June 10 (UPI) -- Adam West's publicist confirmed Saturday the former Batman television actor died after recently contracting leukemia. He was 88.
"Our dad always saw himself as The Bright Knight, and aspired to make a positive impact on his fans' lives. He was and always will be our hero," his family said in a statement to Variety.
The Hollywood Reporter said West died surrounded by his loved ones. He is survived by his wife Marcelle, six children, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
West -- who played the title role in the campy, but beloved, live-action Batman television series in the 1960s -- attended New York Comic Con in October 2016 to promote his PG-rated cartoon adventure Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders, reprising his most famous character, alongside his former cast-mates Burt Ward as Robin and Julie Newmar as Catwoman.
Asked by UPI at the convention if he wanted to give Batman back to children after decades of increasingly dark portrayals by other actors made movies about the crime-fighter more appropriate for adults, West replied: "You know what you've just done? You've just described what we intended to do and did. When you see the movie, you' ll see this was done primarily for kids. You know, of all ages. So, the adults will be amused, of course, again. But this one is really just hammering right in to please the kids and you see it updated. They've taken our Batman and given it an homage and then brought it more in tune with what's happening out there today. All the technology, you know, the new stuff. We're in space. I'm a little spacey anyway. But we're out in space!"
He also said that despite his age, he still hoped to play a great dramatic role someday.
"Right now, I would love to do, for example, a movie as an old codger who is really, rankly misinformed about what he thinks people are doing. But he resents them putting the trash out at the wrong time or the kids on his lawn or whatever. But you finally realize, as you go along, that the guy has maybe a terrible tragedy in his life. I don't know, but I want to get my teeth into something like that now that I am an older guy, that I can play that might be more truthful," he said.
The Washington state native and U.S. Army veteran recently guest starred on The Big Bang Theory and played recurring voice roles on the animated series Family Guy, Robot Chicken and Jake and the Neverland Pirates. His other credits include The Young Philadelphians, The Outlaws Is Coming, The Happy Hooker, The Rapture and The New Age.