8) Adam West – Batman
He’s not how we think of the Dark Knight now, but Adam West has to be given credit for defining Batman for decades with his highly camp but well-pitched performance.
What West realized was that, while he did ridiculous things, Batman had to be played entirely straight, to contrast with the kookiness of the villains and the overall tone of the show. The actor never sends up the series, but rather plays every escape from a ridiculous trap or pun-filled line completely straight. If West was less committed, the show would not be as watchable as it is today, instead becoming as tiresome as something like Batman & Robin.
Even fifty years later, Adam West – and his distinctive, buttery voice – are more closely associated with the character than any other actor. Fans may not be able to decide on who’s the best modern interpretation of Batman, but in our eyes, there’s only one classic Batman.