Cesar Julio Romero Jr. (February 15, 1907 - January 1, 1994) was an American actor, singer, dancer, and vocal artist. He was active in film, radio, and television for almost 60 years.
His wide range of screen roles included
Latin lovers, historical figures in costume dramas, characters in light domestic comedies, and the Joker on the television series, which was included in Batman TV Guide's 2013 list of The 60 Nastiest Villains of All Time. 
Romero as part of the deck crew aboard the
, c. 1944
Cesar Julio Romero Jr. was born in New York City on February 15, 1907, the son of Cesar Julio Romero Sr. and Maria Mantilla.
His mother was said to be the biological daughter of Cuban national hero  José Martí.   His father was born in  Barcelona, Spain and immigrated to the United States in 1888, where he was an import/export merchant.  His mother was a concert singer.  
Romero grew up in
Bradley Beach, New Jersey, and was educated at Bradley Beach Elementary School, Asbury Park High School, the  Collegiate School, and the Riverdale Country Day School. After his parents lost their sugar-import business and suffered losses in the  Stock Market Crash of 1929, Romero's Hollywood earnings allowed him to support his large family, all of whom followed him to the American West Coast years later. Romero lived on and off with various family members for the rest of his life.  
On October 12, 1942, he voluntarily enlisted in the
United States Coast Guard as an apprentice seaman and served in the  Pacific Theater of Operations. He reported aboard the Coast Guard-manned assault transport USS in November 1943. According to a press release from the period, Romero saw action during the invasions of Cavalier Tinian and Saipan. The same article mentioned that he preferred to be a regular part of the crew and was eventually promoted to the rating of chief boatswain's mate. 
The 6'3" [190 cm] Romero routinely played "Latin lovers" in films from the 1930s until the 1950s, usually in supporting roles. He starred as the
Cisco Kid in six westerns made between 1939 and 1941. Romero danced and performed comedy in the 20th Century Fox films he starred in opposite Carmen Miranda and Betty Grable, such as and Week-End in Havana , in the 1940s. He also played a minor role as Sinjin, a piano player in Springtime in the Rockies Glenn Miller's band, in the 1942 20th Century Fox musical .
(1934), Romero played a The Thin Man villainous supporting role opposite the film's main star William Powell. Many of Romero's films from this early period saw him cast in small character parts, such as Italian gangsters and East Indian princes. Romero had a lead role as the Pathan rebel leader, Khoda Khan, in John Ford's British Raj-era action film starring Wee Willie Winkie (1937) and Shirley Temple (1939) alongside The Little Princess Shirley Temple. He also appeared in a comic turn as a foil for Frank Sinatra and his crew in (1960).
Romero sometimes played the
leading man, for example in Allan Dwan's (1936) opposite 15 Maiden Lane Claire Trevor, as well as winning the key role of the Doc Holliday character (with name changed to "Doc Halliday") in Dwan's Wyatt Earp saga three years later. 20th Century Fox, along with mogul Frontier Marshal Darryl Zanuck, personally selected Romero to co-star with Tyrone Power in the Technicolor historical epic (1947), directed by Captain from Castile Henry King. While Power played a fictionalized character, Romero played Hernán Cortés, a historical conquistador in Spain's conquest of the Americas.
Among many television credits, Romero appeared several times on
in the mid-1950s. He portrayed Don Diego de la Vega's maternal uncle in a number of Season 2 The Martha Raye Show episodes. Zorro 
Romero in his role as the
on the classic 1960s TV show
In 1958, he guest-starred as Ramon Valdez, a South American businessman, who excels at dancing the
Cha-Cha with Barbara Eden in her syndicated romantic comedy, in the episode entitled "The Big Order". He performed the mambo with How to Marry a Millionaire Gisele MacKenzie on her NBC variety show, . He guest-starred in 1957 on The Gisele MacKenzie Show CBS's on the first episode of the seventh season ("Lucy Takes a Cruise to Havana"). He played "Don Carlos", a The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour card shark on the episode, "The Honorable Don Charlie Story" of NBC's . On January 16, 1958, he appeared on Wagon Train . In 1959, Romero was cast as Joaquin in the episode "Caballero" from The Ford Show, Starring Tennessee Ernie Ford , The Texan and on September 26 of that year, he hosted the Cuban installment of  . John Gunther's High Road  
In 1960, he was cast as Ricky Valenti in "Crime of Passion" from
. In 1965, Romero played the head of THRUSH in France in "The Never Never Affair" from Pete and Gladys From 1965 to 1968, he portrayed the The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Joker on . He refused to shave his moustache for the role, and so the Batman supervillain's white face makeup was simply smeared over it throughout the series' run and in the 1966 film. 
His guest star work in the 1970s included a recurring role on the western comedy
as Señor Armendariz, a Mexican Alias Smith and Jones rancher feuding with Patrick McCreedy ( Burl Ives), the owner of a ranch on the opposite side of the border. He appeared in three episodes. Romero later portrayed  Peter Stavros on (from 1985-1987). He also appeared in a sixth-season episode of Falcon Crest , where he played a suitor named Tony Delvecchio for Sophia. The Golden Girls Apart from these television roles, Romero appeared as A.J. Arno, a small-time criminal who continually opposes Dexter Riley (played by  Kurt Russell) and his schoolmates of Medfield College in a series of films by Walt Disney Productions in the 1970s.
Niche of Cesar Romero at Inglewood Park Cemetery
Romero never married and had no children, but made frequent appearances at Hollywood events escorting actresses, such as
Joan Crawford, Linda Darnell, Barbara Stanwyck, Lucille Ball, Ann Sheridan, Jane Wyman and Ginger Rogers; he was almost always described in interviews and articles as a "confirmed bachelor". Romero talked about his homosexuality with author  Boze Hadleigh in a series of interviews which were published in 1996 - two years after Romero's death, in Hadleigh's book Hollywood Gays.   Charlie Harper, lead singer of English punk band UK Subs, is reportedly a nephew of Romero. 
