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Commissioner Gordon is Dead

January 5, 2009

Pat Hingle, who played Gotham City Police Commissioner Gordon in four Batman movies, died today.

I’ll be honest here. I wasn’t crazy about Hingle as Gordon. He looked nothing like the comic character, and nothing like the guy in the 60s show. He was not right for the part. Gordon was a sinewy white-haired old fighter; Hingle was a goofy tub. He had perfect timing, and was a master character actor; you’ve seen him more times than you know. But he was not who I would have picked to be Gordon.

Then he went and did it, and he did it well. His part was not pivotal, but he was always memorable. As those Batman movies descended from art to camp to shit, he kept at it, doing a fine job. It might be fair to say, actually, that he was the best actor in Batman Forever and Batman and Robin. Okay, he might not have been the best, but he was the most grown-up.

It’s just sad that after a lifetime onscreen, Pat Hingle will be most remembered for the Batman films. He did a lot more, and his reputation is gold. Here’s to Pat Hingle.

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One comment

  1. Sadly when I first saw the headlines last night I thought that they meant Neil Hamilton from the old TV series. I had forgotten about Hingle’s Gordon. As much as I loved Burton’s original Batman movie, with the exception of Nicholson the casting was all wrong. Looking at Hingle’s IMDB rundown he was on just about everything once or twice, but he was one of those faces that you’d know him immediately, yet be hard pressed to say why. At least he was always working.



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