Catwoman is an professional criminal and thief and arch-nemesis of Batman and Robin. Her modus operandi is the employ cat-themed and fashions herself in cat clothing, a trait that extents to her hide-outs. She always has razor sharp claws and sometimes carries whips and other weapons. She was played by three actresses; Julie Newmar, Lee Meriwether and Eartha Kitt.
Catwoman is one of Gotham City's most prominent villains, ranking near the top with Penguin and Joker for the most criminal activity. Dressed in a sleek, black bodysuit with cat ears, an eye mask, clawed gloves and a cat medallion around her neck, Catwoman has the appearance and grace of the animal from which she gets her name. Indeed, at times she has been known to meow, and when Batman is close by, her voice takes on a distinctive purr.
It is easy to see that Catwoman is attracted to Batman in a strong physical way. Whenever they come face to face, she tries to coax him to admit his feelings for her, at times attempting to entice him into a more personal encounter. Even attracted to Batman as she is, she cannot abide his crime-fighting behavior. The fact they are on opposite sides of the law, not to mention her insistence that Robin must be killed for their partnership to be cemented, will undoubtedly keep them apart.
Her capers are usually related to cats in some way. Whether it be a form of ancient treasure or jewelry in the shape of a cat, cat-gut strings from antique violins, or the legendary treasure of Captain Manx, Catwoman will hatch a scheme which will usually involve trying to rid Gotham City of its caped protectors. Though she is attracted to Batman, she has the sense to realize he is a hindrance in her plans. Batman believes that Catwoman has the nine lives of a cat, because during her attempts to try and escape from capture, she has fallen into a bottomless pit or off the roof of a waterfront warehouse and survived.
She has been known to team up with other master criminals. Her partners in crime include Freddie The Fence, Ma Parker, and The Sandman, though she had planned to double-cross him when the caper was finished. Even though she's also paired with the Joker and the Penguin, who both had feelings for her, she refused them both since she was disgusted by the Penguin's size and hated the Joker's green hair.
She has been known at times to keep pussy willows in her hideout. Throughout the day, she will take time out for a catnap, and she has a fondness for milk. She has also revealed she is allergic to dogwood.
Weapons and Equipment
- Whip - a special weapon that looks like an ordinary cat o'nine tails but squirts deadly gas from its handle.
- Medallion - A piece of jewellery that she always wears around her neck. It has a hidden communicator, a watch and an alarm as a reminder of when to take her cat naps.
- Catamizer - a specialized gun which is filled with catasonic acid. Though the catamizer has never been used, it will 'catalyze' the victim.
- Catwoman's Amazing Maze - located in the catacombs of her subterranean suite 6, this maze is a giant replication of the maze used to carry out experiments on rats and mice. According to Catwoman, once inside it could take the rest of your life to get out, that is unless you find the center of the maze which means you will never get out. She had placed her traitorous henchwoman Katalina (AKA Police Woman Mooney) and Robin in the maze. Both of them became trapped in the center of the maze, trapped that is until Batman entered the maze and led them to safety.
- See in the dark glasses - she liked using them because 'cats can always see in the dark'.
- Sonic beam blast gun - fires a concentrated sound wave that can destroy whatever it hits
- Voice-stealing box - when opened and pointed at a person, that person would lose the power of speech as it was transferred into the box. Recent conversations that person had could then be replayed by opening the box and listening. Catwoman later revealed under questioning that the person's voice could be returned by drinking a mixture of sweet basil, garlic salt, and goat's milk.
- Sneeze bombs - explode in a puff of red smoke, leave everyone in the room sneezing.
- Catwoman's Knock Out Gas- Pink colored;kept under her fingernails or in handle of her whip
- Cataphrenia - A chemical created by Catwoman. It can be kept under fingernails so that when a person is scratched, they are infected with the drug. It reverses all normal moral and ethical standards, turning them into the complete opposite of the person they used to be. As side effects, it causes amnesia and fainting spells. Catwoman used this to brainwash Robin into serving her. She even did this on Batman only for the Bat-Antidote Pill that Batman passed off as an aspirin to negate it's effects.
- Catillac - Catwoman's car.
- Remote Control Cat-radio - sets off the bell so she can get out of class early.
- Old Kit Bag - A bag used to carry things.
- Personnel Make-up kit-used to disguise herself as "Minerva Matthews"
- Eau de Chat (Translated into English, it means 'perfume of cat') - A poisonous perfume.
- Hair-raising bomb - Destroys the hairdos of any women in the area.
- Kitty Car - A green vehicle made to look like a cat.
- Cat Lily perfume - Not known to have any criminal uses, but probably smells nice.
- Cat's whiskers - Thin ropes used to tie someone up, they contract when in contact with body heat.
Just as Batman and Robin do not go at crime-fighting alone, Catwoman needs fellow partners in crime to assist her with her malicious schemes. Her associates include:
- Manx and Angora (portrayed by James Griffith and Dirk Evans) - Catwoman's henchmen and amateur fashion critics.
- The Joker - Joker teamed up with Catwoman and helped her find a cache of gunpowder hidden for a hundred years.
- Giggler and Laugher (portrayed by Sandy Kevin and Bobby Hall) - Catwoman's henchmen, both were looking forward very much to working with Joker.
- Marvin the Moose and Dave the Dummy - They worked with Catwoman in the past. Lucky Pierre disguised them and put them on the jury in Batman's case against her.
- Pirate Henchman(Portrayed by Dick Crockett)
- Felix and Leo (portrayed by Ralph Manza and Jock Mahoney) - Catwoman's henchmen. Felix was in charge of brushing Catwoman's pussy willows.
