Frank Gorshin, RIP

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I'm not certain, but I think Frank Gorshin introduced me to idea of actors as real people. My little 4 or 5-year-old brain vividly seized upon the fact that the guy who was the Riddler on the 60s Batman TV series seemed to be the same guy in the wild black-white face make-up in that Star Trek show—and boy was Bele sweaty!

Gorshin carved out a successful decades-long career based on his sheer energy and a knack for doing impressions. That and he stayed married for 48 years. Sounds like a good life all around.

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  1. Was anyone else surprised that he had continued to have a good career? I for some reason thought that he had slid far down in status as a performer, but apparently he had a hit show on B’way, and kept up a string of appearances in movies of no worse than B-stature.

    OK, not as good as the stuff that Seymour Cassel has been appearing in, but still.

  2. There was never a better impressionist. Ever. And he might have been the best impressionist/actor ever. And I heard he was a nice guy, too.

  3. He was the best Riddler, and a damn good George Burns too.

  4. Gorshin was on tonight’s two-hour CSI as one of Catherine’s Dad’s friends. They even tagged on a memorial card during the closing credits.

  5. Despite the extreme campiness of the Batman television show – it’s villians were remarkable, most notably Gorshin’s Riddler – compare it to Jim Carrey’s tribute performance in the later filmed version. Add Burgess Meredith as the Penguin and Cesar Romero as the Joker and I’ve got some indelible marks on my childhood memory from that damn show.

  6. Gorshin was on tonight’s two-hour CSI as one of Catherine’s Dad’s friends. They even tagged on a memorial card during the closing credits.

    I had no idea. Was he the guy who did the Bing Crosby and Jack Nicholson impersonations on tonite’s episode?

  7. Gorshin was the better impersonator, but John Byner is funnier. (Rich Little falls somewhere in between.)

  8. Both sides of my face are painted black in mourning. As Rupert Pupkin says, a great comedian, a great innovator, and a great great loss.

  9. I remember Gorshin doing an impression of Johnny Mathis singing “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” many, many years ago. Fantastic!

  10. IndieWorm-
    He was the guy seated to the left of the girl in the booth in the CSI scene, to the right of your screen.

  11. Ten virtual-bucks to whoever can name the actor who was the other white/black character in the original Star Trek episode.

    Plus you have to name which movie he later was in that starred James Coburn.

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