Stocky, general purpose actor, a prolific face on the small screen during the 1960s and 1970s. Batanides got into acting after performing stand-up routines in front of fellow GI’s in Europe during World War II. His training in dramatic art at the Actors Lab in Los Angeles was followed by extensive stage experience. He was more recently noted as “Mr. Kirkland” in four instalments of the popular “Police Academy” franchise but is remembered by older viewers chiefly as the ill-fated U.S.S. Enterprise geologist Lieutenant D’Amato who died rather badly (cellular disruption) in the Star Trek: The Original Series (1966) episode, Star Trek: The Original Series: That Which Survives (1969). Other notable appearances include one of dictator Clemente’s (Peter Falk) henchmen in The Twilight Zone (1959) episode, The Twilight Zone: The Mirror (1961); and the Mongol leader “Batu” in The Time Tunnel (1966) episode, The Time Tunnel: Attack of the Barbarians (1967). Batanides regularly played heavies in shows like I Spy (1965) and Mission: Impossible (1966), or spoofed them (for instance, as a KAOS agent in Get Smart (1965)). He retired from acting in 1989.
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