Casting Suggestions for '66 villians

General goings on in the 1966 Batman World

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Jimmy L. 66
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Casting Suggestions for '66 villians

Post by Jimmy L. 66 »

I foiund these pics on Twitter from artist Ken Holtzhouser
https://twitter.com/DOCTORvonWER
i know not everyone has Twitter, for various reasons, so
I thought I'd share these here since we often have these types of discussions on the forum.
what are your thoughts about his ideas for these scoundrels?
I think Two Face, and Scarecrow are my favorites.
the rest of his art is pretty Jake as well.
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High C
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Re: Casting Suggestions for '66 villains

Post by High C »

First of all, Ken Holtzhouser is a tremendous artist. I cannot draw anything more elaborate than a stick figure, so I truly am in awe of what he does. I have messaged him on Facebook and let him know this.

He also is multitalented. I highly recommend his commentary on the To The Batpoles podcast, episodes 121 (Joker's UFO) and 61 (all about the development of the Green Hornet as a TV show). Ken's knowledge of GH is top-notch and his commentary, especially in #121, oftentimes is downright hysterical.

With that said, I must come to the Debbie Downer portion of this post. As great as Ken's artistic renderings are, I disagree with each one, except Groucho, for whom I have no opinion. Don't get me wrong--some are good ideas--they just weren't feasible. And I've always been a stickler in terms of, if you were sitting in William Dozier's or Howie Horwitz' office chair in 1966-67, could you have hired this person, or were they beyond your price point?

OK, here goes, in order:

Jonathan Winters: super-talented, just was never my cup of java.

Ann-Margret as Ivy: That suggestion has been made on this board (and previous incarnations of such approximately eleventy billion times, and that might be a conservative estimate). Here's the one problem. A-M didn't appear on an episodic TV show, other than as herself, until 1998. She simply wasn't doing TV in late 1966 and 1967 and much like Frank Gorshin at that time, could make a lot more dough (zier) playing Vegas. Dozier did not have the $$$ in his limited budget to pay her, and there is zero evidence she was even mildly interested.

Shatner, Knotts, Vaughn: Again, I'm sure Ken was just having speculative fun, and I by no means am slagging on him, but this is a great opportunity for a teachable moment, as they say.

Being the lead, or the second lead in a TV series is a grueling job, then and now. It does not leave time for doing lead guest shots on other shows, UNLESS 1--Your show is not shooting that week or has wrapped for the season or 2--Your character has been written out of the episode, e.g. Captain Kirk is away on Starfleet business, Mr. Spock is at the helm this week.

To be fair, I guess William Shatner could have done it in season 1, before Star Trek got rolling. And yes, he would have been a fine choice, judging by his vocal performance in the second animated '66 movie.

OK, in the abstract, forgetting the outside factors--feel free to throw rotten tomatoes and eggs at me, but IMO, at age 25-26, Ann-Margret didn't yet have the gravitas to be a villainess. Still more henchmoll material, IMO. Check out her turn as the scientist's daughter in peril (was there a bigger 1960s movie cliche) in the 1966 Matt Helm film Murderer's Row) as an example.

As for Knotts, I honestly don't know if he could've handled the villainous parts of the role. Also, the show would be headed toward the same problem as False Face and Malachi Throne--most actors don't want their face covered 75 percent or more of the time.
'I thought Siren was perfect for Joan.'--Stanley Ralph Ross, writer of 'The Wail of the Siren'

My hobbies include gazing at the Siren and doing her bidding, evil or otherwise.

'She had a devastating, hypnotic effect on all the men.'--A schoolmate describing Joan Collins at age 17
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SprangFan
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Re: Casting Suggestions for '66 villians

Post by SprangFan »

Is that Shatner??? I couldn't figure out who it was. I started at Dick Van Dyke and ended up at Ricardo Montalban, so at least I was getting warmer. LOL

I don't think Two-Face could've made it past the censors in 1966 no matter who they cast. That said, these are fun to see. Maybe it'd go down better if we posed it as casting for a sequel film that never happened?
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hisyouthfulward
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Re: Casting Suggestions for '66 villians

Post by hisyouthfulward »

I thought Two-Face looked more like Robert Wagner...by the way Jimmy, always great to hear an old term like, "Jake" getting some modern usage.
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High C
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Re: Casting Suggestions for '66 villians

Post by High C »

hisyouthfulward wrote: Tue Apr 14, 2020 10:22 am I thought Two-Face looked more like Robert Wagner...by the way Jimmy, always great to hear an old term like, "Jake" getting some modern usage.
OOPS, that is Wagner, my sincerest apologies, Ken.

