He charmed his way into Hollywood's inner circle as "the Latin from Manhattan," but his fellow contract players at 20th Century Fox knew him as Butch, an ironic nickname poking fun at the reality that Cesar Romero would never play the boy next door. Of Cuban and Italian descent, Romero proved himself a dependable movie exotic, as Marlene Dietrich's Spanish lover in "The Devil is a Woman" (1935), an East Indian rebel chief in "Wee Willie Winkie" (1937) with Shirley Temple, and Mexican pistolero The Cisco Kid in a string of Westerns. Popular before World War II in such Technicolor musicals as "Springtime in the Rockies" (1942) and "Coney Island" (1943) with Betty Grable, Romero transitioned easily from military service back to his duties as a character player, with occasional sidebars as a leading man in low budget independent programmers. As his pomaded hair and pencil mustache lightened to baronial platinum, Romero subspecialized in playing members of Europe's aristocratic diaspora, most memorably in Robert Aldrich's "Vera Cruz" (1954) and John Ford's "Donovan's Reef" (1963). A late career makeover came with his casting as the clown-faced Joker on ABC's "Batman" (1966-68), on which he peppered the Dynamic Duo with a fusillade of punishing practical jokes. Romero remained popular on television over the next 20 years, and enjoyed semi-regular status as a Greek billionaire on the primetime soap "Falcon Crest" (CBS, 1981-1990), before his death in 1994 brought an end to the distinguished career of one of Hollywood's most valuable players.