Casting Suggestions for '66 villians

General goings on in the 1966 Batman World

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dell
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Re: Casting Suggestions for '66 villians

Post by dell »

I think Madlyn Rhue would have made a good villainess.

I read somewhere that she developed MS and had to give up acting. That is why she wasn't in the Wrath of Khan. Since she wasn't acting she was going to lose her health insurance through the Screen Actors Guild. Angela Lansbury found out about this and signed her to appear in one episode a year on Murder She Wrote so she could keep her insurance. Classy move by Ms. Lansbury.
dell

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SprangFan
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Re: Casting Suggestions for '66 villians

Post by SprangFan »

I see Robert Wagner now that he's been pointed out. It's hard to do a drawing of a "generically handsome" guy like RJ (or Shatner) and even harder when you only get half a face to work with.

Maybe Two Face would've got by the vendors if they'd taken the approach of Star Trek's "Conscience of the King" episode and covered half his face in a cloth mask.

The bigger issue is that the character is so unsuited to the spirit of the show. But I do wish they'd delved deeper into the bench of "real" rogues instead of coming up with some of the weak "made for TV" offerings.
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THE BATPHONE!
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Re: Casting Suggestions for '66 villians

Post by THE BATPHONE! »

I think Barbara Stanwyck would have made a great villainess! Perhaps as a recast Black Widow as others have mentioned in previous threads, or as an original character. Her fierce energy and superb acting chops would have made for a great villain, and she certainly wasn't a stranger to television appearances. But then again she was a regular on The Big Valley (which ran from 1965-1969) so unless she did it in between seasons, she wouldn't have the time. I think Joan Crawford would have also made for an interesting villain, maybe a Marsha Queen of Diamonds type. She was semi-frequently guest starring on TV at the time, including an episode of The Man From Uncle in 1967. Although the rumors of her difficult behavior would have made it unlikely that Dozier would want to hire her. I agree with Sprangfan in thinking that Two Face wouldn't fit the tone of the show. It would have been odd seeing such a serious character, especially if he appeared in the second or third season.
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epaddon
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Re: Casting Suggestions for '66 villians

Post by epaddon »

Stanwyck would have been the perfect BW. And like Clu Gulager, she actually would have been available since there are a number of "Big Valley" episodes where she doesn't appear (a spotlight for another cast member) so working around that schedule wouldn't have posed the kind of problem that Lee Meriwether for instance had in juggling her S2 Bat appearance with her "Time Tunnel" commitments.

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dell
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Re: Casting Suggestions for '66 villians

Post by dell »

Barbara Stanwyck might have been too serious. The best villain's in my opinion knew how to ham it up a little; Victor Buono for example. Milton Berle took it too seriously and fell flat if you ask me.
dell

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THE BATPHONE!
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Re: Casting Suggestions for '66 villians

Post by THE BATPHONE! »

dell wrote:
Thu Apr 16, 2020 2:34 pm
Barbara Stanwyck might have been too serious. The best villain's in my opinion knew how to ham it up a little; Victor Buono for example. Milton Berle took it too seriously and fell flat if you ask me.
Good point, I didn’t really think about that. Perhaps she would have worked in an earlier season one story, or maybe her persona was just too serious for the show.
"Batman told him a super funny joke. When the creature didn't laugh, that was proof!"

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High C
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Re: Casting Suggestions for '66 villains

Post by High C »

It has been awhile since I have posted on this thread. I have some catching up to do!

To Scott and BatMite

I apologize. I did not mean to come across so strong. It's just that my approach to fantasy casting always has been one similar to fantasy sports leagues, even though I do not participate in those (although I think so many of us right now long for the day when they start up again). What I mean is that you can't have five ace pitchers on a team, or four Pro Bowl QBs. You have to build your team the way a real GM would, and I try to pretend I'm in Dozier or Howie Horwitz' chair from a budgetary standpoint. Just my take; doesn't mean everyone must have the same criteria.

