Saturday, April 5, 2008

Apr 05: Kopy Kat

On this day in 1934, Emmy-nominated actor, comedian, and impressionist Frank Gorshin was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Disney fans may recognize him from the 1965 live-action feature That Darn Cat! in which he played Iggy the bank-robber.
His early days as a comedian/impressionist included TV guest spots on The Ed Sullivan Show (his first being the same night The Beatles debuted) and The Steve Allen Show. He also appeared in such feature films as The Bells Are Ringing and Where The Boys Are.
In 1965 Disney released That Darn Cat! starring Hayley Mills, Dean Jones, Dorothy Provine, Roddy McDowall, Elsa Lanchester, and Gorshin. The comedy was nominated for an Edgar, a Golden Laurel, and a WGA Award.
But Gorshin will always be remembered for his role as the Riddler on the 1966-67 television series Batman. All in all he made nine appearances on the series as Batman's enemy and even received an Emmy nomination!
He later received another Emmy nomination for his role of an alien in a 1969 episode of Star Trek tiled "That Will Be Your Last Battlefield." Gorshin's television exposure led to headline status in many Las Vegas showrooms.
In 1970, Gorshin made his Broadway debut in the show Jimmy, in which he played New York Mayer James J. Walker.
In 1972, he starred in ABC-TV's The Kop Kats - in which the cast did impressions of actors and TV stars. Throughout the 1980s and 90s he appeared in countless TV films and guest starred on many series.
His final performance was in a 2005 episode of CBS-TV's CSI: Crime Scene Investigations, which sadly aired two days after Gorshin's death.

Click HERE for more April 05 Disney history.

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