Frank Gorshin dies

May 19, 2005 by Ian Evans

Frank Gorshin, a multi-faceted performer best known for his role of the Riddler on TV’s Batman, died Tuesday after a battle with lung cancer, emphysema and pneumonia. He was 71.

A nightclub performer, comic, man of a thousand voices, Gorshin told NPR in 2002 that the 60’s spoof, “…was the catalyst that elevated me from opening act to headliner.” His performance as one of Adam West’s arch-enemies was so memorable it’s hard to believe that he only appeared in eight episodes and the 1966 movie version. He left after the first season — replaced by John Astin — but appeared once in the show’s third and final season.

He continued to work Vegas after the show and is also known to legions of Trekkies for his dual role in the episode “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield.” Recently, Gorshin voiced Dr. Hugo Strange on the animated series The Batman, did the one-man show Say Goodnight Gracie on Broadway, and tonight will appear in the Quentin Tarantino directed season-finale of CSI.