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.