Julie Newmar

Julie Newmar (born Julia Chalene Newmeyer, August 16, 1933) is an American actress, dancer, and singer, known for a variety of stage, screen, and television roles as well as a writer, lingerie inventor, and real estate mogul. She won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her role as Katrin Sveg in the 1958 Broadway production of The Marriage-Go-Round, and reprised the role in the 1961 film version. In the 1960s, she starred for two seasons as Catwoman in the television series Batman (1966–1967). Her other stage credits include the Ziegfeld Follies in 1956, and playing Lola in Damn Yankees! (1961) and Irma in Irma la Douce (1965) in regional productions.

Newmar appeared in the music video for George Michael's 1992 single "Too Funky", and had a cameo as herself in the 1995 film To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar. Her voice work includes the animated feature films Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders (2016) and Batman vs. Two-Face (2017), where she reprised her role as Catwoman 50 years after the original television series.

Julie Newmar
Julie Newmar - 1965
Newmar in 1965
Julia Chalene Newmeyer

August 16, 1933 (age 85)
  • Actress
  • dancer
  • singer
  • businesswoman
  • writer
Years active1952–present
Height5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)[1]
J. Holt Smith (m. 1977–1984)

Early life

Newmar was born on August 16, 1933 in Los Angeles, California, the eldest of three children born to Don and Helen (Jesmer) Newmeyer. Her father was head of the Physical Education Department at Los Angeles City College and had played American football professionally in the 1920s with the 1926 Los Angeles Buccaneers of the National Football League. Her Swedish-French mother was a fashion designer who used Chalene as her professional name and later became a real-estate investor.[2]

Newmar has two younger brothers, Peter Bruce Newmeyer (born 1935)[3] and John A. Newmeyer (born 1940), a writer, epidemiologist, and winemaker.[4][5] She began dancing at an early age, and performed as a prima ballerina with the Los Angeles Opera beginning at age fifteen.[6]


Early work

Bob Cummings Julie Newmar My Living Doll
Newmar with Bob Cummings in My Living Doll (1964)

Newmar began appearing in bit parts and uncredited roles in films as dancers, including a part as the "dancer-assassin" in Slaves of Babylon (1953) and the "gilded girl" in Serpent of the Nile (1953), in which she was clad in gold paint. She danced in several other films, including The Band Wagon (also 1953) and Demetrius and the Gladiators (1954). She also worked as a choreographer and dancer for Universal Studios beginning at age nineteen.[7][8] Her first major role, billed as Julie Newmeyer, was as Dorcas, one of the brides in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (also 1954). Her three-minute Broadway appearance as the leggy Stupefyin' Jones in the musical Li'l Abner in 1956 led to a reprise in the film version released in 1959. She was also the female lead in a low-budget comedy, The Rookie (also 1959).[9]

Newmar had first appeared on Broadway in 1955 in Silk Stockings which starred Hildegarde Neff and Don Ameche. She also appeared in the film, The Marriage-Go-Round (1961), which starred James Mason and Susan Hayward (Newmar had earlier developed the role of the Swedish vixen onstage and won a Tony Award for Best Supporting Actress for the Broadway version upon which the film was based). She later appeared on stage with Joel Grey in the national tour of Stop the World - I Want to Get Off and as Lola in Damn Yankees! and Irma in Irma La Douce.[9] and in Mackenna's Gold (1968).[10] She also appeared in a pictorial in the May 1968 issue of Playboy magazine, which featured Playmate Elizabeth Jordan.

Television work

Julie Newmar Catwoman Batman 1966
Newmar as Catwoman (1966).

Newmar's fame stems mainly from her television appearances. Her statuesque form made her a larger-than-life sex symbol, most often cast as a temptress or Amazonian beauty, including an early appearance in sexy maid costume on The Phil Silvers Show. She starred as Rhoda the Robot on the television series My Living Doll (1964–1965), and is known for her recurring role on the 1960s television series Batman as the villainess Catwoman. (Lee Meriwether played Catwoman in the 1966 feature film and Eartha Kitt in the series' final season.) Newmar modified her Catwoman costume—now in the Smithsonian Institution—and placed the belt at the hips instead of the waist to emphasize her hourglass figure.[11]

