Posted in: Movies

Julie Newmar’s Catwoman Lives On

Julie Newmar Catwoman

Julie Newmar was the very first Catwoman, so it comes as no surprise, given Anne Hathaway‘s role as Catwoman in the new Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises, that the two are being compared.

NorthJersey.com reports that Newmar, who was the first to play Selina Kyle (aka Catwoman) in an onscreen adaptation of the Batman comic book series, made her debut in the 1960s. She plays the on-again, off-again love interest of superhero Batman, who just so happens to be his arch-nemesis.

Newmar’s portrayal of the cat burglar, with her almost unreal hourglass figure, has fans sending her mail 50 years later. She confesses that most of the mail has been “particularly from boys who say, ‘You made me realize I was a boy!’ ”

Julie Newmar was a Broadway veteran before her role in the 1960s Batman series. She appeared in “The Marriage-Go-Round,” where she won a Tony Award, and also in “Li’l Abner,” where she played Stupefyin’ Jones both on the stage and the screen versions. Newman, who stands at 5-foot-11, had a perfect hourglass figure (38-23-38), and must have been an obvious choice for creators of the TV series when they were casting their Batman series.

For Newmar, however, she didn’t know what to think when offered the role. In a 2002 interview, the now 78-year-old actress recalled:

“Actually…when the call came, I said, ‘Batman? What’s that?’ But my brother John leaped off the couch and said, ‘Do it!’ “

Julie Newmar Catwoman

The actress was an instant hit, and it appears that her latest successor, Anne Hathaway, is the same way. Hathaway, who stars opposite Christian Bale in the recently released film “The Dark Rises,” has said that she took her new role very seriously. She reportedly didn’t even want to put on the costume until she completely understood her interpretation of the Catwoman character. When she finally donned the clingy black leather suit, Hathaway stated:

“The first time I was in it… I just got a chill. I remember thinking, ‘This is going to be extraordinary.’ “

And while Julie Newmar’s portrayal of Selena Kyle was comic book-perfect, it seems that fans like Kelsea Stahler, writer for Hollywood.com, believe that Anne Hathaway’s portrayal could relate better to the modern-day woman. Stahler wrote:

“Hathaway’s Kyle is no picnic. And she’s certainly no role model. She is, however, a woman that most contemporary audiences can truly relate to and understand. On one hand, she spends her time using men as playthings in her scheme to better her life. But on the other, she sees her role as almost modern day, feminist Robin Hood.”

Anne Hathaway

Do you remember watching Julie Newmar’s iconic portrayal of Catwoman in the 1960s Batman TV series?

Check out the video below to see Julie Newmar playing Catwoman:

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Comments

110 Responses to “Julie Newmar’s Catwoman Lives On”

  1. Robert Stoll

    On one hand, she spends her time using men as playthings? Don't all cunts from America do this in reality? Where's the sci-fi element?

  2. Annie Hall

    Why do Newmar have her legs gapped open during the interview. I hope he finished the interview without getting cat juice and cat hair on him. The best catwoman is Anne Hathway. She is human and she do not over do the cat routine. The rest of them were to kitty catty.

  3. Anonymous

    I guess only us old guys know about Newmar….SEX KITTEN is a good adjective….she had those intangibles…the walk, the voice, her movements….sure there are prettier women but they didn't have her qualities…she could have men begging for it if she wanted to.

  4. Melissa Stusinski

    Actually, that is not entirely true. While Lee Meriweather was the first to play Catwoman in a movie, which came out in July 1966, Julie Newmar played Catwoman in the Batman series, which began in January 1966. While it is a matter of months, Julie Newmar is recognized as the first to play Catwoman.

  5. Joe Robertson

    Ertha Kitt bought a new flavor to Catwoman, but Julie Newmar was funny, extrrrremly sexy and like me, didn't like Robin! And what a bod she had!

  6. Billy Fisher

    Julie will always be the best! Lee next, then Eartha, Hathaway. Michelle/Hallie are tied for last, but it really isn't their fault. Their movies were produced/directed terribly.

  7. Bob Erickson

    Come on, Batman is a comic book. All the characters are comic book. Anne Hathaway may have done a superb job as a "human" Catwoman, but that is something different. Julie Newmar was Catwoman. As womanly as she was in real life, when the costume was on, Newmar was Catwoman, nothing else.

  8. Jack D. Daniels

    I may be mistaken, but I think her first tv series was "My Living Doll", starring with Robert Cummings. "Does this compute"?

  9. Anonymous

    this article is incorrect.
    Ms. Newmar was not the first catwoman.
    Lee Meriwether was the first actress to play the character.
    and ann hathaway sucks.

  10. Anonymous

    you are correct.
    even now Ms. Newmar looks more gorgeous than that hank hathaway.

  11. Melissa Stusinski

    As I already stated in a different reply:

    Actually, that is not entirely true. While Lee Meriweather was the first to play Catwoman in a movie, which came out in July 1966, Julie Newmar played Catwoman in the Batman series, which began in January 1966. While it is a matter of months, Julie Newmar is recognized as the first to play Catwoman.

