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Character actor Pat Hingle dies at 84

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  • Pat Hingle appeared in many TV series, movies
  • Hingle played Commissioner Gordon in '90s "Batman" films
  • Hingle also had roles in "M*A*S*H," "St. Elsewhere," "Cheers"
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(CNN) -- Longtime character actor Pat Hingle, a veteran of early television dramas, Westerns and four "Batman" films, has died at age 84, his family announced Sunday.

Pat Hingle was a familiar face to moviegoers and TV watchers for his many roles.

Pat Hingle was a familiar face to moviegoers and TV watchers for his many roles.

Hingle died Saturday evening at his home in Carolina Beach, North Carolina, after a two-year battle with the blood disorder myelodysplasia, his cousin, Lynn Heritage, told CNN.

"He was awake one moment, and in the next breath, he was gone," Heritage said.

Hingle began his acting career in the 1950s, appearing in numerous television theater shows. His first movie role was an uncredited appearance in 1954's "On the Waterfront," which won eight Academy Awards; he played the by-the-book judge opposite Clint Eastwood's vengeful marshal in 1968's "Hang 'Em High," and appeared as Sally Field's father in 1979's "Norma Rae."

In 1989, he appeared as Gotham City's Commissioner Gordon in Tim Burton's "Batman," carrying on the role through three sequels. His last film role was in "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby," released in 2006.

He also guest-starred in countless TV series, including a memorable turn as a character named Col. Daniel Webster Tucker in a 1980 "M*A*S*H" episode. In the episode, called "April Fools," Hingle's Tucker antagonized the unit's surgeons -- with surprising consequences.

Hingle's other TV series included "Hawaii Five-O," "The Streets of San Francisco," "Hart to Hart," "St. Elsewhere," "Magnum, P.I." and "Cheers."

Hingle is survived by his wife of nearly 30 years, Julia, and their five children.

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