In 1962, Newmar appeared twice as motorcycle-riding, free-spirited heiress Vicki Russell on Route 66, filmed in Tucson, Arizona ("How Much a Pound is Albatross") and in Tennessee ("Give the Old Cat a Tender Mouse"). She guest-starred on The Twilight Zone as the devil in "Of Late I Think of Cliffordville", F Troop as an Indian princess, Bewitched ("The Eight-Year Itch Witch" in 1971) as a cat named Ophelia given human form, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Get Smart as a double agent assigned to Maxwell Smart's apartment posing as a maid. In 1967, she guest-starred as April Conquest in an episode of The Monkees ("Monkees Get Out More Dirt"), and was the pregnant Capellan princess, Eleen, in the Star Trek episode "Friday's Child". In 1969, she played a hit-woman in the It Takes a Thief episode "The Funeral is on Mundy" with Robert Wagner. In 1983, she reprised the hit-woman role on Hart to Hart, Wagner's later television series, in the episode "A Change of Hart". Both performances with Wagner included full-body grappling ending with Wagner lying on top of Newmar. In the 1970s, she had guest roles on Columbo and The Bionic Woman.[12]

Later roles

Julie Newmar by Gage Skidmore
Newmar attending Phoenix Comicon, 2014

Newmar appeared in several low-budget films during the next two decades. She guest-starred on TV, appearing on The Love Boat, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, CHiPs and Fantasy Island. She was seen in the music video for George Michael's "Too Funky" in 1992, and appeared as herself in a 1996 episode of Melrose Place.[12]

In 2003, Newmar appeared as herself in the television movie Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt alongside former Batman co-stars Adam West, Burt Ward, Frank Gorshin and Lee Meriwether. Julia Rose played Newmar in flashbacks to the production of the television series. However, due to longstanding rights issues over footage from the Batman TV series, only footage of Meriwether taken from the feature film was allowed to be used in the television movie. In 2016, she provided the voice of Catwoman in the animated film Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders. Newmar also appeared on The Home and Family Show in May 2016, where she met Gotham actress Camren Bicondova who portrays a younger Selina Kyle.[13]


In the 1970s, Newmar received two U.S. patents for pantyhose[14] and one for a brassiere.[15] The pantyhose were described as having "cheeky derriere relief" and promoted under the name "Nudemar". The brassiere was described as "nearly invisible" and in the style of Marilyn Monroe.[16]

Newmar began investing in Los Angeles real estate in the 1980s. A women's magazine stated, "Newmar is partly responsible for improving the Los Angeles neighborhoods on La Brea Avenue and Fairfax Avenue near the Grove."[17]

Personal life

Newmar married J. Holt Smith, a lawyer, on August 5, 1977, and moved with him to Fort Worth, Texas, where she lived until their divorce in 1984.[1] She has one child, John Jewl Smith (born February 1981), who has a hearing impairment and Down syndrome.[18]

Newmar suffers from Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease, an inherited neurological condition that affects 1 in 2,500 Americans.[19]

A legal battle with her neighbor, actor Jim Belushi, ended amicably with an invitation to guest-star on his sitcom According to Jim in an episode ("The Grumpy Guy") that poked fun at the feud. An avid gardener, Newmar initiated at least a temporary ban on leaf blowers with the Los Angeles City Council.[20]

Newmar has been a vocal supporter of LGBT rights; her brother, John Newmeyer, is gay.[6] In 2013, she was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Gay and Lesbian Elder Housing (GLEH) organization in Los Angeles.[6]

In popular culture

The film To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar (1995) pays homage to the actress; Newmar herself makes a cameo appearance near the film's ending.[12] In 2012, Bluewater Comics released a four-issue comic miniseries entitled The Secret Lives of Julie Newmar.[21]



Year Title Role Notes
1952 She's Working Her Way Through College Julie Uncredited
1952 Just for You Chorine Uncredited
1953 The I Don't Care Girl Specialty Dancer Uncredited
1953 Serpent of the Nile Gilded Girl Uncredited
1953 The Farmer Takes a Wife Dancer Uncredited
1953 The Band Wagon Salon Model / Chorine in Girl Hunt Ballet Uncredited
1953 Slaves of Babylon Dancer-Assassin
1953 The Eddie Cantor Story Showgirl Uncredited
1954 Demetrius and the Gladiators Primary Specialty Dancer Uncredited
1954 Seven Brides for Seven Brothers Dorcas
1959 Li'l Abner Stupefyin' Jones
1959 The Rookie Lili Marlene
1961 The Marriage-Go-Round Katrin Sveg Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer
1963 For Love or Money Bonnie Brasher
1969 Mackenna's Gold Hesh-Ke
1969 The Maltese Bippy Carlotta Ravenswood
1970 Up Your Teddy Bear Toy Company Director, a.k.a. "Mother"
1972 A Very Missing Person Aleatha Westering Television film
1972 The Feminist and the Fuzz Lilah McGuiness Television film
1977 Terraces Chalane Turner Television film
1983 Hysterical Venetia
1984 Love Scenes Belinda
1985 Streetwalkin' Queen Bee
1985 Evils of the Night Dr. Zarma
1987 Real Men
1988 Deep Space Lady Elaine Wentworth
1988 Nudity Required Irina
1988 Body Beat
1989 Cyber-C.H.I.C. Miss McKenzie Also known as Dance Academy
1990 Ghosts Can't Do It Angel
1994 Oblivion Miss Kitty
1995 To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar Herself
1996 Oblivion 2: Backlash Miss Kitty
1999 If... Dog... Rabbit... Judy's Mother
2003 Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt Herself/Arizona Bar Owner Television film
2010 Beautiful Darling Herself Documentary
2012 Bettie Page Reveals All Herself Documentary
2012 The Mechanical Bride Herself, narrator Documentary
2013 Broadway: Beyond the Golden Age Herself Documentary
2016 Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders Catwoman Voice role
2017 Batman vs. Two-Face


