Adam West, American Icon, Beloved Bat, his titles are numerous and infinite. He achieved fame during his portrayal of Batman in the 1960s television show. But rather than mourn the bat, the best friend of everyone’s silver screen, it’s time to mourn the three-dimensional man beyond the bat.
Mr. West’s career extended far beyond the Caped Cruiser, touching with his bright star various cop procedurals and westerns. He also lent his voice to The Simpsons and starred in The Big Bang Theory. He was the voice of the mayor in Family Guy.
But a man is not just his celebrity, he is a man involuntarily wrapped up in his celebrity. The mantle chose him before he chose the mantle.
I’ll always love Batman. But I’ll always appreciate Adam West not just for his portrayal of the superhero, but for his willingness to assume the mask and permanently step into American mythology. Despite his mythological proportions, he was a person, plain and simple.
I haven’t mentioned Adam West is dead yet. He died of leukemia at age 88. Death shouldn’t shroud a man only to dehumanize him. He’s still a man, in my view.
And since everyone is allowed one inappropriate question:
“Will his casket look like the batmobile?”
Who knows? That’s besides the point. Let me clean your mask, dear friend, and place it upon whatever earthly vessel you deem necessary.