Long before Jack Nicholson asked if you “ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?” or Heath Ledger begged “why so serious?” Cuban-American actor Cesar Romero dominated the silver screen as the world’s first introduction to the manic, clown-garbed Joker.
Romero’s Joker was born during the 1960s, when the Batman series was more concerned with camp and entertainment than action and suspense. Characterized by rolling his Rs, his wild gestures and his bright pink suit, Romero set the trend for the hyperbolic and maniacal nature each rendition of the Joker has kept consistent.
Romero was featured in 22 episodes of ABC’s Batman television series over the course of three seasons. Although he passed in 1994 at the age of 86, Romero’s interpretation of the Joker has taken up a life of its own and continues to inspire actors who portray the role today.