Year Title Role Notes
1957 The Phil Silvers Show Suzie 1 episode
1961 The Defenders Brandy Gideon Morfoot 1 episode
1962 Route 66 Vicki Russell 2 episodes
1963 The Twilight Zone Miss Devlin 1 episode
1964–1965 My Living Doll Rhoda Miller Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best TV Star – Female
1966 F Troop Cinthia Jeffries / Yellow Bird 1 episode
1966 The Beverly Hillbillies Ulla Bergstrom 1 episode
1966–1967 Batman Catwoman 13 episodes
1966 The Monkees April Conquest 1 episode
1967 Star Trek: The Original Series Eleen 1 episode
1968 It Takes a Thief Susannah Sutton 1 episode
1968 Get Smart Ingrid 1 episode
1970 McCloud Adrienne Redman 1 episode
1970–1972 Love, American Style Various 4 episodes
1971 Bewitched Ophelia 1 episode
1973 Columbo Lisa Chambers 1 episode
1975 McMillan & Wife Luciana Amaldi 1 episode
1976 The Bionic Woman Claudette 1 episode
1976 Monster Squad Ultra Witch 1 episode
1978 Jason of Star Command Queen Vanessa 1 episode
1979 Buck Rogers in the 25th Century Zarina 1 episode
1979 The Love Boat Marla Samms 1 episode
1982 CHiPs Cora Dwayne 1 episode
1982 The Powers of Matthew Star Nian 1 episode
1983 Fantasy Island Doralee 1 episode
1983 Hart to Hart Eve 1 episode
2006 According to Jim Julie 1 episode
2010 Batman: The Brave and the Bold Martha Wayne 1 episode

Stage credits


  1. ^ a b Demaret, Kent (September 12, 1977). "At 42, Julie Newmar Takes Her First Husband, and a Texas Lawyer Gets His Own Living Doll". People. Retrieved June 2, 2017.
  2. ^ Min, Janice (October 16, 1995). "Feline Groovy". People. Retrieved December 26, 2016.
  3. ^ 1940 United States Federal Census for Los Angeles County, California, accessed on ancestry.com on 26 January 2013
  4. ^ Newmeyer family genealogy site, newmeyer.com; accessed October 10, 2014.
  5. ^ Strider, Chris (2000). Swingin' Chicks of the '60s. Cedco Press. p. 171. ISBN 978-0-768-32232-3.
  6. ^ a b c Huqueriza, Chris (January 15, 2013). "Julie Newmar, Original Catwoman, Receives LGBT Award". South Florida Gay News. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
  7. ^ "Julie Newmar". Biography.com. The Biography Channel. Retrieved June 2, 2017.
  8. ^ "Bruce Edwin Interview Julie Newmar". The Hollywood Sentinel. Retrieved May 30, 2017.
  9. ^ a b Julie Newmar at the Internet Broadway Database
  10. ^ Thomas, Nick (August 4, 2016). "Julie Newmar on aging beautifully". The Spectrum. USA Networks. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
  11. ^ Moore, Booth (January 24, 2011). "Catching up with the original Catwoman, Julie Newmar". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
  12. ^ a b c Julie Newmar on IMDb
  13. ^ "TV's Catwoman Camren Bicondova & Julie Newmar - Home & Family". The Hallmark Channel. Retrieved May 30, 2017.
  14. ^ US 3914799, Julie Newmar, "Pantyhose with shaping band for cheeky derriere relief", issued 1975-10-28
    US 4003094, Julie Newmar, "Pantyhose with shaping band for cheeky derrier relief", issued 1977-01-18
  15. ^ US 3935865, Julie Newmar, "Brassiere", issued 1976-02-03
  16. ^ "Junoesque Julie Newmar Wins a Patent on a New Kind of Pantyhose". People Weekly. 7 (6): 76. February 14, 1977.
  17. ^ "Holy Catsuit! To the Original Catwoman, Her Son is the Cat's Meow", womenswallstreet.com; accessed October 10, 2014.
  18. ^ After Catwoman: Julie Newmar's Many Lives, womensissues.about.com; accessed October 1, 2014.
  19. ^ Dador, Denise (May 14, 2010). "Actress shares her story about having CMT". ABC7 Los Angeles. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  20. ^ Gumbel, Peter (December 3, 1997). "Actress Julie Newmar and Others Struggle With Noisy Leaf Blowers". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 18, 2009.
  21. ^ Shapiro, Marc (2013). The Secret Lives of Julie Newmar. Bluewater Productions. ISBN 978-1-467-51620-4.

