Pat Hingle dies at 84 in his Carolina Beach home

Reported by Gavin Johnson - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WECT) - Carolina Beach resident and actor Pat Hingle, 84, passed away Saturday night after a long battle with blood cancer.

Hingle lived in Carolina Beach for more than 15 years.  He was diagnosed with myelodysplasia in November 2006.

He was survived by his wife, Julia, two sisters, five children and 11 grandchildren.

A single red rose lies on Pat Hingle's stone at Wilmington's Walk of Fame.

Although Hingle was a star in Hollywood, friends say it's the man behind the glitz they'll remember.

"When you get to miss somebody as a human being as oppose to somebody you see on a credit line, it has a whole different kind of feeling to it," said Karen Whipple.

Whipple was on hand when Celebrate Wilmington honored the legendary actor in November 2008.

"It was a sunny perfect day," said Whipple. "So it's kind of ironic that the day I found out he died, it's gloomy and gray."

According to Whipple, Hingle spent a lot of time at UNCW mentoring younger actors.

'Pat was a great person," said Whipple.  "Pat was an individual that gave a lot of himself. And always had a good story. He was happy to share it. Tell us his experiences and was truly a giving individual."

Whether it was on screen or on stage, people in Wilmington loved Hingle, and friends say Hingle loved the people of Wilmington even more.

"I think he the activity in the community, it made him feel comfortable in this town," said Tony Rivenbark, the executive director at Thalian Hall.  "And obviously loved living at the beach."

Rivenbark said when Hingle wasn't performing in local theater productions, he was supporting them.

"He was a normal Joe. In may ways, he was your average Joe and that's what he played," said Rivenbark.  "He played average people."

By any measure, Hingle was an above average man, and much more than just a star.

Hingle's career in movies and television spanned six decades, and he was nominated for a Tony Award in 1958.

He was known for the recurring role of Commissioner Gordon form the late '80s and early '90s Batman movies.

His latest movie was "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby," which was released in 2006.

Hingle also took roles in local plays like "Tuesdays With Morrie" and "Our Town."

For a list of Hingle's films, click here.