Romero, Cesar (1907-1994)

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Romero, Cesar (1907-1994)

Tall, urbane, and sleekly handsome, Cuban-American actor Cesar Romero helped define the stereotypical "Latin Lover" in over 100 film and television appearances beginning in 1933. But he made his biggest impact on American pop culture playing the outlandishly coifed Joker on television's Batman from 1966 to 1968. Outfitted in an over-the-top green fright wig and pasty white clown make-up (which took about an hour to apply), Romero mugged and cackled his way through the villainous part with unbridled relish. His campy capering clearly influenced Jack Nicholson's interpretation of the role in the 1989 film adaptation of the comic book adventure. After hanging up his fright wig in 1968, Romero returned to playing elegant rogues on film and television. He died of a blood clot on New Year's Day, 1994, at the age of 86.

—Robert E. Schnakenberg

Further Reading:

Eisner, Joel. The Official Batman Batbook. Chicago, Contemporary Books, 1986.

Hadleigh, Boze. Hollywood Gays: Conversations with Cary Grant, Liberace, Tony Perkins, Paul Lynde, Cesar Romero, Brad Davis, Randolph Scott, James Coco, William Haines, David Lewis. New York, Barricade Books, 1996.

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Romero, Cesar (1907-1994)

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