Camren Bicondova, the new Catwoman on Fox’s ‘Gotham,’ joins a remarkable list of actresses who have donned the cat ears over the years. Here, we review the history of the legendary character on-screen, from present to past meows.
9. Camren Bicondova, Gotham, 2014.
The Kitten. She has all the right moves, an “It” girl look, and even resembles a young Michelle Pfeiffer (yes?). While she doesn’t have a lot to do in the pilot episode beyond stalking in the shadows of Gotham and stealing a bottle of milk, series creator Bruno Heller (Rome, The Mentalist) promises us Miss Selina Kyle is a pivotal player in this Bat-verse.
READ OUR INTERVIEW WITH CAMREN BICONDOVA, PART 1 OF OUR CATWOMAN COVERAGE!
8. Anne Hathaway, The Dark Knight Rises, 2012.
The Badass. Like almost everyone else, when Anne Hathaway was announced as Catwoman in Christopher Nolan’s third Batman film, we said, what the hell were they thinking? The claws immediately came out against the casting move, but the Oscar winner had a surprise in store for the Hathaway Haters: Ka-POW!!! She nailed it. Hathaway was just terrific as the jewel thief known simply as The Cat in this version, a good girl gone bad out of necessity, who had just the right amount of sexual tension with her foe/secret crush Batman (Christian Bale).
7. Halle Berry, Catwoman, 2005. What a Cat-tastrophe.
Halle Berry’s version of Catwoman managed to do something the popular character hadn’t done before since her debut in 1940 — she bombed. Universally panned, the film was a major flop that stunk worse than week old kitty litter. Sure, Berry had the sex appeal worthy of the role, but from the cheesy dialogue to the forgettable villains to the cheap, shredded S&M Cat suit that looked like it came from the Spirit Halloween Shop rather than a high-end Hollywood Wardrobe Department, this Catwoman hissed, and missed.
6. Gina Gershon, The Batman, 2004-2007. Serious Cat-titude.
It seems almost criminal that gritty sex pot Gina Gershon would star as the feline femme fatale in an animated Batman series, but those are the breaks, kids. Though audiences never had the pleasure of seeing her onscreen in the Cat suit, she did give good voice to the vixen-ish villain.
5. Adrienne Barbeau, Gotham Girls, 2000-2002; Batman: The Animated Series, 1992-1995. Deliciously Drawn.
Adrienne Barbeau (Carnivale, The Fog, Maude) has twice played Catwoman on TV in two different animated series. Her on-screen rendering in Batman: The Animated Series probably delighted the comic book fans the most, and her seductive voice gave it just the right punch.
4. Michelle Pfeiffer, Batman Returns, 1992. The Modern Classic.
Nobody could crack the whip like Michelle Pfeiffer. Her Selina Kyle had the best onscreen transformation into Catwoman – “I am Catwoman. Hear me roar!” – cementing her role as one batsh*t crazy cat lady. Played as dangerously unhinged, with a killer Cat suit, some of the best one-liners and a touch of camp (this was the Tim Burton era of Batman, after all), Michelle Pfeiffer was at her sexiest best.
3. Eartha Kitt, Batman TV series, 1968. The Best Purr.
It was a big deal when the African-American cabaret star was named Julie Newmar’s replacement in the Batman TV series in 1968 and she sure made a memorable mark on the part: No one had a more purr-fectly sexy purr than Eartha Kitt. Just what you’d expect from the legendary singer who cooed the Christmas classic “Santa Baby.”
2. Lee Meriwether, Batman: The Movie, 1966. The Best Back-up.
When Julie Newmar was unavailable to play Catwoman in the Batman movie, Lee Meriwether – who, up until that point, was best known as 1955’s Miss America – slinked into the Cat suit and whipped up rave reviews. She made an impressionable albeit brief appearance as the infamous she-villain – no easy feat when following in the paws of Julie Newmar.
1. Julie Newmar, Batman TV series, 1966. The Original.
And still the best. With her stunning beauty, ’60s chic and timeless charm, Julie Newmar still embodies the purr-fect combination of playfulness and mischievousness that has made the character a wonderfully wicked fan favorite to this day. Meow!