Wow, this is really a piece of my childhood gone. Batman was my first favourite show--yes, I was one of those kids who ran around the neighbourhood with a towel around his neck--and Frank Gorshin's Riddler was always my favourite villain (at least until hormones kicked in and told me to give Julie Newmar's Catwoman another looksee).
For years, all I knew of Gorshin was his turn as the puzzling trickster in green tights, but then I saw clips of him doing his impeccable impressions on Ed Sullivan and elsewhere, and caught him in movies from Invasion of the Saucer Men to 12 Monkeys, and realized what a fine character actor he truly was. He really deserved that Emmy nomination for playing a two-tone alien on Star Trek. Tonight I'll watch him in one of his final roles on CSI: Crime Scene Investigations (directed by Quentin Tarantino, for anyone who cares).
Gorshin had a habit of turning up in the strangest places, whether it was the musical Bells Are Ringing, or Otto Preminger's Skidoo, where his presence was always a welcome surprise. And my favourite bit of trivia about Gorshin is the fact that when he appeared in The George Raft Story--and Raft was one of his many impressions--he played a character named Moxie. How could I not love that?
for the series: Obits