Urban Legend: Eartha Kitt as Catwoman from ‘Batman’

Eartha Kitt as CatwomanBatman character Catwoman (portrayed to perfection by the late, great Eartha Kitt) is a legend in urban culture.

Catwoman created multiple problems for vigilante superhero Batman. One, she was a crafty super criminal, and incredibly difficult for even The Caped Crusader to catch. Once a simple jewelry burglar, the slinky feline’s heists became more elaborate and dangerous as both her skill and time progressed. If cornered, she was more than capable of seductively talking or aggressively fighting her way out.

Second, Catwoman knew Batman was attracted to her, and she exploited the gentlemen underneath The Dark Knight’s cowl. While attempting to pillage a secret treasure dubbed “golden fleece,” Catwoman hid in a women’s dressing room knowing Batman and his sidekick Robin wouldn’t, out of decency, come in after her. She also teamed with The Bat’s arch nemesis, Joker, in a plot to rid themselves of Batman, Robin, and their mysterious ally Batgirl once and for all.

Based on DC Comics’ iconic superhero, the 1966 television series Batman brought The Caped Crusader, The Boy Wonder, and their extensive gallery of colorful villains to ABC’s lineup. Starring Adam West as Batman with Burt Ward co-starring as Robin, Eartha Kitt assumed the role of Catwoman in the third and final season of the show’s 120-episode run. Created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger in the 1940s, Kitt’s live-action version of the sexy comic book villain was less campy and more threatening than its previous Julie Newmar and Lee Mariwether portrayals.

Catwoman was already influential. Adding the costume to Kitt’s curves, coupled with her Tony-nominated Broadway experience, took the villainess further than Kane, Finger, and ABC television could have imagined. Kitt’s version of the cat suit remains a popular wardrobe choice for women today. Her performance also inspired Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman in director Tim Burton’s 1992 film, Batman Returns, and Halle Berry’s star turn as the lead character in 2004’s Catwoman.

—Mr. Joe Walker

Mr. Joe Walker is an urban and pop culture enthusiast. Known as “The Word Heavyweight Champion”, the biographer, author, entertainment and celebrity journalist, and columnist is currently a senior writer for SoulTrain.com, staff writer for Muskegon Tribune Newspaper, and writer of weekly classic hip-hop reviews for Concrete Magazine’s Concrete615.com. Also co-creator of TheGrooveSpot.com, Walker’s acclaimed, award-winning work has been published thousands of times regionally, nationally, internationally, and online. He is also working on a book project with Liquid Arts & Entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @mrjoewalker, connect with him on Facebook, and also visit his blog MrJoeWalker.blogspot.com.

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