966 with all the characters from the television show. In later years, Adam West was the voice of the Fearless Ferret. This was a rodent superhero on the Disney cartoon "Kim Possible." West also was the voice of Mayor Adam West on "Family Guy." He also portrayed Captain Quick in the Nestle Quick TV commercials, and voiced Batman in cartoons such as "Scooby Doo," "The New Adventures of Batman," "Super Friends," "Legends of the Super Heroes," and "The Simpsons."

A one-of-a-kind television series

"Batman" was a unique television show. It was billed as a comedy and was campy and tongue-in-cheek.

The show offered action and adventure. All the villains were celebrities who were famous at the time, and many of the fight scenes looked like choreographed ballet moves, The show was very cheesy but fans loved it and adored Adam West.

He never had a blockbuster movie and spent most of his professional life in tights, but Adam West had something many celebrities will never achieve.

He had a brand that withstood the test of time. Five decades of his version of Batman being celebrated is quite an honor. Despite the many actors that have taken up the mantle of the Batman since, Mr. West will always be remembered as the first -- and for some, the best.

So long, Caped Crusader

In 2012 West received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

West was quoted as saying at the time that he was the luckiest man in the world because his fans had grown up watching the show and continued to stick with him as adults.

The world bids a fond farewell to Mr. West but will never say so long to his alter ego. The Caped Crusader will live on because of re-runs, DVD's, and the internet. Adam West leaves behind a wife, 6 children, 5 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren.

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