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Film Fatales: Catwoman
Played by Julie Newmar (1966-1967 "Batman" TV Series)
Played by Lee Meriwether (1966 "Batman: The Movie" film)
Played by Eartha Kitt (1967-1968 "Batman" TV Series)


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    Catwoman is a good reason to watch the "Batman" show.  One of the best reasons, next to Batgirl and the Batmobile.

    When I was a kid, if a "Batman" episode didn't have Catwoman and/or Batgirl, I didn't watch it.  Julie Newmar, TVs first Catwoman, was without question the most overtly sexual.  She wore the costume very well, and really played up the love-hate relationship with Batman.

    When the feature film came out later in 1966, Lee Meriwether took over the helm of Catwoman.  Lee was outstanding as well.  She's definitely sexy, AND she looks good in the costume.  She's a lot more subtle than Julie's Catwoman.  Where Julie was a bit more sexual and playful, Lee was a lot more calculating and cunning.  There was still a lot of the love-hate thing in that film.  I think that if Catwoman were ever to become a good girl and fall in real love with Batman, it would've been in this show.  Unfortunately, that didn't happen.  It would've been a fascinating concept to work with in later episodes of the series.

    TVs second Catwoman, Eartha Kitt, came into the series in 1967.  My feelings are mixed on this move by the show's producers.  It has nothing to do with the fact that she's black, although that does break the reality a bit and makes it darn near impossible to have continuity from earlier episodes (it rules out flashback scenes and repeat footage).  In fact, a black Catwoman COULD be very cool.  But they inexplicably made Catwoman pure evil with Eartha.  There was no love-hate thing with Batman; it was pure hate-hate.  Maybe a little lust at best.  But if you're interested in seeing Catwoman at her nastiest, Eartha's your girl.

    Some people might notice that I do not talk about Halle Berry's Catwoman on this page.  In that film, Catwoman is a heroine.  Besides the point, she doesn't share any relationship with this Catwoman character except by name.  It is a good film, although a completely separate concept.