Actor Adam West, best known as TV’s Batman, died suddenly in Los Angeles in 2017 after a short battle with leukemia. He was 88.
“I’ve been looking at Adam’s lifestyle to find evidence of what may have contributed to his leukemia,” says series expert Dr. Michael Hunter, “including his smoking and drinking and the depression he suffered when the Batman series was scrapped.”
The straight-faced actor struggled to find work after his campy superhero series was canceled in 1968, but he rebounded with voiceover gigs, including recurring roles on the animated hits Family Guy and The Simpsons.
In his final years, West was a fixture at pop-culture conventions where he signed autographs and posed for photos with a new generation of fans.
“I didn’t know there was anything wrong with him and I saw him six weeks before he passed,” said Gary Sohmers, a longtime friend and producer of Comic Con.
The REELZ documentary reveals West had been keeping news of his illness private when he passed, surrounded by family.
“His superhero stature as Batman preceded his ability to be vulnerable and human, so he couldn’t let us know he was suffering,” says West’s publicist, Hal Lifson.
What caused Adam West to lose his fight with leukemia so quickly?
Tune in to Autopsy: The Last Hours of Adam West on Sunday, June 14, at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT for all the details!
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