Yesterday, we told you that Anne Hathaway will be trading in her beige sequins for black latex, playing Catwoman in “The Dark Knight Rises.” Anne seems like good fit to play Catwoman, whose unmasked name is (usually) Selina
Kitt Kyle. Since Anne will soon be the sixth actress to portray the iconic role, here’s a look back at the history of Catwoman, both on the page and the screen.
- Catwoman appeared in the first issue of the “Batman” comic in 1940, though back then she was simply called The Cat and was a burglar who carried a whip. Supposedly, she was inspired by Ruth Steel, co-creator Bob Kane’s second cousin by marriage. Oh, and Jean Harlow also inspired the character.
- Ten years later, in issue #62, the comic book revealed that Catwoman was a flight attendant who had a received blow to the head during a crash, suffered from amnesia, and turned to crime. But then it would have made more sense for her to rob airline companies? A comic in the ’80s backtracked on that plane crash amnesia story and said that Catwoman was actually in an abusive marriage with a man who kept her jewelry in a vault. When she broke in to get it back, she became addicted to the thrill.
- Julie Newmar was the first to play Catwoman on the screen, nagging Adam West for two seasons in the ’60s television series. After that, she left the show to pursue a film career and was replaced by Eartha Kitt, the first black woman to play Catwoman.
- The first “Batman” movie was made in 1966, after the first season of the popular TV show. But since Newmar was unavailable at the time, Lee Meriwether stepped in to play Catwoman. When the second season of the show began, Lee was dialed back to playing a socialite named Lisa Carson in two guest spots. But Lee is still acting—you can now catch her on “All My Children.”
- The Catwoman we all remember was, of course, Michelle Pfeiffer, in 1992′s “Batman Returns.” In the movie, her mythology was changed—she was the secretary of a tycoon. When she discovered his nasty plot, he pushed her out of a window and she was saved by a group of feral cats.
- In 1993, following the movie, Catwoman got her very first comic book series.
- Pfeiffer was apparently going to reprise her Catwoman in an eponymous film, but the project was in development for years. In 2004, Halle Berry was given the role. The film was highly controversial, trashing Catwoman’s history and making her real name Patience Philips. The movie netted Berry a Razzie.
- Did you know that there’s a Catman? It’s true. He was Selina’s brother and appeared in the comic in 1952. When can we get a movie about him?
So, now that you know the history of the character, how do you think Anne Hathaway will fare as Catwoman?