There have been enough articles written on Batman to wallpaper every home in America, but for Batman’s big 75th Anniversary I wanted to cover the women from television and film who had crossed paths with the Dark Knight. What did they think of the big guy and were they friend or foe? Head to the Batcave to find out.
Superheroes like most men learn about the opposite sex from their mothers. What do we really know about the late Mrs. Wayne? Martha was married to a billionaire and she most likely came from a wealthy family. I am guessing that Martha, with all her social duties, did not personally raise little Bruce. It was most likely a nanny or Alfred who raised the boy.
I’ve often pondered the fact that when the Wayne family was ambushed, Martha went immediately to her husband’s aid, leaving little Wayne to stand alone. That simple act speaks volumes to me and it’s my theory as to why Bruce Wayne remains a playboy and commitment free.
In the 1966 television series which starred Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Dick Grayson, the part of Catwoman was played by Julie Newmar in the first and second season. We were never told enough about her background, but one thing is sure; there was definitely sexual tension between our caped crusader and the lady dressed in black Lurex fabric. This tension was evident in the last two episodes featuring Newman as Catwoman: “Catwoman Goes to College” and “Batman Displays His Knowledge.” I’ve included a video for you to decide for yourself, but Julie Newman was my favorite Catwoman.
This amazing actress took over the role in the third season, changing the rules and the dynamics between Batman and Catwoman. Eartha Kitt’s Catwoman was more serious… more ruthless. She was the queen of criminals and the princess of plunder, possessing the slinky movements and sexy mannerisms of a cat.
Unfortunately, Eartha did not continue with the sexual tension that was set up for season one and two between Batman and Catwoman, and that probably was due to her race. Shame on us! I’ve included a video of Eartha Kitt as Catwoman.
Batman the Movie
This 1966 theatrical film takes place after season one of the television series stared most of the characters from the television series except for Catwoman who was played by Lee Meriwether in the film because of a scheduling obligation for Julie Newmar.
In this film, Lee Meriwether’s Catwoman played Russian journalist, Miss Kitka, who is secretly working with the Penguin, the Joker, and the Riddler to dehydrate the world. Batman (Adam West) was crushed to learn that Catwoman had betrayed him. Lee Meriwether was good in the film, but she definitely wasn’t Julie Newmar or Eartha Kitt.
The 1989 film stared Michael Keaton in the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne and there was no Catwoman featured in this film, but there was the lovely love interest in the form of Kim Basinger as Vicki Vale. There were definitely sparks flying between the caped crusader and the journalist, but alas it doesn’t last into the following film.
In the 1992 film, Michael Keaton is once again featured in the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne, and Catwoman is played seductively by Michelle Pfeiffer, the shy secretary that is pushed out a window by her crooked boss.
Selina Kyle (Pfeiffer) is resuscitated by alley cats and becomes the crazy Catwoman. Crazy or not, she’s a tempting treat for Batman, but alas their little romantic tryst doesn’t last.
In the 1995 film, Batman Forever, we have a new Batman (Val Kilmer) and the first appearance of Robin (Chris O’Donnell) in this series, and we have plenty of bad guys, but no Catwoman. Nicole Kidman plays the part of the Batman-obsessed psychiatrist, Dr. Chase Meridian.
Batman and Robin
In this 1997 film, we have a new Batman (George Clooney), but no Catwoman. We do have Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy aka Dr. Pamela Isley, who is a foe in this Batman film. Robin (Chris O’Donnell) gets a sidekick in the form of Batgirl (Alicia Silverstone) and Batman’s girlfriend of the month Julie Madison (Elle Macpherson) is given the brushoff.
In this 2005 film, we once again change Batman actors to Christian Bale, who is my favorite Batman. There is no Catwoman, but there is love interest in the persona of childhood friend, Rachael Dawes played by the lovely Katie Holmes.
The Dark Knight
This 2008 film has Christian Bale as Batman, no Catwoman, but we do have Heath Ledger as the Joker and Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent (Two-Face), but this time Maggie Gyllenhaal takes the role of Rachael Dawes. Batman and Harvey are both sweet on Rachael. Rachael is killed and Harvey Dent’s face is destroyed because of the Joker’s actions. Sadly, Ledger died before the film’s release.
The Dark Knight Rises
This 2012 film has Christian Bale as Batman and yes, we have a new Catwoman and she rocks! Anne Hathaway brought the ZING back to the role of the mischievous Catwoman, who begins as a foe and then helps the caped crusader in his fight against Bane (Tom Hardy) and Miranda Tate/Talia al Ghul (Marion Cotillard) before disappearing to France with Batman. Will this love affair last? Your guess is as good as mine.
Batman V Superman, Dawn of Justice
The sequel to Man of Steel is not out until 2016, but we do have a new Batman (Ben Affleck). Since Superman (Henry Cavill) is still gaga over Lois Lane (Amy Adams), I’m curious about Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot). With the mythical Amazon princess on the scene, will Batman have finally found someone strong enough to tame him?
Well, you have my list of female friends and foes and so far my favorite Catwoman is a toss between Julie Newmar and Anne Hathaway while Maggie Gyllenhaal is my favorite Rachael. Who’s your favorite?