Actresses Who Played Catwoman: A Comprehensive List

The iconic character of Catwoman has been portrayed by various talented actresses since the 1960s in both television and film adaptations. Each actress has brought her unique flair to the role, creating memorable performances that have left a lasting impression on fans.

In this comprehensive list, we will explore the actresses who have played Catwoman, their impact on the character, and any interesting facts about their portrayals.

1. Julie Newmar in Batman (1966–1967)

The First Catwoman

Julie Newmar was the first actress to bring Catwoman to life on the small screen in the 1960s Batman television series. Starring alongside Adam West as Batman, Newmar portrayed the seductive and cunning villainess for the first two seasons of the show, from 1966 to 1967.

Unique Contributions

Newmar’s Catwoman was known for her sultry voice and distinct body language, which she attributed to the costume allowing her to tell the story through her body. In an interview with Bring Me the News, she praised the brilliant writing, lighting, and production team that made her performance possible.

2. Lee Meriwether in Batman: The Movie (1966)

First Live-Action Film Catwoman

When the first full-length theatrical adaptation of Batman was released in 1966, Lee Meriwether took on the role of Catwoman, as Julie Newmar was unavailable. Meriwether’s performance in the film made her the first actress to play Catwoman in a live-action movie.

Unique Experience

In an interview with Studio 10, Meriwether expressed her gratitude for working with talented actors such as Cesar Romero, Frank Gorshin, and Burgess Meredith, who played iconic Batman villains. She learned from their performances and considered herself lucky to have the opportunity.

3. Eartha Kitt in Batman (1967–1968)

First Black Actress to Portray Catwoman

In the third and final season of the Batman television series, Eartha Kitt took over the role of Catwoman, becoming the first Black actress to portray the character. Kitt’s performance had a lasting impact on the Batman franchise and future superhero projects.

Personal Significance

During an interview in 2002, Kitt mentioned that playing Catwoman was a much-needed opportunity during a difficult time in her life. She described the role as a “wonderful bone” thrown to her and a fun experience.

4. Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns (1992)

The Fierce and Sensual Catwoman

In Tim Burton’s Batman Returns, Michelle Pfeiffer delivered a fierce and sensual performance as Catwoman, starring alongside Michael Keaton as Batman. Her portrayal of the character remains one of the most iconic and memorable to date.

Unique Approach

Pfeiffer’s Catwoman was a complex and multi-layered character, showcasing vulnerability and strength simultaneously. She brought a darker and more tragic aspect to the role, which resonated with audiences and critics alike.

5. Halle Berry in Catwoman (2004)

The First Standalone Catwoman Film

Halle Berry starred in the first standalone Catwoman film in 2004. Despite the movie’s lack of critical and commercial success, it became the highest-grossing female-led superhero film until the release of Wonder Woman in 2017.

Breaking Barriers

Berry, who became the first Black woman to win the Best Actress Academy Award in 2002, faced criticism for accepting the role of Catwoman. However, she defended her choice as an opportunity for a woman of color to be a superhero.

6. Anne Hathaway in The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Catwoman in the Dark Knight Trilogy

Anne Hathaway portrayed Catwoman in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, the final installment of the acclaimed Dark Knight trilogy. Her performance added depth and nuance to the character, making her a formidable presence in the film.

Unique Preparation

Hathaway initially believed she was auditioning for the role of Harley Quinn, which influenced her initial approach to the character. She later studied martial arts for the role and modeled her character’s speech after actress Hedy Lamarr, the original inspiration for Catwoman in the comics.

7. Camren Bicondova on Gotham (2014–2019)

A Younger Selina Kyle

On the Fox series Gotham, which served as the origin story for Batman and his infamous enemies, Camren Bicondova played a younger version of Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman. Bicondova portrayed the character for all five seasons of the show, giving audiences a glimpse of Selina’s early life and development.

Unique Perspective

Bicondova expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to show a side of Selina Kyle that had never been seen before. The actress described her experience as “awesome, an honor, and grateful.”

8. Zoe Kravitz in The Batman (2022)

The Latest Catwoman

In Matt Reeves’ The Batman, Zoe Kravitz takes on the role of Catwoman alongside Robert Pattinson as Batman. Kravitz’s performance showcases a new, fresh take on the classic character, adding to the legacy of the actresses who have portrayed her.

Unique Preparation

Kravitz studied wild cats to prepare for her role, focusing on their movement and fighting techniques. She also incorporated various martial arts styles and capoeira into her performance to give her Catwoman a distinct, feline-like movement.

In Conclusion

The character of Catwoman has been portrayed by many talented actresses over the years, each bringing their unique perspective and interpretation to the role. From Julie Newmar’s groundbreaking performance in the 1960s to Zoe Kravitz’s fresh take in The Batman, these women have left an indelible mark on the legacy of this iconic character.