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Cesar Romero

Cesar Romero

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Also Known As: Csar Romero Died: January 1, 1994
Born: February 15, 1907 Cause of Death: complications from a blood clot
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: actor, dancer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

He charmed his way into Hollywood's inner circle as "the Latin from Manhattan," but his fellow contract players at 20th Century Fox knew him as Butch, an ironic nickname poking fun at the reality that Cesar Romero would never play the boy next door. Of Cuban and Italian descent, Romero proved himself a dependable movie exotic, as Marlene Dietrich's Spanish lover in "The Devil is a Woman" (1935), an East Indian rebel chief in "Wee Willie Winkie" (1937) with Shirley Temple, and Mexican pistolero The Cisco Kid in a string of Westerns. Popular before World War II in such Technicolor musicals as "Springtime in the Rockies" (1942) and "Coney Island" (1943) with Betty Grable, Romero transitioned easily from military service back to his duties as a character player, with occasional sidebars as a leading man in low budget independent programmers. As his pomaded hair and pencil mustache lightened to baronial platinum, Romero subspecialized in playing members of Europe's aristocratic diaspora, most memorably in Robert Aldrich's "Vera Cruz" (1954) and John Ford's "Donovan's Reef" (1963). A late career makeover came with his casting as the clown-faced Joker on ABC's "Batman" (1966-68), on which he peppered the...

He charmed his way into Hollywood's inner circle as "the Latin from Manhattan," but his fellow contract players at 20th Century Fox knew him as Butch, an ironic nickname poking fun at the reality that Cesar Romero would never play the boy next door. Of Cuban and Italian descent, Romero proved himself a dependable movie exotic, as Marlene Dietrich's Spanish lover in "The Devil is a Woman" (1935), an East Indian rebel chief in "Wee Willie Winkie" (1937) with Shirley Temple, and Mexican pistolero The Cisco Kid in a string of Westerns. Popular before World War II in such Technicolor musicals as "Springtime in the Rockies" (1942) and "Coney Island" (1943) with Betty Grable, Romero transitioned easily from military service back to his duties as a character player, with occasional sidebars as a leading man in low budget independent programmers. As his pomaded hair and pencil mustache lightened to baronial platinum, Romero subspecialized in playing members of Europe's aristocratic diaspora, most memorably in Robert Aldrich's "Vera Cruz" (1954) and John Ford's "Donovan's Reef" (1963). A late career makeover came with his casting as the clown-faced Joker on ABC's "Batman" (1966-68), on which he peppered the Dynamic Duo with a fusillade of punishing practical jokes. Romero remained popular on television over the next 20 years, and enjoyed semi-regular status as a Greek billionaire on the primetime soap "Falcon Crest" (CBS, 1981-1990), before his death in 1994 brought an end to the distinguished career of one of Hollywood's most valuable players.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Simple Justice (1989) Vincenzo Dilorenzo
3.
 Judgment Day (1989) Octavio
4.
 Mortuary Academy (1988) Captain
5.
6.
 Lust In The Dust (1984) Father Garcia
7.
 Don't Push, I'll Charge When I'm Ready (1977) Teodoro Bruzizi
9.
 The Strongest Man in the World (1975) A J Arno
10.
 Timber Tramps (1975)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Played four roles in a production of "The Merchant of Venice" while at boarding school
:
Romero's father found him a job at a bank on Wall Street after the family lost its fortune with the collapse of the sugar market in the early Depression years
1926:
Met heiress Lisbeth Higgins at a fancy party; after dating and dancing together regularly, she suggested they form a dance team (date approximate)
1927:
Danced with Higgins in the musical comedy, "Lady Do"; also danced with her and other partners in nightclubs and vaudeville (date approximate)
1930:
Discovered dancing in the Montmartre Nightclub in Manhattan by producer Brock Pemberton; hired as a replacement for the leading actor in the hit stage comedy "Strictly Dishonorable", written by Preston Sturges
:
Acted in other Broadway plays including "Social Register", "Stella Brady", "All Points West" and "Dinner at Eight" (date approximate)
1934:
Film debut, "The Thin Man"
1934:
MGM lent Romero out a bit (e.g. To Warner Brothers for "British Agent" 1934) before cancelling his contract
:
Under contract to Universal
1937:
Had been lent out to 20th Century-Fox for several films; when Universal refused to raise his salary, Romero signed with Fox
:
Under contract to 20th Century-Fox
1939:
Made the first of half a dozen pictures over the next three years as the Cisco Kid, "The Cisco Kid and the Lady"
1943:
Last film before enlisting in the military, "Wintertime", opposite skating star Sonja Henie
:
Served in the Coast Guard during WWII; was stationed in the Pacific and involved in military action during the invasions of Tinian and Saipan (dates approximate)
1947:
First films after wartime service, "Carnival in Costa Rica" and "The Captain from Castile"
1950:
Last film for Fox, "Love That Brute"; began freelancing
1951:
Went to England to act in support of David Niven and Vera-Ellen in "Happy Go Lovely"
:
Played leads in a number of low-budget actioners made by Lippert Pictures
:
Hosted the ABC variety show, "Your Chevrolet Showroom"
1954:
Starred as Steve McQuinn in the syndicated TV adventure series, "Passport to Danger"
:
Appeared as a panelist on the ABC game show, "Take a Good Look"
:
Recorded an album in the early 1960s, "Songs from a Spanish Lover"
1963:
Played leading role in the U.S.-Spanish co-production, "El valle de las espadas/The Castilian"
:
Played the recurring role of the Joker in the ABC adventure series, "Batman"
1968:
Hosted the syndicated documentary TV special, "Cesar's World"
:
Played the recurring role of Chico's (Freddie Prinze) father on the NBC comedy series, "Chico and the Man" in the mid-70s
:
Played Peter Stavros on primetime soap, "Falcon Crest"
1989:
Last feature films, "Judgment Day" and "Simple Justice"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Notes

Tributes for Romero from friends and co-workers in Hollywood included words from Dorothy Lamour: "He was so congenial. There wasn't a phony bone in his body" and from Anne Jeffreys: "He was elegant and eloquent. His manners, his dress were impeccable. He was the last of an era." --From People, January 14, 1994.

Family close complete family listing

grandfather:
Jose Marti. Famed Cuban liberator.
father:
Cesar Julio Romero. Machinery exporter.
mother:
Maria Mantilla. Concert singer.
brother:
Eduoardo Romero. Survived him.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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