Friday, May 20, 2005

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Frank Gorshin, R.I.P. (1933-2005)

The Frank Gorshin -- a.k.a., the Riddler -- is dead.

Over at Hit & Run, Jeff Taylor observes:

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!

Oddly enough, Gorshin played a role in my movie education -- an awareness of costume design.

In the 1966 Batman movie, Frank Gorshin wore the most awesome-looking suit I'd ever seen -- it's what Gorshin's wearing on the front page of his web site. Nothing Jim Carrey wore in Batman Forever comes close to it. The moment I saw Gorshin cavorting around in it, I didn't want to be Batman anymore -- the Riddler was the guy for me.

Reading the obits, I was delighted to find out in Joal Ryan's E! Online story that Gorshin's co-star loved the costume as well:

Outfit in the archvillain's question-mark-covered green body-stocking, Gorshin bedeviled Gotham City's finest--Adam West and Burt Ward as Batman and Robin, respectively--with a manic energy, a hyena laugh and assorted tranquilizer guns....

Gorshin appeared in eight episodes, encompassing four cliffhanger storylines broadcast on back-to-back nights, in Batman's first breakout season. Then he picked up an Emmy nomination. Then he did the movie, teaming up with Bat enemies Cesar Romero (the Joker), Burgess Meredith (the Penguin) and Meriwether (Catwoman).

Then Gorshin got a little worn out on the costume.

"He didn't like the tights--I know that," Meriwether remembered Wednesday. "Back then, they were cotton and they [only] had a little bit of stretch in them...[In the movie], they gave him a gorgeous suit to wear--oh, it was wonderful."

The Riddler is dead.... or is he???????????

posted by Dan on 05.20.05 at 03:16 PM


"Let this be your last Battlefield"

Nuff said.

posted by: Bithead on 05.20.05 at 03:16 PM [permalink]

"is died"?

posted by: Paul on 05.20.05 at 03:16 PM [permalink]

THe bad guys are always smarter, more imaginative, sexier and funnier. Perhaps we can find out what good is by taking all these things away.

I loved the constume too.

posted by: exclab on 05.20.05 at 03:16 PM [permalink]

Frank Gorshin official web page has his birthday April 5 1934 and his death May17 .2005.if this is true than he was 71 years old .thank you L.N.P.

posted by: leonard penn on 05.20.05 at 03:16 PM [permalink]

He did a killer Kirk Douglas impression.

posted by: Mace on 05.20.05 at 03:16 PM [permalink]

Gorshin made a cameo appearance in the season finale of CSI, which aired the day he died.

posted by: Virginia Postrel on 05.20.05 at 03:16 PM [permalink]

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