Actress/singer/songwriter Donna Loren is a pop culture princess. Her credits are collection of 1960s pop pleasures: appearances on SHINDIG, THE MONKEES, DR. KILDARE, GOMER PYLE, USMC, THE MILTON BERLE SHOW and as a performer in such swingin’ films as PAJAMA PARTY, MUSCLE BEACH PARTY and the ultra-classic BEACH BLANKET BINGO, not to mention her time as the one and only Dr. Pepper Girl.
But our interests here lay in her performance in the legendary 1966-68 BATMAN TV series, as Susie the Cheerleader. How many other actresses can claim to have been not only a moll of the Joker but also the target of his deadly desires? Donna Loren can and receives her due credit in my upcoming book, “Gotham City 14 Miles,” due out this December.
We checked in with the beautiful Ms. Loren for a brief Q&A on her own visit to Gotham in 1966’s “The Joker Goes to School/He Meets His Match, the Grisly Ghoul.”
Jim: Ms. Loren, How did you get the part of Susie the Cheerleader and do you remember how you felt when you were cast?
Donna Loren: At that point in my career I interviewed with William Dozier and I was hired. He liked the way I read for the part because I camped it up. It always feels good when you put an effort in and are rewarded although I did not know until my first day on the set how big a hit it was.
Jim: What was it like being on the set of BATMAN during filming? Was it different than other 1960s shows you were involved with?
Donna: SHINDIG, THE MONKEES, DR. KILDARE; all had one thing in common with BATMAN: they were hits and I was privileged to be on them.
Jim: You interacted with both Adam West and Burt Ward - what were they like at that time? Do you remember how you felt acting with them while they were in costume?
Donna: Actually, I only saw them in costume when we were rehearsing and shooting each scene. I was impressed by Adam West’s chivalry. What a gentleman!
Jim: You also worked alongside Cesar Romero as the Joker - what was he like? It’s said he was able to take catnaps anywhere at any time - do you remember this or any other anecdotes about working with him on the show?
Donna: Caesar Romero was a pro. A veteran actor and gallant performer, his laugh was intoxicating. Even through his mask of white and wig of green he was handsome and stately. He did have a bit of a breathing problem and always swigged on his supply of oxygen.
Jim: Do you remember any of your other co-stars or even the production team? Anything that sticks out about them - or even any props or sets you worked with?
Donna: My most challenging day was learning the "cheer". I started early in the morning on a concrete floor practicing a train rhythm which taxed my muscles, so it was Bengay to the rescue.
Jim: How do you look back at your role on BATMAN today? Do your fans still mention it you?
Donna: It is thrilling to be a part of pop culture and BATMAN, since the character has crossed over into several generations and is still strong. Fans do love it and whenever a sequel comes out or a rerun on TV appears, "Susie" is resurrected. HOLY SIS BOOM BAH, BATMAN!!!
Many warm and sincere thanks to Donna for taking the time for a quick walk down Bat-Memory Lane. Be sure to visit her official site, http://www.donnaloren.net, and pick up her new CD “Love it Away.”
And if you just can't get enough of Donna, check out Sam Tweedle's own check-in with the Dr. Pepper Girl:
Pop Culture Addict