A KJ Sunday Morning Reflection: Why Adam’s West’s Passing Affected So Many of Us
“How many actors have a shot at being a part of something that became a part of pop culture? It’s been very rewarding. I’m not getting the 20 million bucks for the new movies, but at least I’m getting warmth and recognition from people wherever I go.” – Adam West
Foxnews.com reported yesterday that
Actor Adam West, famous for his straight-faced portrayal of the Caped Crusader in the 1960s “Batman” TV series, has died at 88, his family said Saturday on social media.
West died Friday night “after a short but brave battle with leukemia,” the family statement on Facebook said.
“It’s with great sadness that we are sharing this news,” the family said. “He was a beloved father, husband, grandfather, and great-grandfather. There are no words to describe how much we’ll miss him.”
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 admitted he was pleased to have had a role in kicking off a big-budget film franchise by showing the character’s wide appeal.
I’m delighted because my character became iconic and has opened a lot of doors in other ways, too,” he told The Associated Press in 2014.
“He was bright, witty and fun to work with,” Julie Newmar, who played Catwoman to West’s Batman, said in a statement Saturday.
“I will miss him in the physical world and savor him always in the world of imagination and creativity.”
Born William West Anderson in Walla Walla, Washington, he moved to Seattle at age 15 with his mother after his parents divorced.
He graduated from Whitman College, a private liberal arts school, in Walla Walla.
After serving in the Army, he went to Hollywood and changed his name to Adam West, and began appearing on a number of television series, including “Bonanza,” “Perry Mason” and “Bewitched.”
In April 2012, West received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Most recently he did the voice of nutty Mayor Adam West in the long-running “Family Guy” series. And in February 2016, West made an appearance on the CBS sitcom “The Big Bang Theory’s” 200th episode, which marked the 50th anniversary of “Batman.”
West was married three times, and had six children. He had homes in Los Angeles and Palm Springs, but he and his wife, Marcelle, spent most of their time at their ranch near Sun Valley, Idaho.
For those of us who grew up in the 1960s, Adam West’s portrayal of Batman placed him solidly among the three top television heroes whom we, as boys wanted to be like.
The other two were George Reeves as Superman and Clayton Moore as the Lone Ranger.
There was a reason for this.
During all 3 of those wonderful television programs, those of us who watched them could be assured of 2 things:
Good and Evil were clearly defined.
Good ALWAYS triumphed over Evil (Even if it usually took Batman and Robin two 30-minute shows to do it).
There was no gray area blurring the boundaries between right and wrong, as is so often seen in the schlock being put out by the Fat Left running and ruining Hollywood nowadays.
Parents back then could be in another room while their child watched any of these three programs and not have to worry that the child might see something “inappropriate”.
Batman did get to kiss Catwoman once or twice. But, heck. Who could blame him. It was Julie Newmar! Or, as she was named by Dogpatch Inventor Available Jones in the classic movie “Lil Abner”, I..C.B.M., which stood for “I Catches Bachelor Men”, a weapon to be used in the Sadie Hawkins Day Race.
But, I digress…
We live in a time in our country where Traditional American ethics and values, including our Christian Faith, have been ridiculed and mocked by the Left and their Power Brokers as being antiquated, restrictive, ignorant, and even, bigoted.
And the majority of the movies and television series which Hollywood has expectorated out in the last few years have reflected this skewed and intolerant view of Traditional American ethics and values.
For example, movies like Redacted, about the Iraq War, which Americans shunned like a Yoko Ono Concert.
Or the recent CBS series “Doubt” about a law firm, which featured Elliot Gould and the black guy from “Psyched” and which also featured a transvestite as one of it’s leading characters.
CBS yanked it after two episodes.
Average Americans saw the commercials for it and refused to watch.
When a television series or movie is entertaining, and doesn’t try to run down our country, or teach anti-Christian or anti-American views and values, people turn out in droves, like they do in the case of the Marvel Super Heroes Movies.
People are aching for solid entertainment.
Last year, Adam West and Burt Ward lent their vocal talents to star in an animated movie based on the 1960s “Batman” TV Series.
It flew off the shelves of stores across the country.
Today’s “stars” have the staying power…and intelligence of a Dum Dum Lollipop.
It says a great deal that, decades removed from the original airing of the “Batman Television Series”, people are still watching it and this generation still knew the man who first brought the beloved hero to life in glorious color.
And yesterday, generations of Americans mourned the passing of Adam West, television’s Caped Crusader.
However, heroes never really die.
They live on in television reruns…
…and in our cherished childhood memories.
Rest in peace, sir.
Until He Comes,