Frequently Asked Questions
Cesar Julio Romero, Jr., was born on 15 February 1907 in New York City to Cuban-American parents. He was the godson of Jose Marti, a leader of the Cuban revolution. Romero attended schools in New York and Connecticut and planned on a career in banking. A chance meeting with Lisbeth Higgins started Romero on a professional dancing career--as her partner--that took him from the hotel showrooms of Manhattan to the Broadway stage and eventually, Hollywood. In 1934 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios tapped the young man for the role of a gigolo in "The Thin Man." Romero later played Warner Baxter's sidekick in "The Return of the Cisco Kid," eventually moving into a starring role. He was signed by Twentieth Century-Fox in 1937.
In October, 1942, he voluntarily enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard and saw service in the Pacific Theatre. He reported aboard the Coast Guard-manned assault transport U.S.S. Cavalier (APA-37) in November, 1943 and saw action at Tinian and Saipan. According to a press release from the period:
"Romero preferred to be one of the crew and asked for no special privileges, which he did not receive. His shipmates admired him for this and for his exceptionally hard work. Romero was considered to be one of the best winch operators, swinging 18,000 lb. barges from their deck cradles over the side of the transport during invasions or while loading cargo. Among other duties he was first powderman on the forward five-inch gun. When an occasion permitted recreation, Romero helped put on a variety show for the crew. Later in the war he assisted in Bond rallies."
He made the rank of Chief Boatswain's Mate before receiving his honorable discharge at the end of the war. He then returned to Hollywood. He was best remembered by contemporary audiences for his portrayal of The Joker on the 1960s television show "Batman." He passed away on 2 January 1994 at the age of 86.