Again, I apologize. But also, look at it this way, if the show could have afforded an Ann-Margret, perhaps we never would have seen Frank Gorshin, Cesar Romero or many of our other familiar favorites. They would have been passed over in favor of much bigger names, especially Gorshin in the pilot. Pilots tend to have bigger budgets than subsequent episodes (if the show makes it to series, of course).

To epaddon

As someone who has become a fan of the Western series The Virginian through its reruns on the Starz Western Channel, I strongly second the idea of Clu Gulager as Two-Face. In fact, his debut (and origin) episode on the show (which featured a very young Raquel Welch in a small but memorable role as a barmaid) established that his character, Emmett Ryker, had alternated throughout his adult life between gunslinger and lawman. And, during his run on the show, Gulager's character often wore his vest in such a way that it obscured his deputy sheriff's star, again sort of driving home that image of someone who might be more than he seems at 'face' value.

To Ken

Glad to have you aboard. I like the idea of Anne Francis as Ivy even though she was, of course, such a classic ice blonde. I have to admit she would have been one heck of an alternate Siren. Conried is a great call on your part, too.

To The BATPHONE

A biography of Joan Crawford said she turned down Batman to do a Pepsi TV ad around the time of the U.N.C.L.E. episode, so you maybe were right on the money. It's possible Dozier was thinking of her for Black Widow, although there is no paperwork to prove it that I know of.

Also, I've always liked the idea, first floated long ago by epaddon, of Barbara Stanwyck, as Black Widow. And I've seen her handle enough light-hearted moments on The Big Valley to believe she could handle a comedic moment or two.
'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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TBolt
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Re: Casting Suggestions for '66 villians

Post by TBolt »

been trying to cast Hugh Beaumont on the show, at that point he was doing guest shots on the Virginian and other shows so he'd be up for it. Just need a good fit for him.
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Ben Bentley
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Re: Casting Suggestions for '66 villians

Post by Ben Bentley »

Ken Holtzhouser wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 6:20 am
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)
Great to have you with us here, Ken!

I can shed some light on the Gregory Peck rumor...

Dozier it seems had reached out to Peck and made initial inquires about him making some kind of "guest appearnce" on the show, whether that extends to him being an actual villain or perhaps simply a walk-on/window spot, it's hard to say. But here's the response Peck personally wrote to W.D. and scanned from the Dozier Archives...

(click to enlarge)
Gregory_Peck-Letter.jpeg

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High C
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Re: Casting Suggestions for '66 villians

Post by High C »

Before the movie Airplane launched his career in a different direction, Leslie Nielsen (real name) played many a TV villain in the 1960s. Dozier should have contacted him for a guest shot, although it was a different villain named Nielsen whose deathtrap Batman and Robin (and Batgirl) ultimately could not escape. :|
'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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chrisbcritter
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Re: Casting Suggestions for '66 villians

Post by chrisbcritter »

And Leslie Nielsen had to play straight man to Don Knotts in The Reluctant Astronaut. Too bad - a little Frank Drebin in that role might have helped!

I may lose my you-know-what card here, but Joan Crawford had been taking herself so seriously for so long onscreen that her comic timing had faded - take a look at her performance on The Lucy Show. Just can't see her as the gleefully devilish Black Widow.

Now Olivia deHavilland, who replaced her in Hush... Hush... Sweet Charlotte, as Black Widow? That I could see! She could keep that Suthin accent and be Blayack Widdah :lol: .
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THE BATPHONE!
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Re: Casting Suggestions for '66 villians

Post by THE BATPHONE! »

I will admit Joan Crawford was a little on the haggard side in the episode of The Lucy Show (some say she was intoxicated). But I still think she would have made a good villain. I feel like her larger than life persona was comedic in itself, and that alone would fit her in with the other campy villains. Although you may be right, if she had played it too seriously it might not have fit the tone. But I guess I’m a little biased, being a big Crawford fan.
"Batman told him a super funny joke. When the creature didn't laugh, that was proof!"

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