13 August 2016

From the Archive: Has ‘Joker’ Actor Gone Too Far? Friends Express Concern

Losing Himself? Romero as the Joker.

HOLLYWOOD -- As shooting continues on ABC’s Batman, friends and family of actor Cesar Romero are growing increasingly concerned. “He’s completely losing himself in the character,” confirms Burt Ward, who plays Robin on the popular TV series.

“It’s as if he can’t let go,” Ward continues. “Whenever I see him, he’s wearing wildly colored clothing, mincing around, gesturing flamboyantly — and worst of all, he can’t stop joking — and laughing at his own jokes, which aren’t even funny.”

“He’s becoming a pain in the neck,” agrees Adam West, who plays the title role. “The other day, we were at a public appearance, signing autographs in the parking lot at a shopping mall. I said to him, ‘It’s pretty breezy out here.’

“Without missing a beat, he said, ‘Just wait until the fans leave.’ And then he started hooting with laughter. I didn’t even get it, at first.”

With a weary shake of his cowl, West adds, “I can’t tell any more where Cesar ends and the Joker begins.”

Romero, who recently began taking classes at the Actors Studio, could not be reached for comment.

In Happier Times: Friends see almost no trace of the Romero they used to know.

“It’s really painful to see what he’s doing to himself for the role,” says Eartha Kitt, a frequent guest star on the show. “I guess he’s getting the purrrrrrformance he wants, but at what cost? And what will the viewers say? They’re not used to this kind of intensity.

“Purrrrrrrrrsonally, I find it hard to watch,” Kitt adds.

“I keep asking the producers when the breaking point comes, and when they’re going to stage some kind of intervention,” says Burgess Meredith, who plays the villainous Penguin. “I guess they’re just waiting for Cesar to crack-crack-crack-crack-crack.”

If Romero doesn’t get help, friends say, his condition will only get worse.

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