Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Julie Newmar born - August 16, 1933

While everyone else is concentrating on Elvis, let's look at one of my favorite actresses. Julie Newmar was born in Los Angeles, California on August 16, 1933 to a dancer mother and teacher father. Newmar graduated high school at the age of 15! She followed her mother's "steps" and became a dancer for some films in the early 1950's. Her breakthrough role (in my mind, anyway) came in 1954, when she played Dorcas Galen in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. She has the best set of lines in the whole thing:

Dorcas: Which of the boys slept in this bed, do you think?
Liza: Dorcas Galen!
Dorcas: What's the matter? Haven't you ever thought of it? That you're sleeping in one of *their* beds?

She continued acting in roles that took advantage of her incredible good looks and sense of humor like a turn as Stupefyin' Jones in both the play and film of L'il Abner and Rhoda the Robot in My Living Doll. These roles took her to the one that has defined her career, Catwoman. She played the sultry villainess in the television show, The Adventures of Batman, for the first two seasons. Eartha Kitt took over for the last season. Newmar had a guest role in the original Star Trek (yay!) as Eleen, the pregnant widow of a planetary ruler whose life and child are saved by McCoy, Kirk and her own uppity-woman-ness! She ends up as the regent of her newborn son and names the kid Leonard James Akaar.

She has acted in tv shows, movies and stage continuously, reprising her role in L'il Abner in 1998 as the woman who stopped men dead in their tracks by her mere presence. Yes, she was 65 years old and still amazing. Her cameo in Too Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar is one of my favorite moment of hers.

Newmar hasn't put all of her eggs in one basket, though. Spending the 1980's raising her son (who has Down's Syndrome and is Deaf) she started a very successful real estate business. Before that, in the 1970's she patented a line of pantyhose called Nudemar.

Julie Newmar major website
Julie Newmar Wikipedia site
Classic Movies Julie Newmar site