He definitely would have been in play in 1966-67. Good call, Ken.
'I thought Siren was perfect for Joan.'--Stanley Ralph Ross, writer of 'The Wail of the Siren'

My hobbies include gazing at the Siren and doing her bidding, evil or otherwise.

'She had a devastating, hypnotic effect on all the men.'--A schoolmate describing Joan Collins at age 17
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Jimmy L. 66
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Re: Casting Suggestions for '66 villians

Post by Jimmy L. 66 »

I thought that was Wagner, but I also thought Killer Moth was John Wayne. oops.
High C- I did not take into consideration time frame, acting chops and such but it was your conversation on the Bat Chat that inspired me to post the pics here. all good takes.

Sprang Fan- probably right about the censors, but maybe just some face make up, lighting and a two color suit? We would have to loose the acid to the face (paging False Face?), but Bobby Wags would be pretty good in the role.

HIsyouthfulward- I'm glad you dig it.

Also, I'm not even sure who Johnathan Winters is, Simon The Pie man maybe?
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BatMite
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Re: Casting Suggestions for '66 villians

Post by BatMite »

I thought Two Face was Dick Van Dyke, too, but do see Robert Wagner now that it’s been mentioned.

As for Ann Margaret, she did do The Flintstones so doing TV certainly wasn’t out of the realm of possibility.
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High C
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Re: Casting Suggestions for '66 villians

Post by High C »

BatMite wrote: Tue Apr 14, 2020 6:26 pm As for Ann Margaret, she did do The Flintstones so doing TV certainly wasn’t out of the realm of possibility.
That was three years earlier, before *Ann-Margret* Olsson's movie career gained a lot more momentum. And it obviously was a voice role, no need for costume fittings, etc. Apples and oranges.
'I thought Siren was perfect for Joan.'--Stanley Ralph Ross, writer of 'The Wail of the Siren'

My hobbies include gazing at the Siren and doing her bidding, evil or otherwise.

'She had a devastating, hypnotic effect on all the men.'--A schoolmate describing Joan Collins at age 17
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Scott Sebring
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Re: Casting Suggestions for '66 villians

Post by Scott Sebring »

Let's chill on the Ann Margret "would" and "would never". It's been beaten into the ground over the years both ways.
Even if one considers that she was under a contract with 20th century Fox at the time, the only definitive is that it didn't happen. Alas, people are being hypothetical. No need to be militant on one's own beliefs either way or be dismissive of either point of view. One can think of a dream team and one can think whether or not the possibility was even feasible.
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epaddon
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Re: Casting Suggestions for '66 villians

Post by epaddon »

I prefer to take the approach of who falls into the plausible guest star realm. That means these criteria come into play when I envision fantasy casting ideas (and I claim this standard only for myself).

1-Was the performer active?

2-Was the performer "available" for TV guest shots? To me this rules out people who were only feature film performers (they *really* looked down on TV back then) and also weren't appearing regularly on a TV series at the time because the production nature of TV back then meant that the only exceptions to the rule were people who could be "written out" of their own show for awhile because they were part of an ensemble group, or who's own show had wrapped for the season already (this is the only reason for instance why Werner Klemperer did a guest shot on "Lost In Space" after he'd completed Season 1 of "Hogan's Heroes"). Also, there were some actors who while happy to be the star of their own show had an aversion to being the guest of the week (Robert Wagner had that written into his contracts)

3-Was this the right point in their careers? Some names don't become more famous until much later than when Batman was on and thus would have been nobodies by 1967 standards.