    If you Google "First Catwoman Actress," then you can find this information.

  12. Melissa Stusinski

    As I have already stated in a previous comment, Julie Newmar began playing Catwoman in January 1966. The Batman movie with Lee Meriwether came out in June 1966. While it is simply a few months difference, Newmar was the first Catwoman. This information is easily accessible via Google. Rest assured, I have done my research…

  13. Joe Sanchez

    You don't have to be a diehard Batman fan to know Lee Meriwether was the first Catwoman. She was only in the pilot, and the role was later played by both Newmar and then Eartha Kitt. Incorrect facts are par for the course with these online writers.

  14. Melissa Stusinski

    Actually, if you look at IMDB.com, along with other sites, you can see that Julie Newbar played in 9 episodes in 1966, and 4 in 1967. Eartha Kitt took over in Season 3. Lee Meriwether played Catwoman in 1966 as well, however, the film was released in June 1966. The first episode Newbar appeared in was "The Purr-fect Crime" (16 March 1966). Of course, if you have documented proof that Meriwether appeared as Catwoman first, I would like to see it. I can assure you, however, that I have done my research.

  15. Melissa Stusinski

    You are correct, Julie Newmar. Now, do you have an answer for my response, other than to critique my spelling mistake? I would like to make sure that my writing is factual.

  16. Patricia Barrigher

    I think it was in this order: Julie Newmar in the series, then Lee Meriweather in the movie, then Eartha Kitt, which Adam West said was the sexiest Catwoman and the one he most wanted to KISS!!! Great taste, that man!

  17. Robert Litman

    Was the mask really intended to conceal her identity? lol Any five year old would know who she was/is with that flimsy mask. Sort of like a thong for the face. '-)

  18. Michael Mikulovsky

    sumwontoluv She only played Catwoman once. She was the second catwoman & was only in the 1966 movie. That came out after the series had already been on tv for atleast 6 months. Julie Newmar wasn't available to do the movie. She was off in Mexico or Spain doing another movie. The 66 movie was done to sell the tv series overseas. Google it, if you think I'm wrong.

  19. Michael Mikulovsky

    Greg some of this Generation Dumb Ass can't take being proven wrong. Much less admit to it. They usually have no idea what their talking about. Generation Cosmo Kramer!! GGiiddiieee UUUppppp!!! LMAO Instead of insulting others intelliigentie with smart ass remarks or attack on other's grammar mistakes. They need to get lives & try google & learn something!

  20. Anonymous

    Julie Newmar was always the best and sexiest catwoman! I have never been a fan of Hathaway, but surprisingly I think she is the 2nd best Catwoman now! She resembles Newmar, and was sexy. Halle Berry was hotter, but black…

  21. Joe S Hill

    When I watched "THE DARK KNIGHT RISES" a few days ago, it was a little shakey at first, due to all the.
    anarchy and chaos,, but as we were reintroduced to "Selina Kyle", it was a slow, but rewarding expirience,
    because the simularities between Anne Hathaway and Julie Newmar were incredible! this version of the.
    charecter played out, more like Bruce Wayne's ally, instead of the typhical villianess. but of course, this is a.
    change of pace for Ms Hathaway, being a far cry from "THE PRINCESS DIARIES", she delivered this current.
    role with promise-nor will it surprise me, if she returns again,, as long as they don't repeat the direction.
    that the 2004 Halle Berry movie took, that was God Awful! but the comparison between Hathaway and.
    Newmar was inevitable,, and it worked very well in the new movie's favor! but Julie Newmar will always be.
    the first version of Catwoman, even though for contractual reasons, she was replaced by Eartha Kitt-who.
    wasn't too bad, either,, or Lee Merriweather, who played the charecter in Fox's 1966 feature.

  22. Kevin Eggert

    They used this gag repeatedly during the 60s series…Batman and Catwoman would be having a potentially romantic moment;Batman:"What about Robin?' Catwoman:"We'll kill him." Funny, in a tiwsted sort of way…and as someone who actually is old enough to remember watching the series during it's original run, I have to say, Julie Newmar set the standard for all subsequent Catwomen.

  23. Anonymous

    Absolutely, she was the most cat like and my favorite too.

  24. Anonymous

    Selina Kyle was the true identity of Catwoman but her real name was never used on the television series.

  25. Anonymous

    Julie Newmar played Catwoman on the television series, Lee Meriwether played her in the feature film (which was released after the first season ended production, and she replaced Newmar when the last named proved unavailable) and Eartha Kitt played her in the third season, though her romantic affections for Batman were never mentioned).

  26. Oliver Kloseoff

    Julie Newmar IS sex. If you watch that whole episode(where she steals Chad & Jeremey's voices) you'll see some very provocative poses and camera angles. Wow.
    I'm not a Batman fan, but when I heard Anne Hathaway was going to play Cat Woman, it gave me a reason to go see the movie. Both actresses are great and sexy/hot in their own ways. Anne Hathaway has already proven her acting ability in other roles. I don't think a "comparison" should be made.

