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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 May, 2005, 08:50 GMT 09:50 UK
TV's Riddler actor Gorshin dies
Frank Gorshin and Susan Silo
Gorshin, pictured with Susan Silo, played the Riddler until 1969
Actor Frank Gorshin, who played the Riddler in the Batman TV series, has died at the age of 72.

A renowned impressionist, Gorshin had a long-running show in Las Vegas as well as a long list of TV and film credits.

His final role in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation will be broadcast in the US on Thursday.

He died on Tuesday having "put up a valiant fight with lung cancer, emphysema and pneumonia," his wife Christina said in a statement.

His agent and long-time friend Fred Wostbrock said Gorshin had died at the Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in California.

Different laughs

Gorshin played the dastardly Riddler from 1966 to 1969, opposite Adam West as Batman.

West said: "Frank will be missed. He was a friend and fascinating character."

Well known for his maniacal laugh, Gershin said the Riddler's laugh was actually based on his own.

"I fooled around with all kinds of different laughs and then I found out that when I do laugh I get this high-pitched laugh and I thought, 'This is what I'm going to use'," he said n 1997.

In 2002, Gorshin returned to Broadway to play George Burns in the one-man show Say Goodnight Gracie.

Among Gorshin's noted impressions were Al Jolson, Kirk Douglas, Dean Martin and Bobby Darin.

Cameo appearance

He was on The Ed Sullivan Show on the memorable night the Beatles made their first US TV appearance in 1964.

Asked about his appearance, he said: "I looked out the window of my dressing room and said, 'Look at all the kids that came to see me!'."

Gorshin's movie roles included Bells are Ringing in 1960 with Dean Martin, and a string of B-movies such as Hot Rod Girls and Invasion of the Saucer Men.

In CSI he makes a cameo appearance as himself in the season finale, directed by Quentin Tarantino.

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