Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Riddle me dead, Batman

I just heard through the comic art collectors' grapevine that Frank Gorshin has passed away at age 72. He'll always be recalled as the Riddler from the campy Batman TV series of the 1960s (he was nominated for an Emmy for one of his guest appearances), and for his memorable performance in an episode of the original Star Trek ("Let That Be Your Last Battlefield"), in which he played a refugee from a planet destroyed by a never-ending racial conflict.

Gorshin was best known within the entertainment industry as a master impressionist — an art form largely passé today, when so many of our pop culture celebrities look and sound alike. (His Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster imitations were especially accurate.) He played Las Vegas frequently, and even in his later years appeared on occasion in character roles on various TV shows. He also toured for several seasons in a one-man show in which he played the late George Burns — I never saw the performance, but I'm told that Gorshin's characterization was spot-on.

I understand that Mr. Gorshin appears as himself in the CSI episode airing this Thursday night. You might want to drop in and pay your respects. (This is also the two-hour season finale directed by Quentin Tarantino, which makes it must-see television even without the sympathy vote.)

1 insisted on sticking two cents in:

Blogger Joel offered these pearls of wisdom...

Thanks for the update. Support sent to his friends and family.

7:44 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home