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Zelda the Great

Zelda the Great, also known as the "Bank Bandit", is an antagonist in the episode "Zelda The Great/A Death Worse Than Fate" of the 1960 Batman television series.

Unlike other villains of the Batman series, she did not commit crime for personal profit, but to pay her ally, Eivol Ekdol to make her annual escape device. Otherwise she made her living as a magician. She was known for being clever and being able to keep up with Batman during her only appearances.

She was portrayed by the late Anne Baxter.

History

Every year on April Fools' Day, Zelda would rob a bank of exactly $100,000 to pay Eivol Ekdol of her annual big escape trap. After two years on the case, Commission Gordon called in Batman and Robin to solve the case. With virtually no leads, thanks to Zelda's careful planning, Batman decided to make one by planting a pair of phony stories. The first was that the money the Bank Bandit had stolen was counterfeit that was in the vault awaiting transport to be disposed. The other was that a rare emerald would be on display at Stonewall's Jewelry for one day only, its value was $100,000. While Zelda and Eivol believed the story about the counterfeit money, Zelda saw through the other one saying that it was too convenient a target. A quick scouting trip confirmed her suspicions. As a result before stealing the emerald, just to taunt the dynamic duo, she arranges the kidnap of Aunt Harriet for the necessary money. As Aunt Harriet is lured outside to meet the special taxi, she is startled as two additional men appear into the back of the taxi with her. They each hold Aunt Harriet firm between them while they render her unconscious with a chloroform rag. The men are quite excited watching her eyes get heavy as she slowly passes out from the sedative. On their way to Zelda, the men encase Aunt Harriet inside a black nylon straitjacket, gag her with a thick terrycloth, and cover her face with a green silk scarf. Once there, Aunt Harriet is dragged inside to the vat. Zelda has them attach Aunt Harriet to a cable. She is hoisted in the air to dangle over a vat of boiling oil. As the heat starts to rise, it wakes Aunt Harriet. She kicked her feet in a frenzy from the overwhelming heat. Zelda sat in her chair knitting. Watching television. She would glance over at Aunt Harriet now and again. Smiling to the sounds of her moaning through her gag. Zelda heard a thud and watched as Aunt Harriets' repeated kicking caused her shoes to fall from her nylon covered feet. The first shoe hitting the wall. The other into the boiling oil. Aunt Harriet would bend her knees to keep her exposed sheer pantyhosed feet from the heat. If Zelda's demands are not met, she plans to release the cable and drop Aunt Harriet into the vat of boiling oil!

Zelda finds out the money is real and promptly releases Aunt Harriet. Zelda ends up falling in love with Batman and saves him and Robin from Ekdal's trap. Ekdal had two criminals hiding in wooden caskets with machine guns preparing to kill Batman and Robin. Zelda warns them saving the Dynamic Duo.

Known Associates

  • Eivol Ekdal - A strange Albanian genius who made the various escape devices for Zelda each year for the price of $100,000. Unlike Zelda, Eivol was truly crooked and his high prices were the reason she had take up crime.

Trivia

  • While Zelda never appeared again, Anne Baxter did in season 3 as Olga, Queen of Cossacks. This marked her as the only guest actor to play two different villains.
  • This is the only cliffhanger where some else besides the Dynamic Duo are left in a perilous death trap.

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Theatrical Movies
Batman (1966): Joker | Catwoman | Penguin | Riddler
Batman (1989): Joker | Joker Goons (Bob Hawkins) | Alicia Hunt | Carl Grissom | Max Eckhardt | Vinnie Ricorso | Joe Chill
Batman Returns: Penguin | Red Triangle Circus Gang (Organ Grinder, Poodle Lady, Tattooed Strongman, Stungun Clown, Thin Clown, Fat Clown, Sword Swallower & Knifethrower Dame) | Max Shreck | Catwoman | Charles "Chip" Shreck
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm: Joker | Phantasm | Salvatore Valestra | Arthur Reeves | Chuckie Sol | Buzz Bronski
Batman Forever: Riddler | Two-Face | Sugar | Spice | NygmaTech (Frogmen) | Neon Gang (Neon Gang Leader) | Salvatore Maroni
Batman & Robin: Poison Ivy | Mr. Freeze | Bane | Snowy Cones Thugs | Golums | Jason Woodrue
Batman Begins: Ra's al Ghul | League of Shadows (Ra's Decoy) | Scarecrow | Carmine Falcone | Victor Zsasz | Joe Chill
The Dark Knight: Joker | Joker's Thugs (Thomas Schiff, Chuckles, Kilson, Happy, Dopey, Grumpy & Bus Driver) | Two-Face | Sal Maroni | The Chechen | Gambol | Lau | Bank Manager | Michael Wuertz | Burmese Bandit
The Dark Knight Rises: League of Shadows (Bane, Talia al Ghul & Barsad) | Catwoman | John Daggett
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: Lex Luthor | Doomsday | Anatoli Knyazev | Mercy Graves | Cesar Santos | Amajagh | Joe Chill | Superman | Zod | Joker | Steppenwolf
Suicide Squad: Eyes of the Adversary (Enchantress & Incubus) | Suicide Squad (Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, El Diablo, Killer Croc, Slipknot & Amanda Waller) | Joker's Gang (Joker, Jonny Frost, Panda Man & Monster T) | Griggs
The Lego Batman Movie: Joker | Harley Quinn | Phantom Zone Criminals (Zod, Sauron, Kraken, Lord Voldemort, Jaws & Gremlins) | Catwoman | Poison Ivy | Two-Face | Bane | Riddler
Joker: Clowns (Joker, Clown & Ambulance Clown) | Penny Fleck | Randall | Wall Street Three | Penny Fleck's Boyfriend

