Julie Newmar

Julie Newmar

Newmar at the Big Apple Convention in Manhattan in 2009. Born Julia Chalene Newmeyer
August 16, 1933 (1933-08-16) (age 77)
Los Angeles, California,
United States Occupation Actress, dancer, singer, businesswoman, writer Years active 1952—present Spouse J. Holt Smith (1977-1983)

Julie Newmar (born Julia Chalene Newmeyer on August 16, 1933) is an American actress, dancer and singer. Her most famous role is that of Catwoman in the Batman television series.


Born in Los Angeles as Julia Chalene Newmeyer[1], Julie Newmar is the eldest of three children of Don and Helen Jesmer Newmayer. Her father was head of the Physical Education Department at Los Angeles City College and had played American football professionally in the 1920s. Her brother is John Newmeyer, Harvard Ph.D, a San Francisco-based epidemiologist, author, and Napa Valley winemaker.Newmar was a “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 and Demetrius and the Gladiators, and was a ballerina with the Los Angeles Opera. She also worked as a choreographer and dancer for Universal Studios.

Her first major role, billed as “Julie Newmeyer”, was as one of the brides in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (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 1959 film version. She was also the female lead in a low-budget comedy, The Rookie. She also featured in many further films including the 1969 production, Mackenna’s Gold.Newmar had first appeared on Broadway in 1955 in Silk Stockings which starred Hildegarde Neff and Don Ameche. She also appeared in the 1961 play, The Marriage-Go-Round, which starred Charles Boyer and Claudette Colbert. Newmar developed the role of the Swedish vixen and won a Tony Award for Best Supporting Actress. 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.Newmar appeared in a pictorial, in the May 1968 issue of Playboy magazine, which featured Playmate Elizabeth Jordan.

from the trailer for The Maltese Bippy (1969)Newmar’s fame stems mainly from her television appearances. She starred as “Rhoda the Robot” in the TV series My Living Doll (1964-1965), and is known for her recurring role in the 1966-67 TV series Batman as the Catwoman, the “purrfect” villainess, (played in the 1966 feature film by Lee Meriwether and in the series’ final season by Eartha Kitt).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, F Troop, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Get Smart. In 1967, she guest-starred as April Conquest in the most popular episode of The Monkees, and was a pregnant princess in the Star Trek episode “Friday’s Child“. She had guest roles in Columbo and The Bionic Woman during the 1970s.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, Hart to Hart, CHiPs and Fantasy Island. She was seen in George Michael’s video clip Too Funky in 1992, and appeared as herself in a 1996 episode of Melrose Place.The 1995 film To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar pays homage to the actress; Newmar herself makes a cameo appearance near the film’s end.In 2003, Newmar appeared as herself in the TV-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 TV series.Fashion designer Thierry Mugler, selected her as his model-muse for the catwalk of his 20 year couture celebration in Paris.

Julie Newmar at the 2007 Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Ribbon of Hope CelebrationNewmar holds three United States patents: numbers 3,914,799 and 4,003,094 for “Pantyhose with shaping band for Cheeky derriere relief” and 3,935,865 for a brassiere. Newmar began investing in Los Angeles real estate in the 1980s. A women’s magazine stated that “Newmar is partly responsible for improving the Los Angeles neighborhoods on La Brea Avenue and Fairfax Avenue near the Grove.”[2]

Briefly engaged to novelist Louis L’Amour in the early 1950s, Newmar married J. Holt Smith, a lawyer, on August 5, 1977. They divorced in 1984. She has one child, John Jewl Smith, who is deaf and has Down syndrome.A legal battle with her neighbor, Jim Belushi, ended amicably with an invitation to co-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.[3]In the mid-1960’s, she dated Major League Baseball pitcher Tracy Stallard (with the New York Mets at that time), who was famous as the the pitcher who g
e up Roger Maris‘s 61st home run in 1961.

In 2008, Newmar was diagnosed with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, which encouraged her to begin a career as a writer. She began working on 3 books.[4]

  • Just for You (1952)
  • Serpent of the Nile (1953)
  • The Band Wagon (1953)
  • Slaves of Babylon (1953)
  • Demetrius and the Gladiators (1954)
  • Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)
  • Li’l Abner (1959)
  • The Rookie (1959)
  • The Marriage-Go-Round (1961)
  • For Love or Money (1963)
  • Mackenna’s Gold (1969)
  • The Maltese Bippy (1969)
  • Mother (1970)
  • Hysterical (1983)
  • Love Scenes (1984)
  • Streetwalkin’ (1985)
  • Evils of the Night (1985)
  • Deep Space (1987)
  • Nudity Required (1988)
  • Body Beat (1988)
  • Cyber-C.H.I.C. (1989)
  • Ghosts Can’t Do It (1990)
  • Oblivion (1994)
  • To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar (1995) (cameo)
  • Oblivion 2: Backlash (1996)
  • If… Dog… Rabbit… (1999)

  • The Phil Silvers Show (1957) (guest appearance)
  • Route 66 (1962) (guest appearances)
  • The Twilight Zone (1963) (guest appearance)
  • My Living Doll (1964–1965)
  • Batman (1966)
  • F Troop (1966)
  • The Monkees (1966) (guest appearance)
  • Star Trek: The Original Series (1966)
  • Get Smart (1968) (guest appearance)
  • It Takes a Thief (1968)
  • McCloud (1970) (guest appearance)
  • Bewitched (1971) (guest appearance)
  • The Feminist and the Fuzz (1971)
  • A Very Missing Person (1972)
  • Columbo: Double Shock (1973)
  • Sin, American Style (1974)
  • Terraces (1977)
  • Jason of Star Command (1978)
  • Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979)
  • Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt (2003)
  • According to Jim (2006)
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold (2010)

  • ^ Some sources indicate Julia Charlene Newmeyer
  • ^ “Holy Catsuit! To the Original Catwoman, Her Son is the Cat’s Meow”
  • ^ Gumbel, Peter (1997-12-03). “Actress Julie Newmar and Others Struggle With Noisy Leaf Blowers”. The Wall Street Journal. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB881101258401263000.html?mod=googlewsj. Retrieved 2009-01-18. 
  • ^ Towle, Patricia (2008-07-28). “‘Batman’ icon Julie Newmar says Angelina Jolie should play her old role”. New York: Nydailynews.com. http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/movies/2008/07/27/2008-07-27_batman_icon_julie_newmar_says_angelina_j.html. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
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