It lasted almost from the beginning of “talkies” to nearly the 21st century (the early Nineties, to be more precise), comprising a total of more than 200 movie and tv credits.
The “Latin lover” was (and remains) a time-honored staple of Hollywood movies — Rudolph Valentino, Ramon Novarro, Fernando Lamas, Arturo deCordova, Ricardo Montalban and on and on — and very few have pulled it off with the humor and grace of our very busy Quiz hero, Cesar Romero.
Although he he was perfectly suited to the role — Romero was a tall (6-feet-3 inches), suave-looking Dude who moved as gracefully as the dancer he once was — he felt the Latin stereotype was something of a career curse, preventing him from elevating himself to front ranked stardom.
The irony is that native New Yorker Romero is hardly the first name that comes to mind now when the term Latin lover is invoked. That may well be due, in our ethnically-obsessed times, to parental ancestry of his parents. His mother was Cuban, his father was Italian.
In any event, Romero rendered the stereotype academic since the breathe and depth of his work defies easy description.
Ok, let’s see how much you know of him and his amazing career. As usual, questions today and answers tomorrow.
1) Question: Romero was a talented dancer as well as actor, who carved out a niches costarring in musicals at 20th Century Fox. He is well remembered for his four movies opposite Fox’s biggest star of the Forties. Who is she? a) Carole Landis; b) Alice Faye; c) Betty Grable; or d) Sonja Henie.
2) Question: Romero was a favorite of Frank Sinatra’s who was instrumental in the casting Cesar in which of the singer’s movies? a) 1956’s Around the World in Eighty Days; b) 1960’s Ocean’s 11; 1960’s Pepe and d) 1965’s Marriage On The Rocks.
3) Question: In addition to Fox musicals, Romero was a staple of the studio’s some six B-movie series devoted to which of the following? a) The Cisco Kid; b) Covered Wagon Days; c) Hopalong Cassidy; or d) The Three Mesquiteers.
4) Question: Romero galvanized tv audiences in the 1960’s playing which one of these characters? a) Flash Gordon; b) The Green Hornet; c) the Joker on Batman; or d) Godzilla.
5) Question: Romero was one of the few Hollywood personalities who served in World War II, and actually experienced combat. a) True; or b) False.