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Beer In Ads #4665: Batman, Robin & Miss Rheingold 1962

Tuesday’s ad is for “Rheingold Beer,” from 1962. This ad was made for the Rheingold Brewery, which was founded by the Liebmann family in 1883 in New York, New York. At its peak, it sold 35% of all the beer in New York state. In 1963, the family sold the brewery and in was shut down in 1976. In 1940, Philip Liebmann, great-grandson of the founder, Samuel Liebmann, started the “Miss Rheingold” pageant as the centerpiece of its marketing campaign. Beer drinkers voted each year on the young lady who would be featured as Miss Rheingold in advertisements. In the 1940s and 1950s in New York, “the selection of Miss Rheingold was as highly anticipated as the race for the White House.” The winning model was then featured in at least twelve monthly advertisements for the brewery, beginning in 1940 and ending in 1965. Beginning in 1941, the selection of next year’s Miss Rheingold was instituted and became wildly popular in the New York Area and beyond. In 1962, Kathy Kersh won the contest and became Miss Rheingold for that year. She was born Kathleen Kroeger Kersh on December 15, 1942 in Los Angeles, California (though one source claimed it was Hawaii). She attended a theatrical school, studying dance and acting. In 1959, she won the title of Miss Junior Rose Bowl, and became a professional model, and later an actress and singer. After her year as Miss Rheingold 1962, she married actor Vince Edwards, best known as Dr. Ben Casey on the TV show of the same name. But they were married for only four months before divorcing, and her daughter was born shortly thereafter when she became a single mother. Some of her more memorable appearances were on Burke’s Law, My Favorite Martian, The Beverly Hillbillies, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., and a small part in the film “The Americanization of Emily.” In 1967, she signed a record deal with Power Records, and released two singles. After a small role as Cornelia, one of the Joker’s henchmen, on Batman, she married Burt Ward, who played Robin. That marriage last two years, and afterwards she attended business school and embarked on successful a career in commercial real estate. As far as know, she still lives in Sherman Oaks, California. Unlike many of the Miss Rheingolds, Kathy Kersh, went on to have quite a career in entertainment, appearing in both films and television, and continued to sing and do some modeling as she had before 1962. Probably her most remembered appearance was in two episodes of Batman during season 2 in 1966. She played Cornelia, one of the Joker’s henchmen in a two-part story: Episode 21 – “The Impractical Joker” followed by Episode 22 – “The Joker’s Provokers.” Here’s the description of “The Impractical Joker” episode:

The Joker pulls off a string of key-related pranks throughout Gotham City, then with his magic box, proceeds to snatch a priceless jeweled key right under the noses of Batman and Robin. The Dynamic Duo wise up to his ways and thwart him at their next encounter. However, the Joker has more devious plans to do away with them both before his final caper.

And this is for “The Joker’s Provokers” episode:

After a reworking, the Joker’s magic box holds the power to alter time forward and backward. Batman and Robin learn of his plans to pollute the city water supply, and butler Alfred is sent to take over as security guard at the water works. Alfred nabs the box upon the villain’s arrival, freezing him and his cronies in time, but unwittingly commits a dangerous error when he removes the box’s key.

Kathy Kersh wore a very distinctive costume which was a fan favorite. Here’s several stills from the two episodes. And she got quite a lot more out of this appearance on Batman as you’ll soon learn.

Batman, Robin and Cornelia (Kathy Kersh).
Another signed still showing Robin being kidnapped.
Kathy Kersh as Cornelia.
Joker and Cornelia.
Joker and Cornelia agin.
Batman and Robin break into Cornelia’s place.
Cornelia and Joker again.
Kathy Kersh as Cornelia.
Everyone remembers that purple outfit.

During the filming of the two episodes, Kathy Kersh became acquainted with Burt Ward, the actor who played Robin and the pair became a couple, getting married in 1967.

Burt Ward and Kathy Kersh at the wedding in 1967.
This article appeared shortly after the couple married in 1967.
This newspaper item from after the duo married.
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