Ranking Every Live-Action Catwoman Performance6
Catwoman has appeared in a wide array of mediums, from comic books to movies, video games, TV shows and more. Whether as a villain, a hero or an anti-hero, Catwoman has proven herself to be a formidable force to be reckoned with. She might be blonde or brunette, depending on the depiction. She might be a killer or simply a cat-burglar (heh). Depending on the day, or her mood, she might be a lover or a fighter. No matter what, though, Catwoman is always memorable — especially when it comes to her live-action performances.
8) Halle Berry – Catwoman
The less said about this film, the better. When a Catwoman solo film was originally conceived, it was set to star Michelle Pfeiffer, who would be reprising her role from Tim Burton’s Batman Returns. After spending some years in “development hell,” Catwoman would finally be released in 2004. It wasn’t great. Halle Berry replaced Michelle Pfeiffer and the plot was so asinine, it barely made sense. It’s almost as if the producers of the film said to each other “Just put Halle Berry in a mask and leather, the nerds will pay to see her.” Well, some of them did but, for the most part, Catwoman bombed.
7) Maggie Baird – Birds of Prey
Birds of Prey was a very short-lived television show on the WB that focused on the daughter of Batman and Catwoman, Helena. The show wasn’t great and Catwoman was only featured in flashbacks. She had very few lines and looked like she was cosplaying Catwoman from Batman Returns. It wasn’t great. But it wasn’t as bad as the 2004 Catwoman.
6) Lee Meriwether – Batman: The Movie
Full disclosure: we didn’t even know that it wasn’t Julie Newmar that played Catwoman in Batman: The Movie. And we mean that as a compliment. Because Newmar had scheduling conflicts that prevented her from reprising her role from the television show, Lee Meriwether was tasked with filling her boots and she did just that, in the best way. Meriwether didn’t have a lot of meat to her role but she did an admirable job of playing Julie Newmar playing Catwoman.
5) Eartha Kitt – Batman ‘66
While Kitt, too, was called upon to play Catwoman when Newmar was unable to commit, she made the role her own during the final season of Batman ’66. As the first black woman to play the Cat, Kitt embodied a different but still extremely sexy, cool, and killer Catwoman.
4) Julie Newmar- Batman ‘66
Despite Kitt and Meriwether’s performances, however, Julie Newmar is the Cat best remembered from the ’60s. And it’s easy to see why. Newmar embodied everything that Catwoman is about. She was mysterious, beautiful and coy, yet deadly. Even more importantly than that, she was smart, driven and she more than held her own against Adam West’s Batman. For many, Julie Newmar is Catwoman…and she has been for the past 50 years.
3) Camren Bicondova – Gotham
Gotham has been a mixed bag throughout its 5-season run. Some fans don’t like it, some fans love it. Regardless of your opinions about the show, however, it cannot be denied that Camren Bicondova has been a real highlight. Bicondova is the youngest person to play Catwoman, but age doesn’t always dictate talent. It seems as if Bicondova is channeling a variety of Catwomen-past with her performance, and it’s all the better because of it. Her Selina Kyle has been a PG-rated variety, but she still carries the same self-assuredness and awareness that fans love in Catwoman. She may never wear the mask or crack a whip (she probably will) but Camren Bicondova is just as worthy of the Catwoman title as anybody else on this list.
2) Anne Hathaway – The Dark Knight Rises
Anne Hathaway absolutely killed it with her role as Catwoman. She nailed it the moment she revealed herself to Bruce Wayne in his mansion and she owned the role throughout the entire film. Despite her casting setting off another round of worry among the Batman fandom, the concern was luckily unnecessary.
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1) Michelle Pfeiffer – Batman Returns
There could be only one, and it was always going to be Michelle Pfeiffer. She truly gave the standout performance in Tim Burton’s 1992 film, Batman Returns. Pfeiffer encompassed everything that Catwoman was about. She was tough and agile and sexy and smart, but she also offered a vulnerability when she needed to. It didn’t hurt that Pfeiffer’s chemistry with Batman actor Michael Keaton was off the charts as well.
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