Julie Newmar Biography

Film Actress, Classic Pin-Ups, Theater Actress, Actress, Film Actor/Film Actress, Television Actress (1933–)
Film, stage and TV actress Julie Newmar played Catwoman in the 1960’s TV series Batman. She was also in the musical film Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.


Julie Newmar was born August 16, 1933 in Los Angeles, California. She made her film debut in 1952 with Just For You. After landing a role in the 1954 film Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, she concentrated on the stage. Later turning to TV, she starred in the ensemble of the 1966 TV series Batman. Over 25 years later, the blockbuster film Batman Returns (1992) would see her vying for the role.

Early Life

Actress. Born Julie Newmeyer, on August 16, 1933, in Los Angeles California. The daughter of Donald Newmeyer, a football coach, and Helene Jesmer, a Ziegfeld Follies performer, Julie displayed a penchant for the arts at an early age. A devout student of ballet, she was a prima ballerina with the Los Angeles Opera Company before becoming a staff choreographer at Universal Studios.

Julie made her film acting debut with an uncredited appearance in the 1952 musical Just For You, starring Bing Crosby and Ethel Barrymore. After landing a more visible part in the 1954 film Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, she concentrated on a stage career. Julie toured nationally in the productions Damn Yankees, Guys and Dolls, and Irma La Douce. Graduating to Broadway, she was noted for her captivating performances as Stupefyin' Jones in the 1956 production Li'l Abner and as the alluring Swede Katrin Sveg in The Marriage-Go-Round (1958). For the latter production, Julie earned a Tony Award for Best Supporting Actress. Now billed as Julie Newmar, she reprised both Broadway roles in the film adaptations - Li'l Abner (1959) and The Marriage-Go-Round (1960).

Catwoman Role

Turning her attention toward television projects, Newmar starred in the sitcom My Living Doll (1964-65). Shortly after the show’s cancellation, she joined the widely popular ensemble of the 1966 TV series Batman. Cast as the original Catwoman (opposite Adam West, Cesar Romero, Roddy McDowall, and Vincent Price), Newmar beguiled audiences with her onscreen sexuality and curve-hugging catsuit. Although Newmar appeared in only a handful of episodes, her portrayal of Catwoman left an indelible impression on Batman fans. Over 25 years later, the blockbuster film Batman Returns (1992) would see Hollywood's leading ladies vying for the coveted role (eventually filled by Michelle Pfeiffer).

During the 1970s, Newmar made a slew of mediocre television movies, which ranged from the comedies The Feminist and the Fuzz (1971) and Fools, Females and Fun (1973) to the mysteries A Very Missing Person (1972) and The Black Box Murders (1975).

Waning Acting Career

Following a 13-year absence, Newmar returned to film acting in 1983 with a supporting role in failed horror spoof Hysterical. Throughout the late 80s and early 90s, the majority of her work consisted of unremarkable films. However, the 1995 bizarre comedy To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar made her famous to a new generation of theatergoers. The film featured Patrick Swayze, John Leguizamo, and Wesley Snipes as drag queens who are inspired by Newmar. Newmar made a cameo appearance in the film as an award presenter in a cross-dressing contest.

Newmar has one child from her marriage to John Holt Smith. The couple divorced in 1986. Currently she devotes most of her time to a successful real estate business, while occasionally modeling for fashion designer Thierry Mugler.

Fact Check

We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact us!