Julie Newmar Biography
Julie Newmar (born Julia Chalene Newmeyer, August 16, 1933) is an American actress, dancer, and singer, known for a variety of stage, screen, and TV roles, as well as a writer, lingerie inventor, and mogul immobilier. She won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her role as Katrin Sveg in The Marriage-Go-Round’s Broadway production in 1958 and took up the role in the film version in 1961. She starred as Catwoman in the television series Batman (1966–1967) for two seasons in the 1960s.
Her other credits for the stage include the 1956 Ziegfeld Follies and playing Lola in Damn Yankees! In regional productions (1961) and Irma in Irma la Douce (1965). Newmar appeared for the 1992 single “Too Funky” by George Michael in the music video and had a cameo as herself in the 1995 movie To Wong Foo, Thanks for All! Julie Newmar, you know. Her vocal work includes the animated feature films Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders (2016) and Batman vs. Two-Face (2017), where she took over her role as Catwoman 50 years after the original TV series.
Julie Newmar Personal Life
Newmar was married to J. Holt Smith, a lawyer, moved to Fort Worth, Texas on August 5, 1977, where she lived until her divorce in 1984. She has one child with hearing impairment and Down syndrome, John Jewl Smith (born February 1981).
Newmar suffers from the disease of Charcot–Marie–Tooth, an inherited neurological condition affecting one in 2,500 Americans. A legal battle with her neighbor, actor Jim Belushi, ended in a friendly manner with a guest-star invitation on his sitcom According to Jim in an episode (“The Grumpy Guy”) that poked fun at the feud.
Newmar, an avid gardener, initiated with the Los Angeles City Council at least a temporary ban on leaf blowers. Newmar was a vocal LGBT rights advocate; her brother, John Newmeyer, is gay.
She received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Los Angeles organization Gay and Lesbian Elder Housing (GLEH) in 2013.
Julie Newmar Early Life
Newmar was born in Los Angeles, California, on August 16, 1933, the eldest of three children born to Newmeyer, Don and Helen (Jesmer). Her father was head of the Los Angeles City College Physical Education Department and had played American football professionally with the National Football League’s 1926 Los Angeles Buccaneers in the 1920s.
Her Swedish-French mother, who used Chalene as her professional name, was a fashion designer and later became a real estate investor. Newmar has two younger brothers, a writer, epidemiologist and winemaker, Peter Bruce Newmeyer (born 1935) and John A.
Newmeyer (born 1940). She started dancing at an early age and performed with the Los Angeles Opera at the age of fifteen as a prima ballerina.
Julie Newmar Career
Newmar started appearing as dancers in bit parts and uncredited roles in films, including a part as the “dancer-assassin” in Slaves of Babylon (1953) and the “gilded girl” in Serpent of the Nile (1953), where she was clad in gold paint. In several other movies, she danced, including The Band Wagon (also in 1953) and Demetrius and the Gladiators (1954). She also worked as a choreographer and dancer for Universal Studios from the age of nineteen.
Her first major role, labeled as Julie Newmeyer, was like Dorcas, one of Seven Brides ‘ brides for Seven Brothers (also in 1954). Her three-minute appearance on Broadway as the leggy Stupefyin ‘ Jones in the 1956 Li’l Abner musical led to a reprise in the 1959 movie version. She was also the female leader in a low-budget comedy, The Rookie (also 1959).
Newmar first appeared in Silk Stockings on Broadway in 1955, starring Hildegarde Neff and Don Ameche. She also appeared in the movie The Marriage-Go-Round (1961) featuring James Mason and Susan Hayward (Newmar had previously developed the role of the Swedish vixen on stage and won a Tony Award for Best Supporting Actress for the Broadway version on which the movie was based).
She later appeared with Joel Grey on stage on the Stop the World National Tour-I Want to Get Off and as Lola in Damn Yankees! And Irma in Irma La Douce. and Mackenna’s Gold. In the May 1968 issue of Playboy Magazine, Playmate Elizabeth Jordan also appeared in a pictorial. The fame of Newmar comes mainly from her appearances on television.
Her statuesque shape made her a larger-than-life sex symbol, mostly cast as a temptress or Amazonian beauty, including an early appearance on The Phil Silvers Show in sexy maid costume. She starred on the television series My Living Doll (1964–1965) as Rhoda the Robot, and is known as the villain Catwoman for her recurrent role in the television series Batman in the 1960s.
(Lee Meriwether played Catwoman in the 1966 feature film and Eartha Kitt in the final season of the series.) Newmar modified her Catwoman costume— now in the Smithsonian institution— and put the belt on the hips instead of the waist to highlight her hourglass figure. In 1962, Newmar appeared twice as a motorcycle-riding, free-spirited heiress Vicki Russell on Route 66, filmed in Tucson, Arizona(‘ Hotel’).
She starred in The Twilight Zone as the devil in “Of Late I Think of Cliffordville” F Troop as an Indian princess, Bewitched (“The Eight-Year Itch Witch” in 1971) as a human-formed cat named Ophelia, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Get Smart as a double agent assigned to Maxwell Smart’s flat.
In 1967, in an episode of The Monkees (“Monkees Get Out More Dirt”), she starred as April Conquest and was the pregnant Capellan princess Eleen in the Star Trek episode “Friday’s Child” She played a hit-woman with Robert Wagner in the It Takes a Thief episode “The Funeral is on Mundy” in 1969.
