See Original Catwoman Julie Newmar Now at 88

"It’s really a joy to have created something that people still remember me for."

There have been many actors who have played the DC comics character Catwoman over the years, with the latest being Zoë Kravitz in the new blockbuster, The Batman. But, today we're going all the way back to the beginning. The first onscreen Catwoman was Julie Newmar, who played the role in the '60s TV series, Batman. Newmar appeared on the first two seasons of the show in 1966 and 1967, while Eartha Kitt took over in Season 3.

Newmar has played many other parts besides Catwoman on the big and small screens and on stage, but the role is something that will always be associated with her. In fact, she even returned to it 50 years after first playing the part, when she provided the voice of Catwoman in two recent projects.

For more on Newmar's life, including what she's up to today, read on.

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She has had a lengthy acting career.

Julie Newmar as Catwoman in the 1960s
Bettmann / Getty Images

Newmar had been acting for years before Batman. She won a Tony Award in 1959 for the play The Marriage-Go-Round, and she starred in the series My Living Doll. Following her time as Catwoman, she made many TV guest appearances on shows including The Monkees, Star Trek, Get Smart, and Bewitched. She also has appeared in cameos as herself, such as in the movie To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar, which is named after her, and in the show Melrose Place. Her most recent onscreen role was in a 2006 episode of According to Jim.

She recently reprised the role of Catwoman.

Julie Newmar at CatCon in 2017
Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images

In 2016 and 2017, Newmar played the role of Catwoman again, half a century after the live-action series, when she voiced the character in the animated movies Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders and Batman vs. Two-Face. Newmar was joined by Adam West and Burt Ward, who had played Batman and Robin alongside her in the '60s.

She's taken on other ventures.

Julie Newmar at the Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con in 2017
Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images

Newmar has also worked in a couple of other areas. According to her website, she took courses at UCLA in the '80s so she could run a real estate business. The Los Angeles Times reported that she had taken over her father's company, and as of the 2018 article, she still had tenants in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Fairfax.

She also holds patents on a bra and pantyhose that were granted in the '70s. And she remains an expert on undergarments—last year, she posted an Instagram about the type of bra that Marilyn Monroe wore and explained why it "looked invisible."

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She was previously married and has one child.

Newmar has one child, John Jewl Smith, with her ex-husband J. Holt Smith.

"I had three miscarriages, then, at 48, a child with serious developmental difficulties," Newmar told Esquire in 2007. "He is a blessing and a jewel. He is my teacher. From him I get and give unconditional love." Newmar recently posted photos on Instagram from John's 41st birthday party. She has also shared photos of her new grand-niece.

She's proud of her Catwoman legacy.

In an interview with The Spectrum in 2016, Newmar spoke about happy she is to be remembered as Catwoman.

"It's really a joy to have created something that people still remember me for," she said. "I never got any royalties from the series, but the popularity of the show over several generations has more than paid me back."

Newmar also told the publication that "after a lot of hoopla" she was able to get her original Catwoman costume into her possession. She donated it to the Smithsonian where fans of the original Batman can go and see it.

RELATED: See TV's Robin, Burt Ward, at 76.

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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