“Batman” (1966 film, 1966-68 TV series)
Many comic-book purists are loath to admit it — indeed, some get downright testy when you raise the issue — but for many casual fans, West was, is, and always will be the Batman. And to a large degree, that’s because, unlike most other actors who have donned the cape and cowl, he played the senior partner in the Dynamic Duo as someone really, truly, and unapologetically enjoying the dichotomy of being a suave millionaire who moonlights as a masked vigilante. Never mind that the ‘60s “Batman” TV series had a limited novelty value in its time — it lasted scarcely two years on ABC — and, truth to tell, is better remembered than actually re-watched. Thanks to endless reruns of the series and the easy availability of the 1966 movie, West’s straight-faced yet drolly self-satirical take on the Caped Crusader — The Light Knight, if you will — remains the Batman who looms largest for the largest number of people in the pop-culture pantheon.