External links

Preceded by
Succeeded by
Lee Meriwether
Batman (1966 film)

Batman (often promoted as Batman: The Movie) is a 1966 American superhero film based on the Batman television series, and the first full-length theatrical adaptation of the DC Comics character Batman. Released by 20th Century Fox, the film starred Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin. The film hit theaters two months after the last episode of the first season of the television series. The film includes most members of the original TV cast, with the exception of Lee Meriwether as Catwoman, the character previously played by Julie Newmar in two episodes of the series' first season.

Batman vs. Two-Face

Batman vs. Two-Face is a 2017 American animated direct-to-video superhero film produced by Warner Bros. Animation and distributed by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. It is a sequel to Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders. It premiered at the New York Comic Con on October 8, 2017, was released digitally on October 10, 2017, and was released on DVD and Blu-ray on October 17, 2017. Based on the 1960s Batman TV series, the film stars Adam West (in his final role before his death), Burt Ward and Julie Newmar reprising their roles of Batman, Robin and Catwoman from the series. The film included a tribute to the late West.

Demetrius and the Gladiators

Demetrius and the Gladiators is a 1954 Biblical drama film and a sequel to The Robe. The picture was made by 20th Century Fox, directed by Delmer Daves and produced by Frank Ross. The screenplay was written by Philip Dunne based on characters created by Lloyd C. Douglas in The Robe.

The movie presents Victor Mature as Demetrius, a Christian slave made to fight in the Roman arena as a gladiator, and Susan Hayward as Messalina, a reprobate woman who is the wife of Claudius, the uncle of the depraved emperor Caligula. The cast also features Ernest Borgnine, William Marshall, Michael Rennie, Jay Robinson as Caligula, Debra Paget, Anne Bancroft in one of her earlier roles, and Julie Newmar as a briefly seen dancing entertainer. The film is in Technicolor and CinemaScope.

Douglas Carter Beane

Douglas Carter Beane is an American playwright and screenwriter. Born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and raised in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, Beane now lives in New York. His works include the screenplay of To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar, and several plays including The Country Club and The Little Dog Laughed, which was nominated for the 2007 Tony Award for Best Play and As Bees in Honey Drown, which ran at New York's Lucille Lortel Theatre in 1997. Beane often writes works with sophisticated, "drawing room" humor.

Evils of the Night

Evils of the Night is a 1985 low-budget science fiction/"porno horror" film starring Aldo Ray, Neville Brand, Tina Louise, John Carradine, and Julie Newmar. The film was directed, co-produced and co-written by Mardi Rustam.

Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me (Johnny Mathis album)

Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me is an album by American pop singer Johnny Mathis that was released on August 15, 1977, by Columbia Records and found him firmly planted in the cover album genre once again in that no original songs were included. Allmusic's Joe Viglione did feel, however, that "they seem to be trying to cover all the bases here," meaning that it had a variety of selections, including a standard from 1939 ("All the Things You Are"), a hit that charted in both the 1950s and '60s ("Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me"), a country crossover ("The Most Beautiful Girl"), and recent offerings from stage ("One", "Tomorrow") and screen ("Evergreen (Love Theme from A Star Is Born)", "I Always Knew I Had It in Me").