In 1983, in the episode “A Change of Hart” she reproduced the hit-woman role on Hart to Hart, the later television series of Wagner. Both Wagner performances included full-body grappling that ended with Wagner lying on top of Newmar. She had guest roles at Columbo and The Bionic Woman in the 1970s. Newmar appeared over the next two decades in several low-budget movies.
She was a guest star on television, appearing on The Love Boat, 25th Century Buck Rogers, CHiPs and Fantasy Island. She was seen in the music video for George Michael’s “Too Funky” in 1992 and appeared as herself in Melrose Place’s 1996 episode.
In 2003, Newmar appeared as herself in the TV movie Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt along with former Batman co-stars Adam West, Burt Ward, Frank Gorshin and Lee Meriwether. Julia Rose played Newmar’s television series production in flashbacks.
However, due to long-standing rights issues over footage from the Batman TV series, only Meriwether’s footage from the feature film was allowed to be used in the TV film.
In 2016, she provided Catwoman’s voice in the animated film Batman: The Caped Crusaders ‘ return. Newmar also appeared in May 2016 at The Home and Family Show, where she met with Gotham actress Camren Bicondova who portrays a younger Selina Kyle.
Julie Newmar Entrepreneur
Newmar received two U.S. pantyhose and one brassiere patents in the 1970s. The pantyhose was described as “cheeky derriere relief” and promoted as “Nudemar” The brassiere was described in Marilyn Monroe’s style as “nearly invisible” In the 1980s, Newmar began investing in real estate in Los Angeles. “Newmar is partly responsible for improving the Los Angeles neighbourhoods on La Brea Avenue and Fairfax Avenue near the Grove.” a women’s magazine said.
Julie Newmar Filmography
2017 Batman vs. Two-Face Catwoman Voice role
2016 Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders Catwoman Voice role
2013 Broadway: Beyond the Golden Age Herself Documentary
2012 Bettie Page Reveals All Herself Documentary
2012 The Mechanical Bride Herself, narrator Documentary
2010 Beautiful Darling Herself Documentary
2003 Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt Herself/Arizona Bar Owner Television film
1999 If… Dog… Rabbit… Judy’s Mother
1996 Oblivion 2: Backlash Miss Kitty
1995 To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar Herself
1994 Oblivion Miss Kitty
1990 Ghosts Can’t Do It Angel
1989 Cyber-C.H.I.C. Miss McKenzie Also known as Dance Academy
1988 Deep Space Lady Elaine Wentworth
1988 Nudity Required Irina
1988 Body Beat
1987 Real Men
1985 Streetwalkin’ Queen Bee
1985 Evils of the Night Dr. Zarma
1984 Love Scenes Belinda
1983 Hysterical Venetia
1977 Terraces Chalane Turner Television film
1972 A Very Missing Person Aleatha Westering Television film
1972 The Feminist and the Fuzz Lilah McGuiness Television film
1970 Up Your Teddy Bear Toy Company Director, a.k.a. “Mother”
1969 Mackenna’s Gold Hesh-Ke
1969 The Maltese Bippy Carlotta Ravenswood
1963 For Love or Money Bonnie Brasher
1961 The Marriage-Go-Round Katrin Sveg Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer
1959 Li’l Abner Stupefyin’ Jones
1959 The Rookie Lili Marlene
1954 Demetrius and the Gladiators Primary Specialty Dancer Uncredited
1954 Seven Brides for Seven Brothers Dorcas
1953 The I Don’t Care Girl Specialty Dancer Uncredited
1953 Serpent of the Nile Gilded Girl Uncredited
1953 The Farmer Takes a Wife Dancer Uncredited
1953 The Band Wagon Salon Model / Chorine in Girl Hunt Ballet Uncredited
1953 Slaves of Babylon Dancer-Assassin
1953 The Eddie Cantor Story Showgirl Uncredited
1952 She’s Working Her Way Through College Julie Uncredited
1952 Just for You Chorine Uncredited
Julie Newmar Television
2010 Batman: The Brave and the Bold Martha Wayne 1 episode
2006 According to Jim Julie 1 episode
1983 Fantasy Island Doralee 1 episode
1983 Hart to Hart Eve 1 episode
1982 CHiPs Cora Dwayne 1 episode
1982 The Powers of Matthew Star Nian 1 episode
1979 Buck Rogers in the 25th Century Zarina 1 episode
1979 The Love Boat Marla Samms 1 episode
1978 Jason of Star Command Queen Vanessa 1 episode
1976 The Bionic Woman Claudette 1 episode
1976 Monster Squad Ultra Witch 1 episode
1975 McMillan & Wife Luciana Amaldi 1 episode
1973 Columbo Lisa Chambers 1 episode
1971 Bewitched Ophelia 1 episode
1970–1972 Love, American Style Various 4 episodes
1970 McCloud Adrienne Redman 1 episode
1968 It Takes a Thief Susannah Sutton 1 episode
1968 Get Smart Ingrid 1 episode
1967 Star Trek: The Original Series Eleen 1 episode
1966–1967 Batman Catwoman 13 episodes
1966 F Troop Cinthia Jeffries / Yellow Bird 1 episode
1966 The Beverly Hillbillies Ulla Bergstrom 1 episode
1966 The Monkees April Conquest 1 episode
1964–1965 My Living Doll Rhoda Miller Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best TV Star – Female
1963 The Twilight Zone Miss Devlin 1 episode
1962 Route 66 Vicki Russell 2 episodes
1961 The Defenders Brandy Gideon Morfoot 1 episode
1957 The Phil Silvers Show Suzie 1 episode