Get our free email newsletter with just one click

Original Batman’s Riddler dies at 72

by -

Frank Gorshin, the American master impressionist best known for his role as the Riddler on the sixties Batman TV series has died at the age of 72.

Despite being a veteran of nearly 200 film and television appearances, Gorshin will always be remembered for his role as the Riddler, Adam West’s villainous foil in the question-marked green suit and bowler hat on Batman from 1966 to 1969. It won him an Emmy nomination.

“Frank thought Batman was great because no matter where he went, it’s a legendary show,” said his agent Fred Wostbrock. “It’s a classic. Every ten years a new generation of fans discover it. Everyone would come up to him.”

Gorshin was born in Pittsburgh. He broke into showbusiness in New York. He did more than 100 impressions, including Al Jolson, Kirk Douglas, Bobby Darin, Dean Martin and James Cagney.

In 2001 he won acclaim for his portrayal of George Burns in the one-man show Say Goodnight, Gracie, which he performed on Broadway. The play won a Tony Award and Gorshin had planned to bring the show to London.

He had been suffering from lung cancer and died on May 18 in hospital in Los Angeles.

We need your help…

When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.

The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.

We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.

Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.