Romero, Cesar Julio Jr.

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Romero, Cesar, born in New York City on 15-02-1907, the son of Cesar Julio Romero, Sr. and Maria Mantilla, daughter of Cuban national hero José Martí .who died age 42 on 19-05-1895 in Cuba. Cesar’s father was an Italian-born importer-exporter of sugar refining machinery, and his mother was a Cuban concert singer. He 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. However, that lifestyle changed dramatically when 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, especially his sister, for the rest of his life. In October 1942, he voluntarily enlisted in the United States Coast Guard and served in the Pacific Theatre of Operations.  He reported aboard the Coast Guard -manned assault transport USS Cavalier in November 1943. According to a press release from the period, Romero saw action during the invasions of 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. Boatswain’s mates are masters of seamanship. BMs are capable of performing almost any task in connection with deck maintenance, small boat operations, navigation, and supervising all personnel assigned to a ship’s deck force. BMs have a general knowledge of ropes and cables, including different uses, stresses, strains, and proper stowing. BMs operate hoists, cranes, and winches to load cargo or set gangplanks, and stand watch for security, navigation or communications.

He surviverd the war and returned to the movie world were Romero played “Latin lovers” in films from the 1930s until the 1950s, usually in supporting roles. He starred as the Cisco Kid in 6 westerns made between 1939 and 1941. Romero danced and performed comedy in the 20th Century Fox films. He also played a minor role as Sinjin, a piano player in Glenn Miller´s band, in the 1942

Romero was also a romantic if aggressive leading man in films and in TV programs. From 1966 to 1968, Romero portrayed the Koker in Batman.  He refused to shave his mustache for the role and so, the Joker’s white face makeup was simply smeared over it when playing the supervillian throughout the series’ run and in the 1966 film. However, Romero’s facial hair can still be seen in some shots. Romero had a lead role as the Pathan rebel leader, Khoda Khan, in John Ford’s 1937 British Rajera actioner Wee Willie Winkle alongside Shirley Temple  one of my favourite actrice’s. Shirley died old age 85 on 10-02-2014 in Woodside, California.

Romero never married 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”. Many Hollywood historians have identified Romero as a closeted gay man. Marlene Dietrich was quoted as observing that Romero was, “the undisputed queen of homosexuals. I don’t think there was a gay actor in all Hollywood who hadn’t been there. In 1996, biographer Boze Hadleigh revealed Romero confessed he’d had a sexual encounter with friend Desi Arnaz.   Arnaz was a regular smoker for much of his life and often smoked cigarettes on the set of I Love Lucy, Lucy Ball with whom he was married. Arnaz smoked Cuban cigars into his sixties and was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1986. He died several months later on 02-12-1986, at the age of 69. Arnaz is cremated and his ashes are scattered

Death and burial ground of Romero, Cesar Julio Jr.

 On 01-01-1994, Cesar Romero died of bronchitis and pneumonia in Santa Monica, California at age 86. His body was cremated too and the ashes were interred at Inglewood Park Cemetery  in Inglewood, Califoria.

 

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