Eartha Kitt said it was ''so much fun'' becoming Catwoman

The icon of stage and screen was perfect for the role.

Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution

The 1966 television series Batman featured some of the most iconic recastings ever. The show was, ostensibly, a children's program, at least from the producer's perspective. So, when a star asked for too much money, the powers that be figured they could swap them out without the kiddos noticing. That's why Frank Gorshin didn't return for the show's second season. Suddenly, The Riddler looked like Gomez Addams. 

Perhaps the biggest shift came in the form of Catwoman, Batman's feline foe originally played by Julie Newmar. While she was one of the most recognizable aspects of the show, Newmar wasn't available to return to her famous role when she accepted a part in a movie Western. So, suddenly, during Batman's third season, Catwoman became one of the most sought-after positions in Hollywood. The show needed a new baddie, and it got one in Eartha Kitt.

Looking back, Kitt might seem like an obvious choice for the role. Her career to that point had constantly drawn cat comparisons, and her trademark purr would've made her a shoo-in. The truth, though, is that Kitt's casting was a radical act by the Batman creators. Their gamble paid off, and she became one of the definitive incarnations of the character. 

In John Williams' Eartha Kitt biography from 2014, America's Witness, the author included a few quotes directly from the actress about her time in the Catwoman costume.

"A cat! My goodness, there's not a lot of research to do. Who knows what a cat is like? What kind of research can you do? Something is in you that says you are that character," she said.

"That character to me was so much fun. I was in dire need of comfort at that time and as a starving cat, I had to find a way to survive. And that was one of the most wonderful bones that was ever thrown to me. People still remember my name because of Catwoman."

In total, Kitt appeared in five Batman episodes, "The Joke's on Catwoman," "The Funny Feline Felonies," "The Ogg Couple," "Catwoman's Dressed to Kill," and "The Bloody Tower." The series allowed her to work with her real-life friend, Joker actor Cesar Romero.

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5 Comments

Runeshaper 16 days ago
That’s awesome 🤩 Catwoman 🐈‍⬛ is such a GREAT character and I’m glad that Kitt enjoyed playing her.
MrsPhilHarris 16 days ago
I always liked her as Catwoman. Surprised she was only in 5 episodes.
Moparguy62 19 days ago
Next to Hallie Berry Eartha Kitt was the best Catwoman every body says is was Michelle Pfeiffer was the best but I think Hallie and Eartha were the best they both had better customs and where sexier.
BrittReid Moparguy62 15 days ago
Not even close. Catwoman Julie!
Snickers 19 days ago
I really liked Eartha Kitt as catwoman. Julie Newmar will always be remembered for the role but Kitt played it more like a feline.
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