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Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The Riddler Makes His Final Escape
The phenomenal Frank Gorshin is dead at 72.
Sure, the Penguin was amusing, the Joker maniacal, and no one made being "bad" quite as attractive as the Catwoman -- but The Riddle was always my favorite villain on the Batman tv series. Whether it was the green spandex or his signature green bowler and question-mark covered suit, I thought Frank Gorshin was the most nattily dressed nasty on the show.

The Riddler's obsessive-compulsion to provide his caped counterpart with a cleverly worded clue to his next mischevious deed seemed a creative cry for help -- not exactly turning himself in, but providing someone with enough smarts to catch him. Almost as if he didn't want to be a villain, he was just bored and needed something to challenge his mind.

Frank Gorshin played the role with relish, and that goofy giggle of his has stayed in my head since childhood. I always liked catching Gorshin on television and hearing is spot-on imitations of folks like Kirk Douglas, Sammy Davis, Jr., Dean Martin, and James Cagney.

Mr. Gorshin died Tuesday from complications due to lung cancer, emphysema, and pneumonia. He was a talented guy, and I count myself as a big fan.

Frank Gorshin's final performance will be on Thursday's episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

I just hope he gets to ask a final riddle.


Blogger Don Sheffler; said...

I remember him in that one old Star Trek episode. In it, two enemies whose people were in an apocalyptic war down on the home planet, chased each other around on Kirk's ship and could never pull off a lasting truce. One "race" had a black left half and white right half. The other was exactly the opposite. Gorshin played the senseless mania flawlessly in the morality-play episode.

10:33 PM  
Blogger Don The Idea Guy; said...

I'd intended to mention that episode in my post. I believe he won (or was nominated for) an Emmy for his role in that episode.

Thank you for posting!

10:39 PM  

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