The definitive voice for a generation of Batman fans is Adam West. I grew up watching the 1960s "Batman" TV series long before Michael Keaton's Batman hit the big screen in 1989. It is hard to imagine that at one time Adam West struggled to find work as a serious actor after his "Batman" days. I salute Adam West today (Sept. 19) on his 88th birthday.

Adam West was born in Walla Walla, making him a Northwest native. I recall his booming voice in multiple Batman cartoons alongside Casey Kasem as Robin.

I think my favorite appearance of Adam West as Batman was in 1978's "Legends of the Super Heroes" special that ran once on NBC. I was 8 and enamored with the whole show. I still have a bootleg copy on VHS that I bought over 20 years ago.

Adam West struggled and once was uncool, but is cool again -- and thanks to the next generation, he's a pop icon these days.

I never wavered in my loyalty to Adam West through the years and enjoyed his screen appearances whenever I could watch them.

I will say it's tough to see our idols age and after watching the newest Batman cartoon voiced by Adam West and Burt Ward, I hear the strain of the voice and slowed patter, but never amiss is the definitive voice of Batman.

Adam West turns 88 today and I for one am elated that Batman is still with us. I encourage you to pick up a copy of the old "Batman" TV series and share it with your kids. It's never too late to celebrate the uniqueness of Adam West's performances as Batman and let the next generation experience what you and I loved as kids.

Happy birthday, Adam.


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