The sexy Catwoman with whom Batman has always had a love-hate relationship, is back to scorch the screens again. With the Dark Knight Returns releasing world over tomorrow, anticipations are high to see how the role of Catwoman turns out. Meant to be a supervillain, the character was created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane inspired by Kane's cousin, Ruth Steel, and also having Jean Harlow as a model for the design. The Character of Catwoman, and the women who played her down the ages, have always captivated audiences. Here is a compilation of the lovely ladies who played Catwoman.
Julie Newmar aka the original Catwoman
Julie Newmar was the first-ever actress to potray the role of Catwoman on screen. She appeared in the 1966 version of Batman and continued playing Catwoman till the 1968 version of Batman. Julie Newmar was one of those rare beauties with brains who graduated at the age of 15! Some of her other famous appearances have been in the movie Serpent Of The Nile (1953) where she appeared in nothing but gold paint all over her body. In 1992 she was seen in a video, Too funky by George Michael. Last seen in the 1995 movie To Wong Foo, Julie is still the epitome of beauty.
Lee Meriwether, the winner of the 1955-Miss America pageant, played the role of Catwoman in the 1966 film version of Batman which was supposed to be played by Julie Newmar, but her prior commitments landed the role to Lee Meriwether. Lee is best remembered for her role as Betty Jones in the 1970's crime drama Barnaby Jones and also for her role as Lily Munster in the sitcom The Munsters Today. These days Meriwether continues to work on stage, television, game voice-overs and feature films.
Eartha Kitt took over the role as Catwoman in the final season as Julie Newmar was unavailable. Kitt- is best known for her 1953 hit Christmas song Santa Baby for which she was famously called as the most exciting woman in the world by Orson Welles. Kitt was an avid supporter of gay rights calling it a civil right. Eartha Kitt passed away from colon cancer on Christmas day in 2008.
The people's favorite Catwoman started off as a clerk in a grocery store, went on to become Miss Orange County and started off with small roles in TV series. From there Pfeiffer has been voted as the most beautiful woman in the world by People Magazine twice in the years 1990 and 1999. She played Catwoman in the movie Batman Returns in 1992 and has been the most-loved Catwoman till date. Best known for her roles in films like Dangerous Liaisons (1988), Married to the Mob (1988), and the Age of innocence (1993), Pfeiffer is currently filming Dark Shadows slated for a 2012 release.
Halle Berry, before becoming an actress entered several beauty contests and finished up as the runner-up in the Miss America pageant in 1986. Berry is one of the most highly paid actresses in Hollywood and is till date the only African-American woman to have won the Academy Award for the Best Actress for her role in Monsters Ball. However, her portrayal of the Catwoman didn't go very well with the audience and she won the Golden Raspberry Award for the Worst Actress in the year 2005 for the same. She is one of the very few performers who actually accepted that award in person.
The buzzing new entry into the Catwoman's shoes is Anne Hathaway. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Anne is of Irish and British descent. Anne started off her career on the big screen with the movie The Princess Diaries. Being the daughter of stage actress Kathleen Ann, Anne Hathaway maintains that she always prefers the stage to films. Anne is allergic to cats, in spite of that she is reprising the role of Selina Kyle whose alter ego is the seductive and sexy Catwoman. Only time will tell if Anne manages to carve her niche in the competitive world of sexy Catwomen.