LIke most of us born in the 50s-70s, Adam West's Batman TV show was my introduction to the character and comics. While the later films derided the TV series as goofy camp, it did a remarkable job of introducing us, and faithfully I daresay, to its colorful villains. Cesar Romero's Joker, Meredith Burgess' Penguin, Frank Gorshin's Riddler, and Julie Newmar's Catwoman were so iconic that the first film representations of these characters sometimes faltered in comparison. His allies too, from Yvonne Craig's Batgirl to Burt Ward's difficult to update to modern times Robin, to say nothing of Commissioner Gordon, are all indelibly imprinted on our minds as iconic. The Batmobile and Batcave became lexicons of the culture if not forerunners to the modern "Mancave." West's portrayal of Batman was similar to how Sir Roger portrayed Bond, winking to the audience that this was, at the end of the day, fun.
Like Star Trek's TV actors, West ended up on the convention circuit to make ends meet, a notion hilariously sent up on an episode of The Big Bang Theory where he agrees to be paid to attend Sheldon's birthday party provided he's given transportation to and from the event. Near the end, Seth McFarland cast him for as Mayor Adam West where his voice work, honed behind the mask all those decades ago, continued to entertain and bring smiles to us all.