Julie Newmar who had played Catwoman in the first season of Batman was unavailable to play the character in the 1966 Batman Movie due to other film commitments.
“I was the most lucky Catwoman as I got to work with; Cesar Romero, Frank Gorshin and Burgess Meredith. Three absolute geniuses who I watched all the time but, I learned the most from Burgess, Cesar and Frank!”
Before playing the role she was best known for being Miss America of 1955, the Batman Movie was really her first major on screen performance. After her appearance as Catwoman she had great success playing Doctor Anne MacGregor in the sci-fi series “The Time Tunnel”. After which she had appearances on various other TV shows including; “Star Trek”, “Murder She Wrote”, “Mission Impossible” and “Barnaby Jones”. Not forgetting her appearance in the Batman TV series as Lisa Carson in the second season episodes “King Tut’s Coup/Batman’s Waterloo”. Where she was kidnapped by King Tut and held for ransom as she was the daughter of a rich Gotham City socialite.
Lee’s Catwoman took a more serious approach than Julie’s. Meaning that Julie would like to tease/play around with Batman in her catacombs etc.. But Lee on the other hand took a more hard lined approach and appeared to be the leader of the United Underworld in the Movie. She also disguised herself as Miss Kitka a journalist from the “Moscow Bugel”. Unlike Julie or Eartha who both had a Catwoman vehicle, Lee never but we do learn the name of her cat who is called Hecate.
Lee found the Catwoman costume to be extremely uncomfortable.
The costume was very tight. I remember after filming outside I got third degree burns on the back of both shoulders. It was very uncomfortable. It did help hold my stomach in which was great!