Direct-to-video Movies
Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero: Mr. Freeze | Dr. Gregory Belson
Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker: Joker | The Jokerz (Chucko, Dee-Dee, Ghoul, Bonk, & Woof) | Harley Quinn
Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman: Penguin | Bane | Rupert Thorne | Carlton Duquesne
The Batman vs. Dracula: Dracula | Penguin | Joker
Superman/Batman: Public Enemies: Lex Luthor | Major Force | Metallo | Amanda Waller | Toyman | Solomon Grundy | Gorilla Grodd | Killer Frost | Lady Shiva | Giganta | Mongul | Captain Cold
Batman: Under the Red Hood: Jason Todd | Joker | Black Mask | Ra's al Ghul | Riddler
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse: Darkseid | Female Furies (Granny Goodness, Gilotina, Mad Harriet, Lashina & Stompa) | Doomsday
Batman: Year One: Batman | Gotham City Police Department (Commissioner Loeb, Arnold John Flass, & Howard Branden) | Falcone Crime Family (Carmine Falcone & Johnny Viti) | Catwoman | Joker
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns: Batman | Joker | Mutant Leader | Ellen Yindel | Harvey Dent | Selina Kyle
Son of Batman: Deathstroke | League of Assassins (Ra's al Ghul & Talia al Ghul) | Ubu | Killer Croc | Man-Bats
Batman: Assault on Arkham: Suicide Squad (Amanda Waller, Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, Killer Frost, King Shark, Black Spider, KGBeast) | Joker | Riddler | Penguin | Scarecrow | Victor Zsasz | Bane | Two-Face | Poison Ivy
Batman vs. Robin: Court of Owls (Samantha Vanaver, Talon, Owls Lieutenant, & Talon Warriors) | Dollmaker
Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts: Animalitia (Penguin, Killer Croc, Man-Bat, Cheetah & Silverback)
Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem: Joker | Scarecrow | Clayface | Silver Banshee | Solomon Grundy
Batman: Bad Blood: League of Assassins (Talia al Ghul, The Heretic, Onyx, Firefly, Tusk, Mad Hatter, Electrocutioner, Hellhound, Calculator, & Killer Moth) | Black Mask
Batman: The Killing Joke: Joker | Vinnie & Joe | Paris Franz
Batman Unlimited: Mechs vs. Mutants: Penguin | Mr. Freeze | Cheetah | Hush | Mad Hatter | Two-Face | Bane | Chemo | Killer Croc | Clayface | Joker | Dr. Kirk Langstrom
Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders: Joker | Penguin | Riddler | Catwoman | Archer | Black Widow | Bookworm | Clock King | Egghead | False Face | King Tut | Louie the Lilac | Mad Hatter | Minstrel | Mr. Freeze | Sandman | Shame | Siren
Batman and Harley Quinn: Harley Quinn | Poison Ivy | Floronic Man
Batman vs. Two-Face: Two-Face | Hugo Strange | Catwoman | King Tut | Bookworm | Joker | Penguin | Riddler | Clock King | Egghead | Mr. Freeze | Shame | Harley Quinn
Scooby-Doo! & Batman: The Brave and the Bold: Riddler | Clayface | Joker | Mr. Freeze | Catwoman | Penguin | Harley Quinn | Poison Ivy
Batman: Gotham by Gaslight: Jack the Ripper | Barbara-Eileen Gordon | Selina Kyle | Harvey Dent | Hugo Strange
Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay: Professor Zoom | Suicide Squad (Amanda Waller, Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, Bronze Tiger, Copperhead, Punch, Jewelee, & Count Vertigo) | Killer Frost | Blockbuster | Silver Banshee | Vandal Savage | Scandal Savage | Professor Pyg | Tobias Whale | League of Assassins (Deathstroke) | Two-Face
Batman Ninja: Joker | Harley Quinn | Catwoman | Gorilla Grodd | Bane | Penguin | Poison Ivy | Deathstroke | Two-Face
Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Foot Clan (Shredder & Baxter Stockman) | League of Assassins (Ra's al Ghul & Ubu) | Joker | Penguin | Harley Quinn | Mr. Freeze | Scarecrow | Two-Face | Poison Ivy | Bane
Batman: Hush: Riddler/Hush | Catwoman | Poison Ivy | Bane | Joker | Harley Quinn | Clayface | Scarecrow | Lex Luthor | Lady Shiva | Two-Face | Penguin | Mr. Freeze | Thomas Elliot
Batman: Soul of the Dragon: Nāga | Kobra (Jeffery Burr, Schlangenfaust, Lady Eve, King Snake & Rip Jagger) | Ben Turner | Shiva | Richard Dragon | Jade
Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One: Holiday | Falcone Crime Family (Carmine Falcone, Milos Grapa, Alberto Falcone, & Johnny Viti) | Joker | San Ho Hui (Mickey Chen) | Solomon Grundy | Calendar Man | Salvatore Maroni | Poison Ivy | Harvey Dent | Oswald Cobblepot | Jervis Tetch | Jonathan Crane | Catwoman

