Monday, September 21, 2009

Purrrrrr-fect Julie

Yesterday's post was about Batman so it's only fair to include Catwoman. Especially when the Catwoman I'm thinking of is Julie Newmar.

I saw Newmar for the first time in the 1950s in shows like Love That Bob with Bob Cummings. She was a perennial guest star on many TV shows of the era. At 5'11" with an hourglass shape and those long, long legs she was eye-popping. So eye-popping that she was Stupefyin' Jones in the 1953 Broadway production of Li'l Abner, and reprised the role in the 1959 film. As far as I was concerned in my pre-pubescent days, Julie Newmar was stupefyin' in all the ways I could be stupefied.

It seems unfair for her body (heh-heh) of work to be now remembered by shrinking to one character in one series, but Newmar is probably now best remembered for her turn as Catwoman on Batman. Catwoman was also played by Lee Meriwether and Eartha Kitt, who were both good in the part, but they just weren't Julie Newmar, who was purrrrr-fect in the part. All you have to do is look at her in the costume and you're glad you haven't been taken to a veterinarian and neutered.

Newmar is now 76-years-old, with a genetic disease that causes weakness in her muscles. It's hard to accept mortality with someone so stunning. We had to do it with perennial pinup Bettie Page, who died last year at an advanced age. Julie Newmar quit acting to care for her son who was born blind and with Down's Syndrome. I give her a great deal of credit for choosing her son over her career.


Anonymous said...


(my word verification today is catify)

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