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Who knew? Cesar Romero was gay.

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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 04:54 PM
Original message
Who knew? Cesar Romero was gay.
Tall, suave and sophisticated Cesar Romero actually had two claims to fame in Hollywood. To one generation he was the distinguished "Latin lover" of numerous musicals and romantic comedies, and was known as the rogue bandit "The Cisco Kid" in a string of low-budget westerns. However, to a younger generation weaned on television, Romero was better known as the white-faced, green-haired, cackling villain "The Joker" of the camp 1960s TV series _"Batman" (1966/II)_ , and then as a bumbling corporate villain in a spate of Walt Disney comedies, chasing such stars as a young Kurt Russell in the fun-packed The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes (1969). Fans and critics alike agreed that Romero was a major talent who proved himself an enduring and versatile star in an overwhelming variety of roles in a career as an actor, dancer and comedian that lasted nearly 60 years.



Cesar Romero was born of Cuban parents in New York City in February 1907. He attended Collegiate & Riverdale County Schools before gaining employment as a ballroom dancer. He first appeared on Broadway in the 1927 production of "Lady Do", and then in the stage production of "Strictly Dishonorable". His first film role was in The Shadow Laughs (1933), after which he gave strong performances in The Devil Is a Woman (1935) and in the Shirley Temple favorite Wee Willie Winkie (1937).

Critics and fans generally agree that Romero's best performance was as the Spanish explorer Cortez in Captain from Castile (1947). However, he also shone in the delightful Julia Misbehaves (1948) and several other breezy and light-hearted escapades. In 1953 he starred in the 39-part espionage TV serial "Passport to Danger" (1954), which earned him a considerable income due to a canny profit-sharing arrangement. Although Romero became quite wealthy and had no need to work, he could not stay away from being in front of the cameras. He continued to appear in a broad variety of film roles, but surprised everyone in Hollywood by taking on the role of "The Joker" in the hugely successful TV series _"Batman" (1966/II)_ . He refused to shave his trademark mustache for the role, and close observation shows how the white clown makeup went straight on over his much loved mustache! The appearances in "Batman" were actually only a small part of the enormous amount of work that Romero contributed to television. He had guest-starred in dozens of shows, including "Rawhide" (1959), _"77 Sunset Strip" (1958/I)_ , "Zorro" (1957), "Fantasy Island" (1978) and "Murder, She Wrote" (1984). However, it was "The Joker" for which his TV work was best remembered, and Romero often remarked that for many, many years after "Batman" finished, fans would stop him and ask him to chuckle and giggle away just like he did as "The Joker". Romero always obliged, and both he and the fans just loved it!

Towards the end of his life, he was interviewed by author Boze Hadleigh, and gave a revealing, often comic account of what life was like in the Golden Age of Hollywood for a openly closeted gay man (i.e., out to everyone but "the public"). The interview is included in Hadleigh's book, "Hollywood Gays."

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Hell Hath No Fury Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 05:23 PM
Response to Original message
1. His nickname in Hollywood...
was "Butch". I kind you not. :)
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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 05:28 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. I read that in another part. It's my nickname too.
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 05:32 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. even irony would fail if my nickname was butch.
but i did know cesar was gay.

isn't it cool? -- he was so great in the roles he filled -- and his joker was fantastic.
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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 05:34 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. I got mine at birth.
Nurse brought me in to my mom and said "Here's your little Butch".
And 65 years later...
;-)
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 05:39 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. damn -- snap -- right now ''you're butch''.
that's funny -- i like that.
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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 05:44 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. It was the fad to call little boy babies 'butch' back then.
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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 05:38 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. I guess everybody knows about Van Johnson now.
I found out in the French Quarter when I saw him and his boyfriend at Pat O'Brien's one night.
Back then it was 'queer'.
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 05:40 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. oh -- for years.
but i heard he wasn't ever happy about it.
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 05:44 PM
Response to Original message
8. I'm not wholly surprised, but it is good to hear.
Many in Hollywood of the 1960s were gay or bi and kept quiet about it. Robert Reed, Vincent Price, Paul Lynde, Cesar Romero, Rock Hudson, Tallulah Bankhead, Agnes Moorehead, Dick Sargent, Roger C Carmel, and numerous others...

(I could cite numerous sources, but google will confirm them all in one form or another... :) )
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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 05:46 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Marjorie Main kind of blew me away.
Possibly most well known for her Ma Kettle character.
She and Spring Byington were an 'item'.
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GreenZoneLT Donating Member (805 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #10
19. You couldn't tell with Marjorie Main?
Please; she screams '40s dyke. Now, Barbara Stanwyck is a lot more subtle.

I didn't know Paul Lynde was gay when I didn't know about gay people. Once I heard of them, he pretty much seemed the poster child.

The guy I still can't believe claims to be straight is Hal Sparks.

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LynneSin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 05:48 PM
Response to Original message
11. I just found out that Paul Lynde was gay
I had no idea - seriously!
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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 05:52 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Get out! They test Gaydars with his filmclips.
;-)
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 07:08 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. mmmm-hummmm -- that's how they tested mine.
it didn't last very long -- i squeeled the very first thing he said.
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LynneSin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 05:28 AM
Response to Reply #12
16. I think when they were handing out gaydars I got one that was a bit faulty
Sometimes you practically have to be making out with someone of the same sex for me to figure out you're gay - it's all really sad
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 05:57 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. Riiiiiiiiiiiight...
:rofl:

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edbermac Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 06:12 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. Next you'll be saying that Liberace is gay.
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kwassa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 07:37 AM
Response to Reply #14
17. Oh, please! How ridiculous! Liberace, gay! Who next, Elton John?
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GalleryGod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 07:48 AM
Response to Original message
18. I didn't. Solid actor, Good guy. Does he need an OP? Nope.
The Joker will suffice.

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