Holy mortality, Batman! The last few days have brought a couple of major losses to the entertainment industry, including a beloved TV icon.
Due to the timing of our blog schedule, this post won’t run until Monday, which means that news of these two deaths has already made the rounds through the media. I don’t know that I have much to add that hasn’t already been said elsewhere. However, both performers were notable enough that I felt I needed to mention them here as well.
The first, and more shocking, of the two deaths was Glenne Headly, the endearing character actress whose career first broke out playing the bubbly airhead mark that con men Steve Martin and Michael Caine competed to seduce and defraud in the hilarious 1988 comedy ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels‘. The following year, she received an Emmy nomination for her role in the hugely popular Western miniseries ‘Lonesome Dove‘. The actress also played Warren Beatty’s love interest in the big-budget comic strip adapation ‘Dick Tracy‘ and Richard Dreyfuss’ long-suffering wife in ‘Mr. Holland’s Opus’. On TV, she had a recurring role on ‘ER’, and just last year played a critical part as a high-powered attorney in HBO’s ‘The Night Of’. Headly was just 62 when she died on Thursday from a pulmonary embolism.
Adam West is of course first and forever known for his starring role in the campy 1960s ‘Batman‘ TV series. Although the show only ran for three seasons, it became a staple in syndication and has entertained generations of children ever since. Unlike later cinematic adaptations of the character, which have grown progressively darker, broodier, and more violent, West’s Batman was a light and kid-friendly comedic creation. West himself never seemed to mind being typecast in the role, and parlayed it into countless TV walk-ons, convention appearances, and animation voiceover jobs – most prominently as a fictionalized version of himself on ‘Family Guy’.
Adam West was 88 when he passed away on Saturday following a battle with leukemia. While that’s a good, long lifespan, his death still hits hard because he always seemed so youthful and full of life, even in his later years. Fortunately, even if Adam West is no longer with us, his Batman will undoubtedly endure.