Holy Reruns Batman! We’re Fifty Years Old Today!
Today marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the “Batman” TV show. Although the show lasted only two years, it set the stage for all of the Batman films and other entertainment that has come after it.
Those classic early shows still draw a crowd at comic book conventions, as do the men and women who were in those shows. Julie Newmar was Catwoman in those early years. No one will ever forget the suit that seemed as if it were sewn onto her body, a black body hugging suit with ears. Newmar says she added the gold hip belt, and ordered the inseams to be sewn to her specifications. She added heels and her costume was ready for cameras.
Newmar recalls that she flew to Hollywood to audition for the job, was fitted for the catwoman costume on Monday and was filming by Wednesday. She says it was a great role because whatever they wrote for her in the script, she could do.
The actress says she was never a huge fan of the “Batman” comics, nevertheless her portrayal of Catwoman is the one that is most remembered by people.
“That is the memory that people attach to me, Catwoman,” Newmar says. “And it just keeps on growing. There’s something about this story in particular that all ages seem to hook into and identify with.”
Newmar played Catwoman when women did not have powerful roles like she had in Catwoman. Female superheroes are more common on television today, probably because she was something of a groundbreaker in 1966. There just weren’t that many women in that type of role.
“Young girls will come up to me and say, ‘Oh, your character gave me hope in life that I could be a strong and forthright female.’ And that was a surprise to me,” Newmar says. “I think women have come forth to a great degree since then.”
For all the impact she may have made, she was only in six one-hour episodes of “Batman” all told. And she wasn’t in the third season at all.
And the series can still be seen today! Batman airs Saturday night's at 6:00 P.M. Central time on METV.