In 1966, action-adventure series, Batman burst its way onto television screens. The show – a live-action adaptation of the DC Comics character – introduced a whole generation to the Caped Crusader, as well as his crime-fighting partners, Robin and Batgirl.
But it wasn’t just heroes that were included in the series – a whole host of Batman’s vile villains appeared too. Some of these diabolical foes, such as the Joker and Catwoman, were plucked from the comics, while others were created especially for the series.
But who are all of the villains of Batman ’66?
In this post, I am providing a list of all the bad guys and gals. Alongside each villain is the name or names of the actors who portrayed the characters on screen in the series as well as the spin-off film, Batman: The Movie (1966).
The Batman ’66 villains
Below is a list of all the major villains who appeared in Batman ’66 and Batman: The Movie.
The Batman ’66 villains are as follows:
- The Riddler – Frank Gorshin/John Astin
- The Penguin – Burgess Meredith
- The Joker – Cesar Romero
- Mr. Freeze – George Sanders/Otto Preminger/Eli Wallach
- Zelda The Great – Anne Baxter
- The Mad Hatter – David Wayne
- False Face – Malachi Throne
- Catwoman – Julie Newmar/Lee Meriwether/Eartha Kitt
- King Tut – Victor Buono
- The Bookworm – Roddy McDowall
- The Archer – Art Carney
- The Minstrel – Van Johnson
- Ma Parker – Shelley Winters
- The Clock King – Walter Slezak
- Egghead – Vincent Price
- Chandell – Liberace
- Marsha Queen of Diamonds – Carolyn Jones
- Shame – Cliff Robertson
- The Puzzler – Maurice Evans
- The Sandman – Michael Rennie
- Pussycat – Lesley Gore
- Colonel Gumm – Roger C. Carmel
- The Black Widow – Tallulah Bankhead
- The Siren – Joan Collins
- Lola Lasagne – Ethel Merman
- Louie the Lilac – Milton Berle
- Olga, Queen of the Cossacks – Anne Baxter
- Lord Marmaduke Ffogg – Rudy Vallée
- Lady Penelope Peasoup – Glynis Johns
- Nora Clavicle – Barbara Rush
- Calamity Jan – Dina Merrill
- Dr. Cassandra Spellcraft – Ida Lupino
- Cabala – Howard Duff
- Minerva – Zsa Zsa Gabor
The list above provides a rundown of all the major villains in both the series and the movie. Here are some additional details to know:
- The first villain to appear on the show was The Riddler, as played by Frank Gorshin. The Riddler appeared in the two-part story, Hi Diddle Riddle/Smack in the Middle, which aired on January 12th & 13th 1966.
- The final villain to appear on the show was Minerva, as played by Zsa Zsa Gabor. Minerva appeared in the stand-alone episode, Minerva, Mayhem and Millionaires, which aired on March 14th 1968.
- Most villains were played by the same actors, with three exceptions: The Riddler, Catwoman and Mr. Freeze. In the series The Riddler was played by Frank Gorshin and John Astin, while Mr. Freeze was played by George Sanders, Otto Preminger and Eli Wallach. Catwoman was played by Julie Newmar and Eartha Kitt in the series, and Lee Meriwether in the movie.
- Malachi Throne played the role of False Face in the two-part story, True or False-Face/Holy Rat Race. In the first episode, True or False-Face, Throne was credited as ‘?’ to maintain the villain’s mysterious identity.
- Between the series and the movie, as well as uncredited roles, the Joker and Penguin were the most commonly featured villains.
Beyond Batman ’66
In 2016, Warner Bros. Animation produced an animated Batman movie called, Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders. The film – a spiritual continuation of Batman ’66 – included multiple villains from the television show.
The core villains included The Joker, Catwoman, The Penguin The Riddler. Archer, Black Widow, Bookworm, Clock King, Egg Head, False Face, King Tut, Louie the Lilac, Mad Hatter, Minstrel, Mr. Freeze, Sandman, Shame and Siren all featured in cameo roles.
A sequel to Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders, called Batman vs. Two-Face, followed in 2017. This movie introduced Two-Face into the world of Batman ’66, bringing the classic character into the ’66 continuity for the first time.
Which major Batman villains did not appear in Batman ’66?
While many classic villains did appear in Batman ’66, there were a few notable exceptions. Neither Poison Ivy, Scarecrow, nor Clayface appeared in the series or movie.
All of these characters were a part of the Batman mythology when the series aired. Ivy made her comic book debut in 1966, while Scarecrow appeared in 1941, and Clayface appeared in comics in 1940, they simply were not adapted for television.
If you’re wondering why the likes of Harley Quinn, Bane, Ra’s al Ghul, Man-Bat or Scarface were also absent from Batman ’66, it is because these classic villains were not created until long after the show had concluded.
I hope this information about the villains of Batman ’66 has proved useful. For more Batman content, be sure to take a look around I’ll Get Drive-Thru, or check out the recommended reads below.
- Remember the hilarious Joker Snickers commercial?
- Five popular opinions about the Batman movies
- What is Batman: the Fatal Wish?