Friday, June 12, 2015

Worst to Best: All the (Live-Action) Catwomen

Hello, and welcome to another edition of Worst to Best, where we take a particular subject, and rank all of its components, from the worst of the bunch, to the best. This time around, we are taking a look at the eight actresses who have portrayed the infamous and quite sexy Catwoman on screen. I have kept this to just the live-action versions of the character, so the actors who have given voice to the various animated versions of the character (Jane Webb, Melendy Britt, Adrienne Barbeau, Gina Gershon, Nika Futterman, Stephanie Sheh, Tress MacNeille, Vanessa Marshall, Eliza Dushku, and whoever else has taken on the role) are not counted in our little countdown here. So, that leaves the eight actresses who have portrayed Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman, on the big and small screen, all listed from worst to best. So here we go...

8. Halle Berry in Catwoman (2004) - Now Halle Berry is not a bad actor. She has done some good work in some good films, but when it comes time to discuss this film, and Ms. Berry's performance in it, well...let's just say this is the performance upon which all other Catwoman portrayals is measured, and not in the good way for which one might hope. If, someday, another actress gives a performance of Catwoman, that is worse than this one, then we (and she) will know that rock bottom has been reached. Sorry Halle.

7. Maggie Baird in Birds of Prey (2002-03) - I am not sure if Maggie Baird even spoke in her two brief flashback appearances on this little remembered TV show (seriously, I remember very little about this show), but even if she did not, and even if it is not remembered, she is still not as awful as Halle Berry, so into the number seven spot she goes.

6. Lee Meriweather in Batman: The Movie (1966) - Although Eartha Kitt and Julie Newmar played Catwoman in the Adam West/Burt Ward series, it was Lee Meriweather who took on the role in the film version of the hit TV show. Meriweather did appear on the show though, twice, but not as Catwoman. She played a random love interest for Bruce Wayne on two episodes.

5. Camren Bicondova in Gotham (2014- ) - I must admit that I am not that big of a fan of the Gotham TV series. I find it a bit too heavy handed. Must we mention how much like a cat the 14 year old Selina acts, every single time she interacts with another character.? Yeah, we get it, she's going to become Catwoman someday. No need to pound us over the head with the idea. Seriously though, the young Miss Bicondova does do a fine job in the role, in spite of the piss poor writing of the show.

4. Anne Hathaway in The Dark Knight Rises (2012) - This final part of the Christopher Nolan/Christian Bale Batman Trilogy is the weakest of the bunch, but Anne Hathaway still makes a pretty good Catwoman here. Not one of the greats (that honour belongs to the top three on this list), but still pretty darn good.

3. Eartha Kitt in Batman (1966-68) - The quite vivacious Ms. Kitt, already a star of the stage and the radio (her Santa Baby was delicious long before Madonna was even born), took on the role of Catwoman in the third and final season of the Batman TV series. Although, as far as the 1960's TV series goes, I prefer Julie Newmar in the role (obviously, since she is higher on the list), Eartha Kitt was certainly va-va-va-voom as the slinky Catwoman. Orson Welles didn't call her "the most exciting woman in the world," for nothing.

2. Julie Newmar in Batman (1966-68) - As far as I know, Julie Newmar is the only Catwoman to have her name immortalized in the title of another film,To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar. By the time she took on the role of Catwoman in the 1960's TV series, she was already a well known dancer and actress, but the role of a lifetime, gave the lady an iconic status (check out the pic above). Almost iconic enough to make it to the top of this list. Almost.

1. Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns (1992) - Let's face it kids, no matter how good Newmar or Kitt were in the TV show, they still pale in comparison to Pfeiffer and the stitched-together leather body-suited version that Tim Burton handed us in his Batman sequel (and the best pre-Nolan Batman movie). In fact, I would even go so far as to say that Michelle Pfeiffer is (and ya'll knew this was coming) purrrrr-fect in the role. Yeah, I went there. Anyway, I think the picture below says it all. Meow.

That's it gang. See ya 'round the web.


  1. Yeah, I totally agree with the list. Other than the worst and best, my memory isn't that clear. I remember Eartha Kitt enough to put her easily on the positive side, though.

    Your opinion of Gotham is more complimentary than mine. I am enough of a completist that I finished the first season. But, I probably won't watch the second. If the second gets a good review after it's finished, maybe I'll change my mind. Good actors, but the writing was so bad.

    1. Yes, the writing on Gotham is just godawful.

  2. I have to still see the Batman movie with Michelle as catwoman-I know how awful is that. I am trying to remember which actor played Batman when she was Catwoman but my heart belongs to Julie Newmar with those long legs and shapely outfit in a shimmery cat suit-I am completely heterosexual but she makes me want to keep watching her instead of flabby Adam West

    1. You have yet to see Michelle as Selina!!??? Sacre Bleu!! Oh, and as for Julie Newmar...ooh la la. You should check out My Living Doll (a sitcom from the 1960's) on YouTube (or elsewhere). Newmar began her TV slinking there.

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