Sam Maronies Entertainment Funhouse (Maronie Creative Services, LLC)
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December 21, 2013

CESAR ROMERO

Actor Cesar Romero, photo taken in St. Louis, Missouri in the early 1970s. Exclusive photo by Sam Maronie.
Actor Cesar Romero, photo taken in St. Louis, Missouri in the early 1970s. Exclusive photo by Sam Maronie.

Actor Cesar Romero, photo taken in St. Louis, Missouri in the early 1970s. Exclusive photo by Sam Maronie.

Back in the late 1970s, there was a quaint institution that was quite popular called the Dinner Theatre. Most larger cities had one–often several. What it was exactly was a live theatre where the patrons not only saw a lightweight play, but served a meal as well.

What made these productions so special was that often they would have a B- or C-level celebrity in the starring role. Usually they were TV performers, someone who played a secondary part in a popular series from the past. Often they were even full-fledged vintage movie stars whose careers had dipped with the passage of time.

As a reporter in the St. Louis area during that time, it was often my great pleasure to interview many of these visiting players to help promote their dinner theatre gigs. It was under these circumstances that I was able to spend over an hour conversing with the great Cesar Romero.

This was the pre-dvd dinosaur days, so what information I had on him at the time came from my viewing of his old films on TV, and from his prolific series work, most notably his splashy role as The Joker on the 60s Batman teleseries. He was very grateful for the renewed fame this character gave him, but he did remark that his favorite movies were the musicals he made with St. Louis native Betty Grable. They were immensely popular and made him a great star at his home studio, 20th Century-Fox.

He was a nice old guy, very patient with this young, new reporter, answering all my questions and recalling the Golden Age of movie making. I only wish there would have been an IMDB then! He had such a long, rich, fascinating career. But even now, he’ll primarily be remembered as the actor who first played The Joker.

I wanted to take this time to share a very special photo I shot during our interview session. I hope everyone out there enjoys!






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