The Catwoman is one Batman’s earliest comic book adversaries, initially appearing in Batman #1 (Spring 1940), and became the best-known and most frequently seen Batman villain. Catwoman is one of Gotham City’s most prominent villains appearing in 15 episodes (12 of which are Julie Newmar).
Catwoman was more prominent during the second season and Julie’s character took another slant. Sexual tensions began to develop, particularly in “The Bat’s Know Tow” where Catwoman asks for a date. The love interest was developed by the producers to keep the adult viewers in particular more engaged.
Julie’s first roles in film and television were typically uncredited dance roles in the 1950’s, her first credited role was playing one of the brides in the 1954 film ‘Seven Brides for Seven Brothers’. Her first appearance on Broadway came in 1955 production of ‘Silk Stockings’. Before appearing on Batman in 1966 she made appearances in TV series such as; ‘Route 66’ (1962), ‘The Twilight Zone’ (1963) and ‘My Living Doll’ (1965).
After being Catwoman on the first two seasons of Batman (1966-1967), Julie continued to appear on film and TV (mostly guest star appearances) throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s. She also featured on PlayBoy in 1968.
“Cats are sleek, cats are fast. Cats are… well… they aren’t mean their just wiley. And they will grab your attention in the most seductive way.” – Newmar
Julie Newmar taking the role:
“I had lived in New York at the time on Beekman Place, I remember it was a weekend, Friday or Saturday, and my brother had come down from Harvard with five or six of his friends, and we were all sitting around the sofa, just chatting away, when the phone rang. I got up and answered it , and it was the agent or someone in Hollywood, who said, Miss Newmar, would you like to play the Catwoman on the Batman series? They are casting it out here. I was insulted because he said It starts Monday. I said ‘What is this’ That’s how television is done: they never know what the are doing until yesterday. My brother leapt off the sofa. I mean he physically levitated and said BATMAN! that’s our favorite show at Harvard. We all quit our classes and quit our studies and run into the TV room and watch the show. I said , They want me to play Catwoman. He said DO IT! So I said O.K. I’ll do it.”
In order of appearance:
- The Gato and Chat Fur Company
- The Pink Sandbox
- Duncan’s Dance Studio
- Subterranean Suite Six of the Catacombs Condominium
- Western Catlair
- Eta Beta Latka Sorority Home
Molls, thugs and accomplices
In order of appearance:
- Leo and Felix – Thugs
- Jack O’Shea – Writer for the gossip column in the Gotham newspaper
- Charles, Tom and John – Thugs
- Eenie – Moll
- Meanie, Miney and Moe – Thugs
- Benton Bellgoody – Gave Catwoman access to Duncan Dance Studio’s
- Cattie and Kitty – Female Thugs/Molls
- Pussycat – Mole
- French Freddy – A famous fence
- Dave the Dummy and Marvin the Moose – Thugs
This following video comes courtesy of Julie Newmar’s YouTube channel. It is the infamous scene from her last appearance of Catwoman in the episodes “Catwoman Goes to College/Batman Displays his Knowledge”. Which for me really depicts the sexual tension between both Batman and Catwoman.
The following quotation is referenced from Joel Eisner’s interview with Julie from his “Batbook” (available from Amazon).
Julie on the scene shown in the video above:
“I remember doing that entire sequence that even to this day amazes me… The dialogue in it was a seduction of Batman, and I remember it was late in the day with no rehearsal’s. You would just go out there and shoot it, which is probably why I was good, because being a dancer and choreographer, when it comes to movement, I know how to cover space and use good timing and hit every mark that the camera needs me to hit… I would do everything in one take… The fact that it all came off was a miracle.”
“It was so wonderful being on that show, because you could be nasty and mean, and in the fifties women could never, unless you were in some B pictures actress, be mean, bad, and nasty. It was so satisfying , I can’t tell you how satisfying it was.”
Julie had not ever heard of “Catwoman” before she auditioned for the role.
Selina Kyle, Catwoman’s alter ego, was not used in the series.
Due to her role in “Mackenna’s Gold” she was unable to play Catwoman in the third series so Eartha Kitt took over.
The picture below is actually of Julie’s stunt double. I have no idea what her name is? Please get in contact if you know any details!