OK, who’s the purr-fect Catwoman?
One of my all-time favorite villainesses on “Batman” was Catwoman. It was always a good show when Julie Newmar slinked across the small screen in her form-fitting black Catwoman outfit, her gold belt slung low on her hips.
Hold on, I need a cold shower.
Anyway, as I was saying, to me, Julie Newmar was the definitive Catwoman. And she was the first one to originate the role. (And, by the way, none of the other Catwomen had a movie named after them, like Newmar did, the Patrick Swayze/John Leguizamo/Wesley Snipes flick, “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar.”
Lee Meriwether took on the role as the felonious feline femme fatale for the 1960s “Batman” movie, playing the dual role of Catwoman and the a foreign reporter from “The Moscow Bugle” named Kitanya Irenya Tantanya Karenska Alisoff, or KITKA for short. (The scariest part about this is that name is stuck in my memory, I just had to double-check the spelling. And it’s because I have such trivia ensnared in my head that I can’t remember if I had peanut butter or liverwurst for lunch. Wait, it was peanut butter. No, wait, it was neither. It was ham. Yeah, it was ham.) While I still enjoyed the character, I found her portrayal of Catwoman bland in comparison to Newmar’s interpretation of the role.
During the third and final season of “Batman,” I’ve read Newmar was making a movie and was unavailable. This time, Eartha Kitt slipped into the catsuit. Although she was still no Julie Newmar, Eartha Kitt made a great Catwoman. Although the first time I saw her on screen, pulling up in her Cat Car (or was it a Kitty Kar?) to pick up the newly-sprung Joker from prison, I just about lost my grape juice.
And, of course, we really can’t discuss Catwoman without giving a nod to the big screen. I loved Michelle Pfeiffer’s interpretation of Catwoman/Selena Kyle. (Loved the outfit, too …). But I could have done without her having to split the storyline with Danny DeVito as the Penguin. But, hey, that’s why they invented fast forward on VCRs and DVD players.
When I originally wrote this entry and was waiting for my blog to bein created online, I hadn’t seen Halle Berry in “Catwoman.” But, as luck would have it, I found it on television, and of course, I had to watch. And I really enjoyed it, despite the bad reviews the movie received from the critics. But, while I did love Halle Berry’s interpretation, Julie Newmar still rules my world.
So, who’s your favorite Catwoman? And why? Let me know. You can reply to this post, or you can get in touch with me via the information below. Also, please feel free to contact me if you’d like to see something television-related in this blog.
Courier News Staff Writer Brad Wadlow blogs about television. In addition to replying to this post, you can also e-mail your comments, or suggestions for future "Totally TV" topics, to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put "Totally TV" in the subject field. You can also write to him: Brad Wadlow, Courier News, 1201 Route 22 West, PO Box 6600, Bridgewater, NJ 08807. Be sure to put: "Totally TV" on the envelope, too. You can also fax him at (908) 707-3252, or call him at (908) 707-3131.