Michelle Pfeiffer may have gotten all the attention in Batman Returns, but she’s just kit-stuff to a generation of baby boomers who know that feline fatale Julie Newmar was, is, and always will be, the real Catwoman.
Newmar was already something of a movie star (Li’l Abner, The Marriage-Go-Round) when the call came to play the villainess on 12 episodes of the late-’60s Batman TV show. Eartha Kitt and Lee Meriwether also essayed the role on the series — but thanks to both her brio and body architecture that seemed to defy Newton’s laws, it was Newmar who became a pop-culture icon.
”It’s the most lasting memory,” she says of her stint on the show. ”Catwoman was a perfect fit for my personality. She was dynamic and bossy and wouldn’t stop at giving someone a whack.”
Today, Newmar is a Los Angeles real estate entrepreneur whose last acting job was in John and Bo Derek’s 1990 romantic comedy, Ghosts Can’t Do It. A sleek 59, Newmar recently donned a catsuit and six-inch heels for fashion designer Thierry Mugler’s all-star AIDS benefit. She then flew to Paris, where she played a catty designer in the supersexy make-believe fashion show of George Michael’s ”Too Funky” music video. How purr-fect.