- Jack O'Shea (portrayed by Jack Kelly) - This Gotham City Times writer pens the most widely read gossip column in the country. His office is the third phone booth in Glob's drugstore. His favorite lunch is corn beef on white, heavy on the mayo, and two glasses of buttermilk from the drugstore's deli. Despite his national fame, O'Shea found it necessary to enlist with Catwoman in what she called "the greatest caper in crime-dom's history"—the carefully orchestrated theft of two antique Stradivarius violins. The Gotham City Times will be without O'Shea's talents for several years as he does time in Gotham State Penitentiary.
- John, Thomas and Charles (portrayed by Buck Cartalian, Charles Horvath, and George Barrows) - The creme de la creme of Gotham City's cat-burglars, these three men successfully made it through Catwoman's selection process, becoming key players in "the greatest caper in crimedum's history". After a small caper, John is left behind, revealing information which leads the Dynamic Duo to Catwoman's lair and a trap. All three are currently serving time.
- Ma Parker - She was released from imprisonment by her and became a member of Ma's new prison gang after the gangster took over Gotham State Penitentiary.
- Eenie (portrayed by Sharyn Winters) - Female helper and member of the band "Catwoman and the Kittens." She was constantly questioning Catwoman's decisions and complaining about the next caper.
- Meanie, Miney and Moe (portrayed by T.J. Castronova, Chuck Henderson, and Ric Roman) - Catwoman's henchmen and members of "Catwoman and the Kittens."
- Kitty and Cattie (portrayed by Valerie Kairys and Pat Bender) - During her partnership with Sandman, Catwoman had a pair of female criminal companions. It appears as if these two women functioned more as servants than criminal helpers. This is suggested through the leashes Catwoman made them wear.
- Pussycat (portrayed by Lesley Gore) - She always wanted to be a rock and roll singer, but wasn't doing too well when Catwoman picked her up at the Milkshake-a-go-go on Sunset Strip. Catwoman convinced her that at 20 years old, she was over the hill.
- Spade, Marlow, and Templar (portrayed by Jock Gaynor, Tony Epper, and George Sawaya) - Catwoman's simple henchmen who assisted Catwoman in brainwashing Robin.
- Freddy "Touché" the Fence (portrayed by Jacques Bergerac) - The owner of French Freddy's Fencing Academy. Also a well-known fence. He sometimes uses his fencing mask to strain spaghetti.
- Cornell, Penn, and Brown (portrayed by Paul Mantee, Sheldon Allman, and Paul Picerni) - Catwoman's simple henchmen. Cornell is a master mimic, even able to impersonate Batman's voice perfectly.
- Benton Bellgoody - Benton works at Duncan Dance Studios. He apparently allowed Catwoman and her gang to hide out in the basement, and let Catwoman pretend to be a dance teacher. When Batman and Robin visited, he pretended not to remember their names, but Batman saw right through him.
- The Pink Sandbox - A new restaurant and dance club on the west side of Gotham City. From this hip club came the Catusi, the latest dance craze.
- Subterranean Suite 6 of the Catacombs Condominium - It is adjoining Duncan's Dance Studio.
- The Catlair West - It is across the river in New Guernsey.
- Basement of the Eta Beta Latka - A sorority house.
- 32 Pussyfoot Road, in the heart of Gotham City's garment center
- The Hotel Sleazy, across the street from Police Headquarters
- The Grimalkin Novelty Company
19. The Purr-fect Crime
20. Better Luck Next Time
37. Hot Off the Griddle
38. The Cat and the Fiddle
44. Ma Parker (Cameo)
63. The Cat's Meow
64. The Bat's Kow Tow
67. The Sandman Cometh
68.The Catwoman Goeth (A Stitch in Time)
74. That Darn Catwoman
75. Scat! Darn Catwoman
83. Catwoman Goes to College
84. Batman Displays his Knowledge
108. Catwoman's Dressed to Kill
110. The Funny Feline Felonies
111. The Joke's on Catwoman
119. The Entrancing Dr. Cassandra (Cameo)
- Batman: The Movie
- Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt
- Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders
- Batman Vs. Two-Face
Behind The Scenes
- Julie Newmar appeared as Catwoman in the first two seasons of the TV series. Lee Meriwether appeared in the feature film, as Julie had other commitments that the last-minute decision to make the movie prevented.
- Catwoman's true identity is never revealed in the series, but it is assumed to be Selina Kyle, as in the comics.
- Eartha Kitt was the third actress to portray a live-action Catwoman, and did so in the show's third season. Julie Newmar recommended Eartha Kitt to play Catwoman because of her purr.
- Catwoman is Batman's primary female arch-nemesis in the series.
- Catwoman appeared in the first issue of DC Comics' Batman '66 comic book, called "Riddler's Ruse". In it, she temporarily teams up with Batman and Robin to capture Riddler, who blew up her new dance club. She managed to escape from Batman in the end. Before she left, she grabbed a valuable artifact, although Batman reveals to Robin that Catwoman actually stole a replica. In a later issue, the Eartha Kitt version of Catwoman was seen being taken down by Batgirl. In the eleventh issue of the Batman '66 comic book, she teams up with Joker to break out of Arkham Asylum by tricking Dr. Harleen Quinzel into helping her.
- There are two conflicting stories about why Lee Meriwether played the Catwoman in Batman: The Movie over Julie Newmar:
- The movie was supposed to be the pilot for the series, but the series ended up airing earlier than was intended to fill the time slot of a separate series that had been cancelled. Newmar replaced Meriwether who was contractually obliged to other projects.
- The studio was trying to capitalize on the popularity of the series, but Newmar was unavailable and Meriwether filled in for her.
Despite these versions, most fans consider Newmar the original Catwoman.
- Because of differences in how Julie and Kitt played the character, some fan theories consider their roles separate rather than the same character.