From a rogue to a joker, Cesar Romero played them all. And there he is above with Alice Faye and (in the center) John Payne, 20th Century Fox luminaries all.
They guy was a popular figure onscreen and off — he was chummy with Tyrone Power and Frank Sinatra liked him a lot. Although slotted early as a Latin lover, he was actually born in New York City in 1907, the product of a fairly well off family — mother was Cuban, father Italian.
His career is one of the longest in classic Hollywood. As critics have noted, Romero was a prolific and amazingly versatile actor. He specialized in musicals, westerns, costume dramas and an occasional gangster or two. He always managed to pull off his various role with a certain grace and humor.
So, how much did you know about Cesar Romero? Let’s get to the answers to our Mini-Quiz to find out. As usual, questions were posted in yesterday’s blog. Ok, here we go:
1) Answer: We’re talking c) Betty Grable here. Romero appeared in four movies with the 20th Century Fox star: 1942’s Springtime in the Rockies, 1943’s Coney Island, 1948’s That Lady In Ermine and 1949’s The Beautiful Blonde from Bashville Bend.
2) Answer: Ok, we admit it. This is a trick question. Romero appeared with Frank Sinatra in ALL of these movies.
3) Answer: a) Romero starred as The Cisco Kid in the Fox B-movie serial in 1940-1941. The “Kid” was fictional character based on a O’Henry short story, and is depicted onscreen as a heroic Mexican revolutionary. The character was similarly portrayed on tv from 1951 to 1956 in a syndicated western starring Duncan Renaldo, abetted by Leo Carillo as the Kid’s sidekick, Pancho.
4) Answer: c) Romero ingratiated himself to a new generation of fans in the 1960’s with appearances as ‘The Joker’ on the Batman tv series, and in the same role in the 1966 feature film. He always regarded himself as more a character actor than leading man, and ‘The Joker’ was one of his wildest creations.
5) Answer: a) True. Romero enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard in 1943, and saw combat in the Pacific Theater. A lifelong bachelor, he squired more than his share of beauties to Hollywood social events over the years. Contemporary assessments include speculation that he was a closeted gay man.