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.