Republican, in October 1960, he appeared in the Nixon- Lodge Bumper Sticker Motorcade Campaign. 
On January 1, 1994, aged 86, Romero died from complications of a blood clot while being treated for
bronchitis and pneumonia at Saint John's Health Center in  Santa Monica, California.
His body was cremated and the ashes were interred at
Inglewood Park Cemetery, Inglewood, California. 
For his contributions to the motion picture and television industry, Romero has a star on the
Hollywood Walk of Fame.
- episode - Episode #1.31 - Himself (1950) The Ed Wynn Show
- 31 episodes - Steve McQuinn (1954-1958) Passport to Danger
- 12 episodes - Various (1956-1970) The Red Skelton Hour
- episode - The Beach Pounders - Host (1957) Navy Log
(1957) The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show
- episode - The Honorable Don Charlie Story - Hon Don 'Charlie' Carlos de Fuentes (1958) Wagon Train
- 4 episodes - Esteban de la Cruz (1959) Zorro
- episode - Caballero - Captain Joaquin Acosta (1959) The Texan
- Cuba episode - Himself (1959) John Gunther's High Road
- episode - Oblivion (1959) Death Valley Days
- 4 episodes - Various (1959-1965) Rawhide
- episode - A Time to Run - Manolo Lalanda (1960) Stagecoach West
in episode "Counterfeit", never aired on Five Fingers NBC (1960)
- episode - The Big Gun - Colonel Francisco Martinez (1961) Stagecoach West
1961 Season 5 Episode 26 The Man from Everywhere Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theatre
(1962) The Beachcomber
- episode - "The Child Woman" - Big Tim Sloan (1962) Rawhide
- episode - Episode #1.14 - Himself (1963) Fractured Flickers
(1963) 77 Sunset Strip
(1963–1965) Burke's Law
(1964) Dr. Kildare
- 3 episodes - Himself (1964-1970) The Mike Douglas Show
- episode - The Never-Never Affair - Victor Gervais (1965) The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
- episode - The Mission: Part 2 - Gen. Arriola (1965) Branded
- episode - The Deadliest Game - Guido Borelli (1965) Bonanza
- episode - Did Your Mother Come from Ireland, Ben Casey? - Frederic Delano (1965) Ben Casey
- episode - Gabriel - Esteban de Vaca (1966) Daniel Boone
- 22 episodes - The Joker (1966-1968) Batman
- episode - Bitter Mission - Colonel Carlos Navarro (1967) Daniel Boone
(1967) T.H.E. Cat
- episode - The Reluctant Redhead - Kinsey Krispen (1968) Get Smart
- episode - A Date for Lucy - Tony Rivera (1969) Here's Lucy
- episode - The Grand Alliance - Buenaventura (1969) Daniel Boone
- 4 episodes - Bunny Henderson / Bernard Henderson (1970) Julia
- episode - Salem, Here We Come - Ernest Hitchcock (1970) Bewitched
- episode - Beyond a Treasonable Doubt - Mike (1970) It Takes a Thief
- episode - A Hunch in Time - Harris Crofton (1971) The Jimmy Stewart Show
- episode - Love and the Duel/Love and the Note/Love and the Young Unmarrieds (segment "Love and the Duel") (1971) Love, American Style
(1971) Nanny and the Professor
(1971) Mooch Goes to Hollywood
- episode - Episode dated 16 November 1971 - Himself (1971) The Merv Griffin Show
- episodes - The McCreedy Bust, The McCreedy Bust: Going, Going, Gone, & The McCreedy Feud - Armendariz (1971-1972) Alias Smith and Jones
- episode - The Connection - Frank Barton (1972) The Mod Squad
- episode - A Bone of Much Contention - Admiral Decker (1972) The Jimmy Stewart Show
- episode - The Lost Cotillion - Tony Hudson (1974) Ironside
- episode - The Vanishing Chalice - Marius Avantalu (1974) Banacek
- episode - Episode #1.24 - Himself (1974) Dinah!
(1975) Medical Center
- episode - The Adventure of the Wary Witness - Armand Danello (1976) Ellery Queen
(1977) Chico and the Man
- episode - Lost Women - Christopher Vincente (1978) Vega$
- episode - Vegas in Space - Amos Armat (1979) Buck Rogers in the 25th Century
- episode - Pentagram/Casting Director/A Little Ball - Sheikh Hameel Habib (1979) Fantasy Island
- episode - Dancin' Angels - Elton Mills (1980) Charlie's Angels
- episode - Loving Strangers/Something Borrowed, Something Blue (1981) as Maestro Roger Alexander Fantasy Island
(1982) Matt Houston
- episode - The Butler's Affair/Roarke's Sacrifice (1983) as Edmond Rome Fantasy Island
- episode - Chamber of Lost Harts (1983) as Dr. Villac Hart to Hart
- episode - The Tallowed Image/Room and Bard (1983) as Mr. Kragen Fantasy Island
- episode - Little Games (1985) as Doc Villoroch Magnum, P.I.
- episode - Paint Me a Murder (1985) as Diego Santana Murder, She Wrote
- 2 episodes (1985) as Himself Family Feud
- 51 episodes (1985-1988) as Falcon Crest Peter Stavros
(1988) The Tracey Ullman Show
- episode - Girls Just Wanna Have Fun... Before They Die (1990) as Tony Delveccio The Golden Girls - episode - Murder in Milan (1992) as Marcello Abruzzi (final television appearance) Murder, She Wrote
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