Spotlight On… is a blog post series I started to look at either actors with multiple characters or characters with multiple actors in the world of Batman 66.
For volume four of my Spotlight On… blog post series I thought I’d take a look at False Face (portrayed mostly by Malachi Throne), and Blaze (portrayed mostly by Myrna Fahey) By the very nature of their characters they arguably qualify under both categories!
Season 1 Episode 17: True or False-Face
Opening Credits and Closing Credits: Special Guest Villain: ? As False Face
It is established earlier on that False Face is a recurring villain for our caped crusaders and that his calling card is a false quote and saying the opposite of what he means.
Princess Mergenberg (Blaze) and Associate (False Face)
A disguise they both use to steal the crown of the real Princess Mergenberg on display at Gotham City Exhibit Hall.
Baker for Mother Ffollie’s (False Face)
In escaping the police, False Face changes his black van into a white van for the Mother Ffollie’s baking company and once the police have past his van he gets out and celebrates dressed as as a baker.
Elderly Messenger (Blaze)
Blaze appears as an elderly gentlemen messenger (portrayed, uncredited by Hal K Dawson) passing along a message/challenge to Batman on behalf of False Face
Licensed Bonded Guard for Ladd Armored Car Company (False Face)
Malachi Throne, the actor portraying False Face actually gets to almost use his real face, bar a fake moustache, in this role! False Face is however undone in his disguise by his illegal parking, by an eagle eyed Batman!
Elderly Woman (False Face)
False Face imitates an elderly woman, with the use of costuming and a large veil, being walked across the road, and uses the distraction to ambush the caped crusaders.
Chief O’Hara (False Face)
Portrayed by Stafford Repp. False Face appears as Chief O’Hara, stunning the real Chief O’Hara and knocks him out with a powder from his whistle. False Face uses this disguise to escape capture.
In a later scene, False Face passes off not quite sounding like Chief O’Hara in a scene with Batman, Robin and Commissioner Gordon by claiming to have an agonising toothache making it difficult to speak.
Season 1 Episode 18: Holy Rat Race
Opening Credits: Special Guest Villain: ? As False Face
At the beginning of this episode False Face realises Blaze has gone soft and her allegiance is now for the side of good!
To break into a bank vault False Face poses as a guard (whom we only see from behind) taking over the duty of another for the nightshift.
When Batman, Robin and the Police appear to apprehend False Face and his henchmen, in the flurry of activity, False Face is able to escape as a Policeman carrying out one of his henchmen under the guise of dealing with him as a policeman. (I will admit I may be wrong on this, but the actor portraying False Face portraying a Policeman seems to be Tony Santoro, if anyone can correct me, feel free!)
False Face appears as an innocent bystander outside a Saloon, offering to help head False Face off at the pass when informed what’s going on. Portrayed by Mike Ragan.
With Commissioner Gordon involved in the foray, False Face pretends to be Commissioner Gordon (portrayed by Neil Hamilton), but is found out by Batman who realises that a right-handed Commissioner shouldn’t be holding his handkerchief in his left hand!
Closing Credits: Special Guest Villain: Malachi Throne as False Face
Throughout various scenes in both episodes despite not being a disguise in the traditional sense, False Face often wore clothing befitting his surroundings, or different facial hair and hairstyles on top of his False Face mask.
The ? In the credits came from a contractual disagreement. Malachi Throne was unhappy with how things had turned out as initially his disguises were going to be done with different make ups and costuming rather than the use of a plastic mask and different actors, but there were budgetary and production concerns. Because of this Malachi asked for his name to be removed from the credits as he argued that the audience doesn’t see his face and that it could’ve been anyone under that mask. The producers did reserve the right to use his name, however, and as such it appears at the end of part two of the story.
The guard for the armoured car interestingly enough, with the use of a fake moustache and with Malachi Throne contorting his face, is something Malachi considered to be proof of concept for the original idea.
The Legacy of False Face…
Batman The Brave and the Bold: Season 1 Episode 5: Day of the Dark Knight
At the beginning of the episode there is a jailbreak and many of the criminals are characters that either originated in the 60s TV series and/or were popularised in the 60s TV series. Though not on screen for long, False Face is one of them. No lines, hence no voice actor.
Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders
Set in the continuity of the Batman TV Series. False Face appears as one of many villains released from prison by Robin and Catwoman in an attempt to defeat all the evil Batmen clones. No lines, hence no voice actor.
Batman 66 Comics
Using the facade of Bruce Wayne, portrayed in the series by Adam West, False Face gets $20,000 for some jewellery and then steals a bag of money from a crime scene involving Batman, Robin and the Riddler. The appearance of Bruce Wayne understandably distracting Robin momentarily.
False Face imitates Mr. Chan and uses this identity to stealing the Tiger Topaz (a throwback to the Issue 5 story “Tail of the Tiger Topaz”)
Not seen by reader, but this disguise is used to surprise Mr. Chan and tie him up whilst False Face imitates him.
To hide out at a Ranger Cabin in Keystone, South Dakota, False Face imitates the President. Though not named in the issue, his face and the time period would indicate Lyndon B Johnson. A person/character who had previously appeared, seen only from the back and side, and voiced (uncredited) by Van Williams in Batman: The Movie.
Portrayed in the series by Myrna Fahey. False Face imitates a disgruntled Blaze in an attempt to set Batman after “False Face”.
In a last ditch attempt to not be beaten/apprehended by Batman, False Face imitates “The Great Emancipator”.
At Patient Pageant Night at Arkham Institute, False Face imitates Egghead, portrayed in the series by Vincent Price, and asks Bruce if he has any requests. Bruce asks for him not to imitate Bruce again and steal jewels, in response…
He imitates Bruce and asks “You don’t think I make a fine Bruce Wayne, Mr Wayne”
A TV producer making “Dark Knight Detective”, a darker re-imagining of Batman’s story. Initially False Face wanted to carry out criminal tasks in a “quasi-legal” way and so thought about being a TV producer. Then he realised he could use it to affect Batman’s reputation and lead him to his doom!
In this issue we find out False Face’s real name is Basil Karlo. The name of the original Clayface in the comics.
False Face imitates a security guard to try and evade the caped crusaders.
False Face after seemingly being absorbed into the ground, after his body starts to transform and he runs into quicksand, reappears as Clayface.
In a re-enactment of the animated opening titles of the Batman TV series, Clayface imitates a Green Screen
Wonder Woman 77 Special 3
Clayface appears, in search of a way to stabilise himself. Cheetah suggests he seek out the magic clay that Wonder Woman was formed from. Though he cannot look exactly like the thing he imitates anymore, Clayface turns into clay versions of, a bird, a box, 24 Wonder Women, and a large version of Wonder Woman. After he is defeated Wonder Woman leaves Clayface as a Jigsaw puzzle for Steve Trevor to do whilst he rests up from his fever.
Batman 66 Meets Wonder Woman 77
Clayface appears as one of the minor villains in this mini series.
Malachi Throne would also go on to voice a few different characters in animated DC Comics projects, but most interesting in relation to this post is, The New Batman Adventures: Season 2 Episode 9: Judgment Day, he appeared as The Judge, a 3rd identity for the already fractured personality of Two-Face, voiced ordinarily by Richard Moll. An interesting character for the man who once played the identity changing False Face.