Based on that criteria, these are my names for two of the villains in this thread (I'm not going to get into the alternate casting for established villains game)

Clu Gulager (Two-Face)
-While he was appearing regularly as Sheriff Emmett Ryker on "The Virginian" at the time, that was also an ensemble role where he would go multiple episodes without appearing or only in a brief appearance. Gulager, who previously played Billy The Kid on the 1960-62 western series "The Tall Man" had a unique ability to be credible as both lawman *and* disturbed villain. His unique voice and mannerisms IMO would have been dead solid perfect for this part within the original Harvey Dent, ex-DA template.


Poison Ivy, I confess I have two names and they're based on the criteria of when the character would have appeared. First, if the character appears when the show is still on the air:

Madlyn Rhue
-Known best from the "Space Seed" episode of Star Trek, Rhue was quite a prolific regular on the TV guest circuit from the late 50s into the 80s and in the 60s was often a *lead* guest star. She had the right hair color, and was more than capable of looking great in the costume, and more importantly she'd proved in other guest appearances she was capable of showing some commanding villainy. A first season "Daniel Boone" episode has her playing a half-breed queen of an Indian tribe who's had Boone's wife kidnapped and she is always the one in charge commanding respect. It's a total contrast from the passive, submissive follower of Ricardo Montalban in the Trek episode and shows how good a range she had. That IMO is what sets her apart from a seemingly more obvious name like a Tina Louise etc. because while Tina might add more pulchritude, Rhue would bring a LOT more in the gravitas in that when she gives an order to a henchman in a harsh tone, it's believable.

I admit in the past I've thought of other names from this era for the part, but the volume of Rhue guest shots I've seen finally convinced me that in terms of notable "TV guest star names" of the era (we've lost sight I think of how back in this era there were some actors and actresses whose fame derived from being the "guest star of the week" mixed in with the smaller supporting role in a film, and who never had to be a series regular at any time. In this day and age of ensemble shows no one can make a career doing that any longer) she is at the top of the list.

Having said that I have to get in a word for the actress who IMO would be the perfect fantasy casting choice in terms of rightness for the part, and had the show still been on the air in 1969-70 maybe she could have gotten consideration, and that's 1970s actress Barbara Rhoades. First "introduced" in the 1968 Don Knotts comedy "The Shakiest Gun In The West" she was an absolute Amazonian redhead presence with a hard-edged attitude that gave her gravitas well-beyond her years. When I wrote a couple Bat fanfics with Ivy, it was specifically tailored to Rhoades persona.
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Ken Holtzhouser
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Re: Casting Suggestions for '66 villians

Post by Ken Holtzhouser »

As you say, speculation is just for fun. I picked actors that were either obvious choices or actors that might have had an interest in being "top of the bill" without their co-stars (like Knotts or Vaughn)
Anne Francis would have been a good Poison Ivy, too.
I'd often heard that Gregory Peck had expressed an interest in being on Batman, but he was just too big a name for Two Face (or tv)
Jonathan Winters as Simon The Pieman was a nod to THE BATCAVE PODCAST, where John & Dan broke down the Filmation cartoon. I also did Buddy Hackett as Sweet Tooth for the same reason.
The casting I'm most proud of was Hans Conried as Crazy Quilt. Not only do I think he'd be great as the "pop artist of pandemonium" , but he's exactly the sort of castable 60s actor the show could get.

Glad you guys dig the sketches. It was just a bit of fun....
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Ken Holtzhouser
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Re: Casting Suggestions for '66 villians

Post by Ken Holtzhouser »

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Jthree
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Re: Casting Suggestions for '66 villians

Post by Jthree »

I wanted the late Tina Lund from Land of the Giants for Poison Ivy.

--jthree
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clavierankh
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Re: Casting Suggestions for '66 villians

Post by clavierankh »

Deanna Lund was Anna Gram in the John Astin Riddler arc. Not a bad choice.
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epaddon
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Re: Casting Suggestions for '66 villians

Post by epaddon »

Hench moll types (with the exception of Nancy Kovack) I just can't see as a lead female guest, especially when they have no resumes of being a lead in anything.
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