Well, I should have expected it would be this, but it’s finally nice to know what happened way back when:
One question that continues to plague fans today: why did John Astin play the role of The Riddler, instead of Frank Gorshin, for the episodes “A Riddling Controversy” and “Batman’s Anniversary”? According to a letter dated May 9, 1966, from William Dozier to Frank Gorshin, the Hollywood impressionist had acquired new agents, the William Morris office, who insisted that he be paid $5,000 for his role as The Riddler. Dozier would not pay the fee, and turned down the new salary demand. “I had hoped you would be satisfied to reap your financial harvest from the multiplicity of opportunities playing The Riddler has opened up for you, rather than attempt to exact a fatter stipend from Batman,” Dozier wrote. “Our budget just can’t stand it, as much as we shall dislike having to recruit another Riddler.” (Gorshin was nominated for an Emmy for his role as The Riddler at the time, so this may have generated the William Morris insistence that Gorshin be paid more for his services.)
Gorshin was absolutely brilliant and he was missed. I wonder now how many kids looked at his manic performance and were inspired by it to go into acting?
I’m displeased to note that this site is the work of someone who apparently understands neither that series nor the Internet. Right-clicking on images brings up a stupid Copyright warning. And selecting text is disabled. As you can see, that latter prohibition did not stop me. And no, I did not have to retype the quote.