Although the album did not reach Billboard magazine's Top LP's & Tapes chart, it did spend a week in the issue dated September 17, 1977, at number 201 on the Bubbling Under the Top LP's chart, which, according to Joel Whitburn, "listed albums that were on the rise in sales that did not quite achieve the sales necessary to make Billboard's main 200-position pop albums chart." For its release in the UK, the album was entitled Sweet Surrender, which was also the name of the song that was added on to the original track listing but had first appeared on his 1973 album Me and Mrs. Jones. Sweet Surrender spent its one week on the UK album chart at number 55 but received Silver certification for sales of 60,000 units in the UK from the British Phonographic Industry on January 4, 1978.In 1995 the title track from the album was used in the film To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar but was not included on the soundtrack recording.

Hot Off the Griddle

Hot Off the Griddle is the 37th episode of the 1960s Batman television series. It guest starred Julie Newmar as The Catwoman.

Lady Bunny

Lady Bunny, originally known as "Bunny Hickory Dickory Dock," sometimes styled as The Lady Bunny, (born Jon Ingle, August 14, 1962) is an American drag queen, nightclub DJ, promoter and founder of the annual Wigstock event. She has also released disco singles such as "Shame, Shame, Shame!" and "The Pussycat Song". She has appeared in films such as Party Girl, Wigstock: The Movie, Peoria Babylon, Starrbooty, Another Gay Movie, and To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar.

Lee Meriwether

Lee Ann Meriwether (born May 27, 1935) is an American actress, former model, and the winner of the 1955 Miss America pageant. She is known for her role as Betty Jones, Buddy Ebsen's secretary and daughter-in-law in the long-running 1970s crime drama Barnaby Jones. The role earned her two Golden Globe Award nominations in 1975 and 1976, and an Emmy Award nomination in 1977. She is also known for her role as Herman Munster's long-haired wife, Lily Munster, on the 1980s sitcom The Munsters Today, as well as for her portrayal of Catwoman, replacing Julie Newmar in the film version of Batman (1966), and for a co-starring role on the science fiction series The Time Tunnel. Meriwether had a recurring role as Ruth Martin on the daytime soap opera All My Children until the end of the series in September 2011.

List of Batman (TV series) episodes

The following is an episode list for the 1960s Batman television series. It also provides the main cast members, production notes and a list of notable guest stars.

Oblivion (1994 film)

Oblivion is a 1994 American western-science fiction dark comedy film directed by Sam Irvin and written by Peter David. It stars Richard Joseph Paul, Andrew Divoff, George Takei, Julie Newmar, Musetta Vander, Isaac Hayes and Meg Foster. It was followed by a sequel, Oblivion 2: Backlash. It was written by noted comic writer Peter David.

Patrick Swayze

Patrick Wayne Swayze (; August 18, 1952 – September 14, 2009) was an American actor, dancer, singer, and songwriter. Having gained fame with appearances in films during the 1980s, he became popular for playing tough guys and romantic lead males, gaining him a wide fan base with female audiences, and status as a teen idol and sex symbol. He was named by People magazine as its Sexiest Man Alive in 1991.

During his career Swayze received three Golden Globe Award nominations, for Dirty Dancing (1987), Ghost (1990), and To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar (1995). His other films included The Outsiders (1983), Road House (1989), and Point Break (1991). He wrote and recorded a song, "She's Like the Wind", that was popular. He was posthumously awarded the Rolex Dance Award in 2009.

The Cat and the Fiddle (Batman)

The Cat and the Fiddle is the 38th episode of the 1960s Batman television series. It guest starred Julie Newmar as The Catwoman.

The Marriage-Go-Round

The Marriage-Go-Round is a 1958 play written by Leslie Stevens. The 1961 film adaptation of the same name, written and produced by Stevens, stars Susan Hayward, James Mason and Julie Newmar.

The play was inspired by a suggestion that dancer Isadora Duncan supposedly made to playwright George Bernard Shaw: The two of them should have a child because "with your mind and my body, think what a person it would be!" The play, a sex comedy, was a Broadway theatre success with a run of over 700 performances; it did poor box office .

The Marriage-Go-Round (film)

The Marriage-Go-Round is a 1961 DeLuxe Color American comedy film directed by Walter Lang and written by Leslie Stevens in CinemaScope. It is based on the 1958 play The Marriage-Go-Round by Leslie Stevens. The film stars Susan Hayward, James Mason, Julie Newmar, Robert Paige and June Clayworth. The film was released on January 6, 1961 by 20th Century Fox.

Filmed on location at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida and Stage 4 on the Twentieth Century-Fox lot.

To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar

To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar is a 1995 American comedy film directed by Beeban Kidron and starring Wesley Snipes, Patrick Swayze, and John Leguizamo as three New York City drag queens who embark on a road trip. Its title refers to an iconic autographed photo of Julie Newmar that they carry with them on their journey. Newmar additionally appears in the film as herself.

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