Golden Age Hollywood Casting of DC Characters

Applejack made a great suggestion, so I thought I’d follow up on it. As a fun exercise, I’ll give a list of classic Hollywood actors and you tell me which DC heroes or villains they would be perfect casting for. This time, I thought I’d mix it up and add some music and comedy stars to go along with the dramatic actors, so here we go:

  1. Susan Hayward (ca. 1952)

  2. Tyrone Power (ca. 1940)

  3. Betty Grable (ca. 1943)

  4. Groucho Marx (ca. 1937)

  5. Ginger Rogers (ca, 1936)

  6. Richard Widmark (ca. 1947)


Tyrone Power would do well as Batman. He played Zorro too, so it’d only be fitting.

Groucho Marx…Joker, maybe? The glasses and 'stache would need to go and camera trickery would need to be utilized to make him appear taller.

Clark Gable could’ve been a decent Superman.

Susan Heyward, Wonder Woman. Look at the photo below. That’s perfect WW casting as Diana appeared then.

is still curious what Orson Welles’ Batman movie would’ve been like

  1. Susan Hayward (ca. 1952) Poison Ivy (A truly dangerous redhead, she has Ivy’s suductive power over men without needing spores to do it.)
  2. Tyrone Power (ca. 1940) Batman (Is this even a question. He was Zorro and do we remember the marquee at the theater in Bruce’s origin)
  3. Betty Grable (ca. 1943) Harley Quinn (Fun, lovable, dangerous, and those eyes would sell "she might be sweet, she might whack you on the head with a mallet)
  4. Groucho Marx (ca. 1937) Alfred Pennyworth (we need a really smart, satirical Alfred, and he’d play so well off of Tyrone Power.)
  5. Ginger Rogers (ca, 1936) Hawkgirl (She looks so sweet, but she’d really kick your but if the situation called for it, and would be so graceful flying)
  6. Richard Widmark (ca. 1947) The Question (He have the perfect build and voice)

and I’ll add one
7: Jayne Mansfield (1956) Power Girl


Richard Widmark would have to be the Joker. Tommy Udo from A Touch of Evil is the Joker.


What do we think would be a good role for Peter Lorre?


How about the Scarecrow?


If the character existed in his day, I bet Humphrey Bogart would have nailed The Question.


I absolutely love this thread. Keep them coming guys!


Fred MacMurray as Harvey Dent anyone?


Jules Feifer in his book on superheroes said that Fred Mcmurry was the model for the body of the original Captain Marvel.

Jimmy Stuart based on Destry Rides Again or any movie western hero Vigilante. Depends how serious you want the movie to be. And when older was in a lot of westerns

Like Bogart as Question.

How about Lon Chaney Jr as Wildcat? I could see him in the boxing ring.

Cyd Charisse as Catwoman.

Lucille Ball as Harley Quinn


Burt Lancaster was a acrobat. Watch the Crimson Pirate. What is DC version of Daredevil? He is not a Batman Type.

James Cagney as the Golden Age Atom

Marilyn Manroe forBlack Canary

1 Like

Vivian Leigh or Ava Gardner as Zatanna

Judy Holliday as Harley Quinn

Lena Horne as Vixen

Sidney Potier as Mr Terrific

Jack Lemmon as Joker

Robert Michum or Rock Hudson as Superman
Lauren Becall as Lois Lane
Yul Brynner as Lex Luthor
Broderick Crawford as Perry White
Tony Curtis as Jimmy Olson

Claude Rains as Osymandius

Peter O Toole as John Constantine

David Niven as Arthur Pennyworth


Alfred not Arthur of course

1 Like

Peter Lorre as Hugo Strange.

1 Like

Peter Cushing as Ra’s Al Guhl
Marty Feldman as Riddler
Boris Karlof as Scarecrow
Vincent Price as The Phantom Stranger
Humphrey Bogart as The Spectre (imagine him as Jim Corrigan)


Whoa! You folks have some great casting notions! Thanks for the responses. I didn’t really see Susan Hayward as Wonder Woman, but seeing that picture of her, yes! If she did play the part, how about her battling Maureen O’Hara as Giganta? If there’s anything more formidable than a cheesed-off Maureen O’Hara, it would be a 50-foot, cheesed-off Maureen O’Hara!

And how about Doom Patrol? I could probably see:

Lon Chaney Jr. as Cliff Steele

Paulette Goddard as Crazy Jane

Van Johnson as Larry Trainor

Evelyn Ankers as Rita Farr

Claude Rains as Niles Caulder

Rita Hayworth as Madame Rouge

1 Like

Burt Lancaster…he would have been a pretty damn great Superman I think.

Loves me some Burt Lancaster.


Gregory Peck – Batman
Clint Walker – Superman
Paul Newman – Hal Jordan (obviously if you know HJ’s creation history)
Tyrone Power – Two Face
Heddy Lamar – Wonder Woman
Johnny Weissmuller – Aquaman
Joel Mcrea – Jay Garrick
Marlon Brando – Vandal Savage
Mickey Rooney – Golden Age Atom
Montgomery Clift – John Constantine
Troy Donahue – Barry Allen
Paul Robeson – John Stewart
James Edwards – Black Manta
George Sanders – Lex Luthor
Buster Crabbe – Golden Age Hawkman
Bette Davis – Magpie


Ester Williams as Mera


How about Edward G. Robinson? I’m thinking maybe Perry White.

Also, John Wayne as Hal Jordan, or maybe Superman.

I could see a younger Orson Welles as Batman, or an older one as Lex Luthor or Vandal Savage or somebody like that.