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[Deathwatch] Frank Gorshin, actor/impressionist, 72

Batman's Riddler, Frank Gorshin, dead
Talented impressionist played George Burns on B'way
Wednesday, May 18, 2005 Posted: 1:37 PM EDT (1737 GMT)


BURBANK, California (AP) -- Actor Frank Gorshin, the impressionist with
100 faces best known for his Emmy-nominated role as the Riddler on the
old "Batman" television series, has died. He was 72.

Gorshin's wife of 48 years, Christina, was at his side when he died
Tuesday at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center, his agent and
longtime friend, Fred Wostbrock, said Wednesday.

"He put up a valiant fight with lung cancer, emphysema and pneumonia,"
Mrs. Gorshin said in a statement.

Despite dozens of television and movie credits, Gorshin will be forever
remembered for his role as the Riddler, Adam West's villainous foil in
the question mark-pocked green suit and bowler hat on "Batman" from

"It really was a catalyst for me," Gorshin recalled in a 2002
Associated Press interview. "I was nobody. I had done some guest shots
here and there. But after I did that, I became a headliner in Vegas, so
I can't put it down."

West said the death of his longtime friend was a big loss.

"Frank will be missed," West said in a statement. "He was a friend and
fascinating character."

Gorshin earned another Emmy nomination for a guest shot on "Star Trek."

In 2002, Gorshin portrayed George Burns on Broadway in the one-man show
"Say Goodnight Gracie." He used only a little makeup and no

"I don't know how to explain it. It just comes," he said. "I wish I
could say, 'This is step A, B and C.' But I can't do that. I do it, you
know. The ironic thing is I've done impressions all my life -- I never
did George Burns."

Gorshin's final performance will be broadcast on Thursday's CBS-TV
series "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation."