While the release of The Dark Knight Rises has been filled with controversy, tragedy, and broken records, there’s no denying that we’ve been anticipating this final part of Christopher Nolan’s trilogy for years. Especially, when we get to see Batman once again tangle with one of his most infamous villains: Catwoman.
While The Joker is hands down the greatest Batman villain, perhaps even the greatest comic book villain ever, the relationship between Batman and Catwoman is one of the most interesting in all of comics. The reason being is that the two have romantic feelings for each other, despite duking it out during the ongoing battle between good and evil, which gets even more complicated when she joins forces with the Dark Knight.
Since making her first appearance in the spring of 1940, when she was known simply as The Cat, Selina Kyle has been complicating the life of Bruce Wayne with a constant love-hate relationship. While she has undergone numerous makeovers and character changes throughout the decades, she has remained one of Batman’s greatest—and sexiest—adversaries and sometime allies.
Since her debut, Catwoman has gone on to be ranked #11 on IGN‘s “Top 100 Comic Book Villains of All Time” list, #20 on IGN‘s “Top 100 Comic Book Heroes of All Time” list, #51 on Wizard magazine’s “100 Greatest Villains of All Time” list, and 23rd in Comics Buyer’s Guide‘s “100 Sexiest Women in Comics” list.
And let’s not forget that she has become a frequent character on TV and film. So, here is a look back at the actresses who have portrayed Catwoman in the flesh.
Julie Newmar (Batman 1966)
The first, and personally my favorite, to play Catwoman. Newmar actually made her own Catwoman costume, which is now in the Smithsonian Institution, and placed the belt at the hips instead of the waist to emphasize her hourglass figure. Nice.
Image Source: Digital Spy
Lee Meriwether (Batman 1966 film)
Lee Meriwether, who was Miss America in 1955, replaced Julie Newmar in the 1966 Batman tie-in-movie since Newmar had scheduling conflicts.
Image Source: Films Actu
Eartha Kitt (Batman 1967 – 1968)
The final Catwoman for the Batman television series was Santa’s baby herself, the sultry Eartha Kitt, who was once called “the most exciting girl in the world” by Orson Welles.
Image Source: Digest News – Widget Lifes
Michelle Pfeiffer (Batman Returns 1992)
Selina Kyle—and Catwoman—were brought to life to the big screen in 1992 by the timeless beauty of Michelle Pfeiffer in Tim Burton’s sequel to his 1989 film. The origin may have been slightly different, but Pfeiffer was purrrfect.
Image Source: burbuja.info
Maggie Baird (Birds of Prey 2002)
Birds of Prey was a 2002 series on the WB that featured the crime fighting antics of The Huntress, who was the daughter of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle. Maggie Baird played Catwoman during a flashback.
Image Source: batman.wikia
Halle Berry (Catwoman 2004)
This version of Catwoman had little to do with the character that we’ve come to know and love except for her alter-ego name. Instead of Selina Kyle, we got Patience Phillips and a pretty atrocious film. So, that’s all the time we’re going to devote towards Catwoman.
Image Source: tumblr
Anne Hathaway (The Dark Knight Rises 2012)
The beautiful Anne Hathaway is the current Catwoman/Selina Kyle in Christopher Nolan’s final Batman film. There may have been skeptics at first, but Hathaway has filled the role—and suit—rather nicely to become one of the Dark Knight Rises’ best characters. Hathaway is even interested in doing a Catwoman spinoff.
Image Source: Bourgeois Crème
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