Sunday, January 10, 2010

New York Times: The 1st Catwoman Turn-On

The Sunday New York Times (1/10/2010) reports:

Some actors are identified with a particular role because they played it for years, in a hundred or more episodes. It took Julie Newmar only a handful of appearances in the original “Batman” series to be forever known as Catwoman. The slinky sexiness of her portrayal certainly helped, especially with male viewers.

“Whenever I’m stopped on the street,” Ms. Newmar said, “men tell me, ‘Ms. Newmar, did you know that you were my first turn-on?’ I would ask the next question: ‘How old were you?’ ”

The answers that have come back — some of the admirers said they were as young as 4 — led to one of her current writing projects, a book on first fantasies. (She is inviting submissions at Ms. Newmar, now 76 and still with that purr in her voice, has no problem being a fantasy object to so many, or being asked to autograph some odd things. “I’ve seen some interesting flesh,” she said.

But one fan in New York did surprise her when he pulled up his pant leg, not for her autograph, but for her to admire the Catwoman tattoo he had on it. She had seen plenty of tattoos of the comic book character, of course, but the face on this one was different.

“It wasn’t just the Catwoman,” she said. “It was me.”

Does that kind of identification with a character bother her?

“It’s an honor — it really is — that something stays for so long with people in the sweet depths of their feelings,” she said.