ComicsHistory Character Profile: The Many Faces of Catwoman
The Many Faces of Catwoman features a look at the actresses who have played the feline femme fatale on television and in the movies from the 1960s to today.
Catwoman- (Selina Kyle) --1st appearance: Batman #1 (1940).--The Catwoman is one of Batman's more complex foes. Unlike her occassional mentally disturbed allies the Joker, Riddler, and Scarface (among others), Catwoman is not insane. Indeed, she is a perfectly sane cat-burglar and jewel thief whose leads a life of crime and at times attempts to turn her sexual attentions on the Batman.
Her origin is somewhat muddled. In her first appearance in Batman #1, she is a thief and mistress of disguise simply known as "The Cat," without her trademark Catwoman costume. In her second appearance, in Batman #2, she teams with the murderous Joker, at least until Joker attempts to kill Robin, whereupon she turns on the Joker.
Through the years, the Catwoman has taken turns as a villain and as a hero (or anti-hero), who will temporarily give up larcenous pursuits to do the right thing, or just to try to win Batman's heart (or other parts of his anatomy).
Julie Newmar played the first television version of Catwoman for the Batman television show of the 1960s. Julie Newmar portayed Catwoman in twelve episodes in the classic Catwoman costume which she designed herself. The costume is on display at the Smithsonian. Julie Newmar was living in New York at the time that she was called upon to audition for the role of Catwoman.
According to Julie Newmar, ""I had lived in New York at the time on Beekman Place, I remember it was a weekend, Friday or Saturday, and my brother had come down from Harvard with five or six of his friends, and we were all sitting around the sofa, just chatting away, when the phone rang. I got up and answered it , and it was the agent or someone in Hollywood, who said, Miss Newmar, would you like to play the Catwoman on the Batman series? They are casting it out here. I was insulted because he said It starts Monday. I said 'What is this' That's how television is done: they never know what the are doing until yesterday. My brother leapt off the sofa. I mean he physically levitated and said BATMAN! that's our favorite show at Harvard. We all quit our classes and quit our studies and run into the TV room and watch the show. I said , They want me to play Catwoman. He said DO IT ! so I said O.K. I'll do it." Source: >http://www.bat-mania.co.uk/main/villains/catwoman_julienewmar.php
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