Television
Batman 60s show
Joker | Penguin | Catwoman | Riddler | Mr. Freeze | The Archer | Black Widow | Bookworm | Egghead | Clock King | Queenie Goldstein | Sandman | Dr. Cassandra Spellcraft | Cabala | Minstrel | Shame | False Face | The Siren | Undine | Chandell & Harry | King Tut | Louie the Lilac | Mad Hatter | Cornelia | Baby Jane Towser | Lydia Limpet | Zelda the Great | The Puzzler | Olga, Queen of Cossacks | Marsha, Queen of Diamonds | Lord Marmaduke Ffogg | Lady Penelope Peasoup | Ma Parker | Freddy the Fence | Lola Lasagne | Nora Clavicle | Colonel Gumm | Minerva | Killer Moth | Calamity Jan

1970s Filmation series
Joker | Catwoman | Penguin | Riddler | Clayface | Mr Freese | Sweet Tooth

Batman: The Animated Series
Joker | Two-Face | Harley Quinn | Penguin | Catwoman | Rupert Thorne | Riddler | Poison Ivy | Scarecrow | Mad Hatter | Killer Croc | Clayface | Ra's al Ghul | Mr. Freeze | Man-Bat | Ventriloquist and Scarface | Roland Daggett | Clock King | Bane | Hugo Strange | Lloyd Ventrix | Kyodai Ken | Baby Doll | Emile Dorian | Red Claw | Boss Biggis | Sewer King | Talia al Ghul | Maxie Zeus | Lock-Up | Professor Milo | Count Vertigo | Daniel Mockridge | Grant Walker | Gil Mason | Arkady Duvall | Fake Harley | Ferris Boyle | Arnold Stromwell | Tony Zucco | H.A.R.D.A.C. | Calendar Girl | Batman Clone

The Batman
Joker | Penguin | Bane | Catwoman | Mr. Freeze | Ethan Bennit | Killer Croc | Man-Bat | Firefly | Riddler | Punch & Judy | Kabuki Twins | Hugo Strange | Cluemaster | Ragdoll | Temblor | Poison Ivy | Tony Zucco | Count Vertigo | Harley Quinn | Maxie Zeus | Clayface | Gearhead | Francis Grey | Killer Moth | D.A.V.E. | Dracula | Rumor | Toyman | Mirror Master | Lex Luthor | Black Mask | Sinestro | Joker 2.0 | Prank | Killgore Steed | Team Penguin | Julie | Spellbinder | Blaze | The Joining | Cosmo Krank | Marty Slacker | Scorn

Batman: The Brave and The Bold
Joker | Music Meister | Catwoman | Penguin | Mr. Freeze | Clayface | Riddler | Poison Ivy | Lex Luthor | Harley Quinn | Morgaine Le Fey | Sweet Tooth | Queenie Goldstein | Bane | Kite Man | Black Manta | Gentleman Ghost

Beware the Batman
Anarky | Ra's al Ghul | Deathstroke | Two-Face | Killer Croc | Simon Stagg | Professor Pyg | Mr. Toad | Man-Bat | Cypher | Magpie | Lady Shiva | Tobias Whale | Phosphorus Rex | Lunkhead | Humpty Dumpty | Silver Monkey | Key | Bethany Ravencroft

Harley Quinn
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Video Games
Injustice
Superman | Joker | Wonder Woman | Yellow Lantern | The Flash | Aquaman | Nightwing | Cyborg | Raven | Solomon Grundy | Catwoman | Bane | Black Adam | Deadshot | Poison Ivy | Scarecrow | Deathstroke