  27. Warri Orpooflinger

    Eartha Kitt was the very first Catwoman. People didn't like the interracial coupling with Adam West, so she was replaced with Julie Newmar.

  28. Tracey Calland

    I think Eartha Kitt was the sexiest Cat Woman, then Julie Newmar, then Lee Merriweather, haven't seen Hathaway yet but Berry and Phiifer were horrible.

  29. Jamme Chantler

    Julie Newmar was amazing as was Eartha Kitt! Too bad they had to deal with a horrible script and the wooden acting of one Adam West!

  30. Steve DelRay

    Eartha Kitt was the best Catwoman, but she was too good for the times. The mere fact that she got a chance at all to play the role shows how good she was. She could not be denied. But, Catwoman has to be a romantic interest for Batman, and they weren't having that in the '60s…yet.

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  32. Anna Reznik

    There will NEVER be another Catwoman like her. Thanks for everything Julie Newmar;).

  33. Robyn Imfiftay Andrews

    I watched batman faithfully as a kid, and julie newmar was always my favorite catwoman. why? because she showed the most vulnerability, even within that tiny characterization of catwoman. whenever her and batman met, there was always the sense that it was going to turn out badly because we are who we are. still love her.

  34. Anonymous

    Ha! Well I'm an old gal and I remember here quite well! I wanted to BE her! LOL

  35. Morey Ladini

    Julie is a goddess and the greatest. I met her a few years ago, and she was easily 6' in her sock slippers!
    But Anne wasn't terrible either – actually, the best part of the movie.
    But they had her channeling Holly Golightly more than anyone else.

  36. Michael Blade

    Ms Newmar is catwoman, Anne is not even on the same planet with sex apeal, she looks like a little teenager playing grown up, get real yall…

  37. Kimberley Spenard

    I was honored to escort Ms. Newmar through The Consious Life Expo in LA in March 2012, Where she was a speaker and Celebrity Guest! She's AMAZING! Love you Julie!

  38. Jmark Ma

    Ann Hathaway is cute, not sexy. She's very miscast. Even with padding in the suit she doesn't cut it.

    Julie Newmar is Catwoman. Halle Barry isn't bad either.

  39. Kathy Trim

    I remember the first Batman TV show. We weren't used to the campy shows, and we loved it. Julie Newmar was great as Cat Woman, but (and I'll probably hear about this) I saw an interview of her a couple days ago. She's had some major face work done. It was as if she almost couldn't open her mouth. It just killed me, cause I thought she'd age gracefully. Maybe I'm wrong about the work. If so, let me know.

  40. Martin Kobovitch

    julie newmar was the perrrrrrrrrfect catwoman even! enuffff said.

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  42. James Reyes

    Anne Hathaway may be hot But to me Julie Newmar is still the true sexiest Catwoman ever. and not Halle Berry or Michelle Pfeiffer's unattractive versions of the feline criminal.

  43. James Reyes

    Anne Hathaway may be hot But to me Julie Newmar is still the true sexiest Catwoman ever. and not Halle Berry or Michelle Pfeiffer's unattractive versions of the feline criminal.

  44. James Reyes

    Anne Hathaway may be hot But to me Julie Newmar is still the true sexiest Catwoman ever. and not Halle Berry or Michelle Pfeiffer's unattractive versions of the feline criminal.

  45. Jack D. Daniels

    I think Eartha Kitt made history as a female black character in a featured role that wasn't a servant or other minor character. I think there was no reference ever to her race. So the silly Batman tv show turns out to be racially significant.

  46. Jack D. Daniels

    I think Eartha Kitt made history as a female black character in a featured role that wasn't a servant or other minor character. I think there was no reference ever to her race. So the silly Batman tv show turns out to be racially significant.

  47. Bewley's Brothel

    What's sad is the old guys on here commenting are still jerking their member to Newmar. That's almost vomit-inducing. Old guys, please stop that, disgusting.

  48. Bewley's Brothel

    You wouldn't know a good movie if it bit you in your ugly ass. Hathaway's Catwoman was more human and realistic, the boner factor was not needed because it's demeaning. Hathaway can and should kick your nuts to oblivion. Nolan's films are genius.

  49. Stephen O'Sullivan

    I don't care what anyone says, none of the actresses who played Catwoman can hold a candle to Julie. Many were beautiful – like Michelle & Lee – but total package, including off the charts sexiness goes to Julie hands down!

  50. Stephen O'Sullivan

    I don't care what anyone says, none of the actresses who played Catwoman can hold a candle to Julie. Many were beautiful – like Michelle & Lee – but total package, including off the charts sexiness goes to Julie hands down!

  51. Todd Collins

    Julie Newmar is an icon of the '60's…one of that era's top 'sex-symbols.' Why else would anyone tolerate that show anymore, other than to get a glimpse of her in that cat suit! And although her role as 'Catwoman' will always be her most famous… she also appeared in 'The Twilight Zone', 'Route 66,' & other t.v. shows of that era (although not as scantily clothed as in 'Batman').