Long before the Dark Knight, Adam West was a different kind of Batman. For three seasons in the 1960s, crime fighting for a costumed superhero was good, silly fun, a respite for many living in an increasingly horrible decade.

I’m Batman

Adam West, a handsome, deep voice actor played Batman in a universe where the costumes were more colorful, the supervillains were more outrageous, and the quips were more silly and deadpan. The caped crusader and his trusty sidekick, the boy wonder Robin (played by twenty-something Burt Ward), tooled around Gotham City in their Batmobile thwarting the maniacal plots of Catwoman (played by three different actresses during the short length of the series), the Penguin, the Joker, the Riddler, and a host of other equally outrageous supervillains.

Using a host of strange gadgets that festooned his utility belt, but primarily with his fists and his groan-inducing clichés, Batman kept the city safe for decent folk everywhere. In his off hours, he was Billionaire Bruce Wayne residing in Stately Wayne Manner, waiting on by Alfred, the very personification of a British butler who, so far as anyone knew, was never in the SAS.

Who was Adam West?

Before Batman, Adam West played a lot of supporting roles in movies and TV shows. He was one of the Macedonian generals in William Shatner’s failed TV pilot based on the life of Alexander the Great. He was the astronaut who died in the 1964 space adventure, “Robinson Crusoe on Mars,” a movie that featured a man surviving on the Red Planet decades before Matt Damon did it much better in “The Martian.”

After “Batman’s” brief run, Adam West had a lot of trouble finding work, so typecast he had become.

But he eventually succeeded in getting a steady income playing either himself or doing voice work on animated shows. His talent was apparent for both types of work as the long-running mayor of Quahog, Rhode Island in "Family Guy.": Adam West was also a favorite on the convention circuit, entertaining fans who were not even alive when his iconic show had its first run.

West was actually the third actor to play Batman, but no one remembers what the first two actors were. The show almost wrecked his career and did destroy his marriage at the time. West also had to overcome alcoholism in the 1970s. Ironically, he did not like the direction “Batman” took when it first aired, but his suggestions for improvements fell on deaf ears. Adam West passed from leukemia at the age of 88 recently, transitioning to the great Batcave in the sky.