HOLLYWOOD, Ca. — May 15, 2019 — The Hollywood Museum celebrated the 80th anniversary of the Batman character last night—and, particularly, the legacy of the Catwoman character—by unveiling a new exhibit featuring like-life figures of all six actresses to have played The Catwoman on screen: Julie Newmar, Lee Meriwether, Eartha Kitt, Michelle Pfeiffer, Halle Berry, and Anne Hathaway. A celebrated roster of stars attended the event, including Lee Meriwether, who played the dual role of Catwoman and Miss Kitka in the 1966 Batman movie; Burt Ward, Robin the Boy Wonder on the Batman television series (ABC, 1966-1968); and Kitt McDonald, daughter of Eartha Kitt (Catwoman on the third season of Batman), the singer/actress once described as by Orson Welles as “the most exciting woman in the world.” The evening included the presentation of special certificates prepared by the Los Angeles City Council for Meriwether and Kitt that included an image of each actress in her portrayal of Catwoman.
In accepting the honor on her mother’s behalf, McDonald made note of the ground that Eartha Kitt broke on Batman. “When my mother took on Catwoman, it was quite a shocking moment, because she was a woman of color, dressed in a skintight sexy outfit who had this special chemistry with the white male leads,” she said last night. “That was a huge risk that was taken by the network, by the producers, and by the cast as well. We don’t think about that as much in this day and time, but [in 1967] that was a really big thing to do.”
McDonald added that her mother’s portrayal of Catwoman “empowered women who looked strong and acted strong and really gave the men a run for their money.”
Julie Newmar, the first actress to play Catwoman onscreen, was unable to attend last night’s unveiling, but provided a statement that was read by Donelle Dadigan, founder and president of The Hollywood Museum.
“As with all the characters I’ve been blessed to bring to life, I took Catwoman very seriously,” Newmar said in her statement. “I was involved in every aspect, including the design of her costume. I became drawn to this creature and her complexity. She was intelligent, seductive, and had a horde of henchmen at her beck and call.
“Most of all, Catwoman was an equal to her villainous male counterparts and the perfect adversary to Batman and his Boy Wonder. I am very proud of my contribution to the history of this literary and TV villainess. I am grateful to the Hollywood Museum for recognizing her importance in this very loving tribute.”
Lee Meriwether’s brief remarks included an emotional tribute to the late Adam West, “who is now in Heaven,” she said. “I am so pleased to be part of this museum’s history.”
Featuring original props and memorabilia from the Batman comic books, Batman television series, and Batman feature motion pictures, plus screen-accurate replicas of their costumes, The Batman 80th Anniversary Exhibit is now on display to the public at the Hollywood Museum.
Other special guests at last night’s event included actress Lee Purcell, comedienne Judy Tenuta, game show legend Wink Martindale, singer Freda Payne, esteemed film historian Leonard Maltin, and KABC radio host Frank Sheftel.
About The Hollywood Museum
The Hollywood Museum is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation that houses over 10,000 Authentic Show Business Treasures spotlighting more than 100 years of Hollywood history – from the Silents to Talkies, to Hollywood’s Golden Era, Film Noir, Television and its Pioneer Years, through the rebellious 60s, special effects 70s, evolving 80s, involved 90s, technological 2000s, and beyond to current day heartthrobs! The Hollywood Museum’s exhibits showcase the best in film, network and cable television, and new digital platforms featuring iconic and fan favorites! Located in the heart of Hollywood, at the corner of Hollywood Blvd and Highland Ave – The Hollywood Museum in the historic Max Factor Building is the Official Museum of Hollywood and offers visitors the most extensive collection of Hollywood memorabilia in the world featuring the glamour of Hollywood legends and stars – past, present and in the making. The museum offers one-of-a-kind costumes, props, photographs, scripts, stars’ car collections, personal artifacts, posters, and memorabilia from favorite stars, films and TV shows. Just a few steps from the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Hollywood Museum has been named the #1 top tourist attraction in Hollywood by LA Weekly, and one of the Top 10 Museums in LA by the LA Tourism and Convention Board and Trip Advisor.
REGULAR HOURS: Wednesday – Sunday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
TICKETS: $15 Adults: $12 Seniors (62+): $12 for students with ID and $5 Children under 5.
ADDRESS: 1660 N. Highland Ave. (at Hollywood Blvd.), Los Angeles, CA 90028
MUSEUM INFO: www.TheHollywoodMuseum.com or Tel: (323) 464-7776