The Joker started his live action career in television in 1966 when he was introduced in the then new BATMAN movie. Back then the Joker was played by latin actor CESAR ROMERO and joined forces with other villains like the Penguin, Riddler and an early Catwoman. When the movie became a bi-weekly TV series, Cesar Romero was a regular guest star to reprise his role as the jolly villain. Romero’s Joker was inspired from the comic books of the times, but he himself also inspired comic book writers to transcribe this version of the Clown Prince of Crime into the printed media (in some of the most absurd storylines of the time, I must admit as well).
Sadly, the series was cancelled after just only 3 years in the air and most of it was forgotten until the character was revived and redesigned for Tim Burton’s 1989 BATMAN movie. Most of the material related to the 1966 Batman show has gone to the archives of history, considered too campy and ridiculuous for our standards these days, but I think that this Joker deserves some merit as an innovator in the design of an appealing supervillain. Cesar Romero’s Joker is an unforgettable character. Joker was comic, zanny, perverse, egocentric, manipulator by excelence, but at the same charming and charismatic (maybe his latin roots had something to do with it, heh!), but he set the skeleton of what would be future incarnations of the character, even Heath Ledger’s and Joe DiMaggio’s versions.
- Before Cesar Romero was cast in as the Joker, Jose Ferrer and Gig Young were considered for the role
- Cesar Romero was the perfect height to portray the Joker. Romero was 6 feet 2 inches tall.
- Cesar Romero is famous for having had specified in his contract for the BATMAN TV show that he WOULD NOT shave his moustache for the role. Instead, make up artists had to cover it in white grease paint and smooth it out with the rest of the face makeup.
- The Joker’s mask during the initial bank robbery in 2008 THE DARK KNIGHT is almost exactly the same as the mask worn by Cesar Romero when hijacking a performance of Pagliacci in the TV series episode “Batman: The Joker Is Wild (#1.5)” (1966).
Cesar Romero’s Joker deserves a place in the history of Jokerdom, and that is why I created this gallery just for him. Now please enjoy and click on the fLIKE button at the bottom if you have enjoyed.