If you are a teenager, you probably have no idea of who the first and incredibly sexy Catwoman was. The name is Julie Newmar, dressed in kinky leather and speaking with a sensual voice, “purring like a cat”, it took her just one episode to became a TV star, and the secret desire of every male viewer (and a few female I guess!).
Julie Newmar was Catwoman in the very first “Batman”, a TV series of the ’60s. If you think that the photo above is sexy now, you can imagine what a hit it was more than 40 years ago, when the main character of every TV channel was a conservative family – a working husband, a faithful housewife, two kids and a dog.
Every episode was a triumph of sensuality. Before becoming an actress, Julie was a dancer, and that’s what she does for the entire series – she dances with Batman in a love-hate relationship. She’s not the strongest of villains, yes she’s the only one capable of evoking strong emotions within the Dark Knight. She even manages to win (a few times!).
All goods things come to an end, so did Julie’s TV show, leaving the Catwoman in perfect shape, dancing in her kinky leather costume during the nights in Gotham city. Beautiful – Forever!
That’s the story of Julie the Catwoman. Julie the woman is a different story. The latest episodes of the show were rough for her. She became more and more fatigued, even to dance and purr, until she found out that she had Charcot-Marie-Tooth disorder. If you are not familiar with CMT, it’s a non-infective but incurable disease. It affects the nerves, resulting in progressive loss of strength and ability to feel.
Julie Newmar, who reached fame for her talent as a dancer, was struck by the reality of life in the very same way that made her unique. She lost her elegant moves and her TV contracts.
But she never lost her smile.
In one of her last interviews, she was asked if she was happy. No hesitation in her reply. “YES”.
I would like to end this post by quoting Julies’s “Letter to a Teenager”, which she published in 2008. It speaks about being short and tall, fat and skinny. However, I believe it’s a small manifesto for every person who’s different – a deep and warm message from a human being affected by CMT. It’s not a coincidence that she speaks about the love of a mother penguin, the cutest of animals that walk in a funny way. Did you notice a connection with the logo of the CMT Journal? It’s not a coincidence indeed!
“When you were in the first grade, you learned about opposites: short-tall, fat-skinny, etc. These words of comparison later hurt when describing another, e.g. “Sherry is short. Josh is fat.” They were not meant to hurt but to differentiate. How brilliant in nature that we are not all exactly the same. How exceedingly boring that would be. Think of your ability to recognize your friend’s voice on the phone. Think of a mother penguin’s ability to distinguish her baby penguin’s “squawk, squawk” among the thousands of baby penguins as she returns from searching for food to keep her baby alive. You are just different enough to fit perfectly on this planet. YOU ARE ENOUGH.”
– Julie Newmar
Image credits: julienewmarwrites.com