Adam West, ‘Batman’ Star, Dead At 88

Longtime actor Adam West died Friday night, June 9, at the age of 88. He famously played the title role in the 1960s television series ?Batman.?

A rep confirmed to Variety that the actor died after being treated briefly for leukemia.

?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,? said his family in a statement.

West remained a working actor until his death, notably with recurring voice work for animated projects such as ?Family Guy? and ?Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders.?

On ?Family Guy,? the actor voiced a character with his own name. ?Adam West? seemed to be immortal no matter what medical catastrophe came his way. A memorable moment from the show involved a doctor telling West he had lymphoma ? ?Probably from rolling around in that toxic waste.? The doctor goes on to ask, ?What in God?s name were you trying to prove??

West?s response, ?I was trying to gain super powers.?

The actor also made cameos as himself on shows like ?30 Rock? and ?The Big Bang Theory.?

Over the past 50 years, he never fully retired his role as Batman, voicing the character as late as 2017 in the upcoming video ?Batman vs. Two-Face.? Since the original show, West also appeared in various non-lead roles in the ?Batman? series.

West?s ?Batman? is now remembered as being comically over-the-top, as he was in relatively low-budget action sequences and often uttered cringe-inducing dialogue. Perhaps the most famous line from the series was when West yelled, ?Quick! To the Batmobile!?

The actor embraced the humor of his take on the Dark Knight throughout the rest of his life. In 2006, West appeared on the game show ?I?ve Got A Secret? and revealed that he even got a ?tattoo? of the Batman logo on one of his teeth.

West graduated from Whitman College as a literature major. After being drafted into the United States Army, he got a gig as the announcer for an internal television service for the military called the American Forces Network. It wasn?t until 1959 ? when West moved his then wife and two children to Hollywood, California ? that he took the stage name Adam West, adapted from his given name, William West Anderson.

After moving to Hollywood, West secured small roles in numerous shows and movies, many of which were Westerns. But when he landed the role as Batman about a decade into his career, West became extremely famous.

Once the original run of ?Batman? ended in 1968, West had a bit of a lull in his career, with serious work being hard to come by. To support his family, he had to do ?things that I wasn?t very comfortable doing,? the actor explained in the 2013 documentary ?Starring Adam West.? He had exploit his fame for money with celebrity event appearances and risky ventures, such as a daredevil stunt where he drove a car through a truck.

West?s persistence eventually started earning him more comedic roles, though, as he embraced the love fans had for his zany Batman.

In April 2012, West was finally awarded with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. To begin his acceptance speech, West addressed the crowd as ?citizens of Gotham.?

The actor is survived by his wife, Marcelle Tagand Lear, who he married in 1970. West has four children over three marriages ? Hunter Anderson and Jonelle S. Anderson with his second wife, Nga Frisbie Dawson, and Nina West and Perrin West with Lear.

The Robin to his original Batman, Burt Ward, is now 71.

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U.S. Asks Drug Maker Endo To Withdraw Opioid Amid Abuse Crisis

As the United States battles a growing opioid abuse crisis, the Food and Drug Administration on Thursday asked Endo International Plc to withdraw from the market its long-lasting opioid painkiller, Opana ER, sending Endo?s shares down more than 12 percent.

The move marks the first time the agency has called for the removal of an opioid painkiller for public health reasons and comes after a panel of advisers concluded in March that the drug?s benefits did not outweigh the risks.

?We are facing an opioid epidemic – a public health crisis, and we must take all necessary steps to reduce the scope of opioid misuse and abuse,? Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the FDA?s newly appointed commissioner said in a statement.

Opioids were involved in more than 33,000 deaths in 2015 and opioid overdoses have quadrupled since 1999, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It remains to be seen whether Endo will comply with the FDA?s request. The company said in a statement it is ?evaluating the full range of potential options as we determine the appropriate path forward.?

If Endo refuses to withdraw the product, the FDA could offer the company an opportunity for a hearing to make the case for why the product should not be removed. If, after the hearing, the FDA decided to withdraw its approval, Endo could, in theory, sue the agency.

?Despite the FDA?s request to withdraw Opana ER from the market, this request does not indicate uncertainty with the product?s safety or efficacy when taken as prescribed,? the company said.

Opana ER was approved in 2006 and a reformulated version was introduced in 2012.

In March a panel of advisers to the FDA voted 18-8, with one abstention, that the drug?s benefits no longer outweighed the risks. Data showed that while nasal abuse rates fell, the rate of intravenous abuse increased.

The drug has also been associated with a serious outbreak of HIV and hepatitis C, the agency said, as well as a serious blood disorder known as thrombotic microangiopathy.

?If Endo resists taking this off the market immediately, the people who are injured or killed as a result of it being on the market longer than it should, there will be a wave of product liability litigation against the company,? said Sidney Wolfe, founder and senior adviser to consumer watchdog Public Citizen.

Ohio filed a lawsuit in May against the pharmaceutical industry, charging that a number of companies, including Endo, Purdue Pharma, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, Johnson & Johnson and Allergan Plc conducted misleading marketing campaigns that downplayed the drugs? addictiveness. Other states and cities have filed similar lawsuits.

Gottlieb said the agency will ?continue to take regulatory steps when we see situations where an opioid product?s risks outweigh its benefits, not only for its intended patient population but also in regard to its potential for misuse and abuse.?

Randall Stanicky, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, said Opana ER is a declining asset whose sales are expected to fall to $97 million in 2019, down from an estimated $134 million in 2017.

Endo?s shares fell 12.2 percent to $12.10 in extended trading.


(Reporting by Toni Clarke in Washington; additional reporting by Ankur Banerjee; Editing by Chris Reese and Lisa Shumaker)

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