Actresses Who Have Played Catwoman Through the Years

The Batman star Zoë Kravitz is the latest actress to don the Catwoman suit. Look back at all the performers who have played the iconic superhero character in live-action shows and movies over the years

01 of 08

Julie Newmar in Batman

Julie Newmar Batman
Everett Collection

Julie Newmar played the very first Catwoman on the 1960s series Batman alongside Adam West as the titular character. She played Catwoman for the first two seasons of the show, which ran from 1966 to 1967.

"I'm realizing that through all the shows I've done — the television, film and stage — all the mediums I've worked in, Catwoman's costume was the one that allowed me to tell the story through my body," Newmar previously told Bring Me the News.

"The words were brilliant, and funny on top of that. The producer hired the right people to do all the lighting, to do this, that and the other, and it was the right time in the right decade. It all worked."

02 of 08

Lee Meriwether in Batman

Mary Evans/20TH CENTURY FOX/Ronald Grant/Everett Collection

In 1966, DC Comics released the first full-length theatrical adaptation of Batman, which was based on the 1960s series. Though Newmar played Catwoman on the show, she wasn't able to reprise the character for the film.

As a result, Lee Meriwether played Catwoman in the movie, making her the first actress to play the character in a live-action film.

"I was the luckiest of all the Catwomen because I got to work with Cesar Romero, Frank Gorshin and Burgess Meredith, three absolute geniuses," Meriwether told Studio 10 about her role in the film. "I watched them all the time, but I learned the most from Burgess and Cesar and Frank."

03 of 08

Eartha Kitt in Batman

eartha kitt batman
Everett Collection

In the third and final season of the Batman series, Eartha Kitt took over the role of Catwoman. Though she only played the character for one season, it had a lasting impact on the Batman franchise and future superhero projects, as she was the first Black actress to portray the character.

"That character to me was so much fun," Kitt previously said during an interview in 2002. "I was in dire need of tremendous help at that time and like a starving cat, I had to find a way to survive. And something wonderful always happens. It was one of the most wonderful bones that has ever been thrown to me."

04 of 08

Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns

Michelle Pfeiffer batman returns
Warner Bros/Dc Comics/Kobal/Shutterstock

In Tim Burton's Batman Returns, Michelle Pfeiffer played Catwoman opposite Michael Keaton's Batman.

Annette Bening was originally cast in the role, but she had to drop out of filming due to her pregnancy. A number of stars were reportedly up for the role, including Cher and Madonna, but it eventually went to Pfeiffer.

Following the success of the 1992 film, there was talk of a standalone Catwoman film starring Pfeiffer, but that never came to fruition. Despite that, Pfeiffer has noted that she would love to reprise the character if the opportunity ever came up.

"I mean, that would be incredible," Pfeiffer told Today anchor Hoda Kotb in 2019. "I was sad when that ended. I was just getting comfortable with everything that I had to deal with and beginning to have some fun with it and then it was over."

It seems as though fans would love to see her in the role again, too; a clip of her expertly wielding her whip went majorly viral online.

05 of 08

Halle Berry in Catwoman

Catwoman, Halle Berry

In 2004, Warner Bros. Pictures released the first standalone Catwoman film, starring Halle Berry.

Though the movie wasn't a massive critical or commercial success, it still became the highest grossing female-led superhero film of all time, until the release of Wonder Woman in 2017.

Berry took the role shortly after winning an Academy Award in 2002 (where she became the first Black woman to win Best Actress), and she recently recalled that people tried to talk her out of taking on the campy comic book part.

"People said to me, 'You can't do that. You've just won the Oscar,'" she told Variety in 2020. "[But] I thought, 'This is a great chance for a woman of color to be a superhero. Why wouldn't I try this?'"

Though Berry wasn't necessarily thrilled with the plot of the film, she defended her choice: "I was just the actor for hire. I wasn't the director. I had very little say over that."

06 of 08

Anne Hathaway in The Dark Knight Rises

Ron Phillips/©Warner Bros./courtesy Everett Collection

In the final installment of Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises, Anne Hathaway took on the role of Catwoman.

When auditioning for the film, Hathaway actually thought the part was for Harley Quinn, telling BBC Radio 1, "I wore these flat Joker-y looking shoes. And I was trying to give Chris these crazy little smiles. About an hour into the meeting he said, 'Well, I'm sure I don't have to tell you this, but it's Catwoman.' And I was like shifting into a different gear."

In addition to learning martial arts for the film, Hathaway modeled her character's speech after actress Hedy Lamarr, who was the original inspiration for the Catwoman character in the comics, according to The Washington Post.

07 of 08

Camren Bicondova on Gotham

Camren Bicondova gotham
Jessica Miglio/FOX

On Fox's Gotham series, which serves as the origin stories of Batman and his infamous enemies, Camren Bicondova played the younger version of Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman. Despite playing the character all five seasons, an adult Selina was played by Lili Simmons in the series finale.

"The only three words that I can describe this experience with are awesome, an honor and grateful," Bicondova told Collider about playing the character in 2014. "Every synonym of those three words is me, at the moment. It's great. I'm getting to show a side of Selina Kyle that nobody's ever seen before, and that's cool. I feel pretty special."

08 of 08

Zoë Kravitz in The Batman

zoe kravitz the batman
Warner Bros. Pictures/™ & © DC Comics

In Matt Reeves' The Batman, which stars Robert Pattinson as the titular character, Zoë Kravitz takes on the role of Catwoman.

For her performance, Kravitz told Empire she studied wild cats to get into character. "We watched cats and lions and how they fight, and talked about what is actually possible when you're my size and Batman's so much stronger than me," she told the publication. "What is my skill? It's being fast and tricky. So we did some really interesting floor work that incorporated different kinds of martial arts and capoeira and a kind of feline, dance-like movement."

(She also joked that she drank milk from a bowl to really get into character!)

As Kravitz explained it, The Batman is "an origin story for Selina," adding, "It's the beginning of her figuring out who she is, beyond just someone trying to survive. I think there's a lot of space to grow and I think we are watching her become what I'm sure will be the femme fatale."

She later told GQ, "Batman was the first time that I felt like I was in something undeniable."

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