Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Marvel Hopes to Release a New Netflix Series Every 6 Months - Including 'Luke Cage' & 'The Defenders' of Course Marvel Hopes to Release a New Netflix Series Every 6 Months - Including 'Luke Cage' & 'The Defenders' of Course Queen Latifah Will Play Wiz and Mary J. Blige Is Evillene in NBC's Musical Production of 'The Wiz' Queen Latifah Will Play Wiz and Mary J. Blige Is Evillene in NBC's Musical Production of 'The Wiz' Here's the List of Films & TV Series Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library in August Here's the List of Films & TV Series Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library in August 'Key & Peele' Will End After Its Current Season 'Key & Peele' Will End After Its Current Season MSNBC Decides: Touré Is Out, Rev. Al Stays (For Now) MSNBC Decides: Touré Is Out, Rev. Al Stays (For Now) Disney Channel & Disney XD Casting Directors Holding Online Casting Call for Diverse Actors, Age 10-17 Disney Channel & Disney XD Casting Directors Holding Online Casting Call for Diverse Actors, Age 10-17 Revisiting Spike Lee's Perplexing 'She Hate Me' on Its 11th Anniversary Revisiting Spike Lee's Perplexing 'She Hate Me' on Its 11th Anniversary Oprah Winfrey Presents Landmark 7-Night Event Series 'Belief' Premiering October 18 (Trailer) Oprah Winfrey Presents Landmark 7-Night Event Series 'Belief' Premiering October 18 (Trailer) Watch 5 Clips From TV One Original Movie 'Runaway Island' - Premieres This Saturday, July 25 Watch 5 Clips From TV One Original Movie 'Runaway Island' - Premieres This Saturday, July 25 Samira Wiley to Co-Star in Film Based on Kitty Genovese 1964 Murder Samira Wiley to Co-Star in Film Based on Kitty Genovese 1964 Murder MTV Has Made Its 'White People' Documentary Available Online - Watch It Here MTV Has Made Its 'White People' Documentary Available Online - Watch It Here MSNBC Is Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place with Rev. Al (Demote Him or Let Him Go?) MSNBC Is Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place with Rev. Al (Demote Him or Let Him Go?) LeBron James Inks "Unprecedented Agreement" with Warner Bros. Spanning Film, TV, Digital LeBron James Inks "Unprecedented Agreement" with Warner Bros. Spanning Film, TV, Digital Check Out the Official Theatrical Trailer for Stanley Nelson’s 'The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution' Check Out the Official Theatrical Trailer for Stanley Nelson’s 'The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution' Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Third 'Best Man' Movie Gets a Title, an Official 2016 Release Date & A Most Unexpected Wedding Third 'Best Man' Movie Gets a Title, an Official 2016 Release Date & A Most Unexpected Wedding Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Eartha Kitt - The Greatest Catwoman Of Them All

Shadow and Act By Sergio | Shadow and Act July 15, 2012 at 7:34PM

With the much anticipated The Dark Knight Rises coming out this Friday, there has been a ton of PR hype for the film, and naturally, many articles and media segments about Anne Hathaway, who plays the role of Catwoman in the film.
27
Eartha Kitt

With the much anticipated The Dark Knight Rises coming out this Friday, there has been a ton of PR hype for the film, and naturally, many articles and media segments about Anne Hathaway, who plays the role of Catwoman in the film.

Of course, she's not the first actress to play the role. There was Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns, and former Miss America winner Lee Meriwether, who played the role in the 1966 film version of the ABC TV series. 

And oh yes there was Halle...whatshername in that unspeakable Catwoman film travesty, which one could argue she has yet to recover from, career-wise; the film that the originally-cast Ashley Judd bailed out on, when she saw that the project was headed off a ciliff.

But there was, perhaps most memorably, Eartha Kitt, who played Catwoman several times during the final season of the Batman TV show, from 1967-68. She replaced the previous Catwoman, the Amazon-built, 1960s sex bomb, Julie Newmar, who played the role during the first two seasons of the show, but decided not to continue.

Needless to say, when Kitt was cast in the role, it was a big deal. I mean a HUGE deal. It got a lot of publicity, and there was a lot of anticipation.

First of all, there weren't many black actresses on TV back then with regular TV roles, with the exception of Diahann Carroll and her NBC show Julia, which premiered in the fall of 1968 (I have previously written about it on S & A). You would have a black actress in an occasional guest role here and there, but having a black woman playing Catwoman, and, no less than Eartha Kitt, was a major event.

And being the great performer that she was, Kitt made the role uniquely hers, with her own special charisma. To this day, she is, to me, the definite Catwoman. I don't care what Anne Hathaway does, or what special Bat Bike she rides on in the film. All I'll be thinking is, she doesn't quite measure up to Kitt. Yes, you can say her performance was campy, but that was the point. The TV show was a campy comedy, and Kitt went into it with everything she had.

Unfortunately for Kitt, it was a short-lived triumph. First of all, as I mentioned earlier, the Batman TV series ended its run in late spring of 1968. But, to make matters worse, Kitt's carrer was seriously set back when she got caught up in a political controversy.

That same year, she was invited to a luncheon at the White House and used the opportuniity to openly criticize then President Lyndon Johnson's Vietman war policy, and practically overnight, became a persona non grata in the business. It took her years to recover.

But still, to this day, when I think of Catwoman, I think of Ms. Kitt.

Anybody want to disagree?


Shadow & ActNewsletter