A BIRTHDAY TRIBUTE: Barnaby Jones is a totally different category…


True Confessions time: I have a crush on Lee Meriwether.

See, when you look “lady” up in your Merriam-Webster’s, there’s a picture of Lee. She’s the perfect actress for any role—smart, sassy, adventurous, sexy. And she’s done a lot of genre productions, which makes her even more special to me. And while I’m being honest here, she’s my most favorite Catwoman of all.

Happy 87th Birthday, Lee! And many more to come!

4D Man. If I had not already been a Lee Meriwether devotee, I would’ve become one had I seen this SF film early on. She was all of 24 when this came out in 1959, and despite the somewhat forgettable goings-on, Lee is just so damn pretty and magnetic in the movie.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. The episode’s called “The Mad, Mad Tea Party Affair” and Lee gets to play one of her first villainous roles, the T.H.R.U.S.H. agent Dr. Egret.

Batman. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Lee’s the perfect Catwoman for me. She deftly handles everything required of her in the feature film, including a Russian accent, a romantic interlude or two, and that form-fitting Lurex.

Batman. And then after the movie, Lee won a spot on the TV series as Lisa Carson, daughter of John E. Carson. She looks stunning in Egyptian garb, but the real jaw-dropper comes when she offers millionaire Bruce Wayne some, ah, “milk and cookies.”

The Time Tunnel. C’mon—could anybody else make a lab coat look that good week after week? I think not.

Star Trek. Not one of the Enterprise crew’s greatest cathode-ray tube triumphs, but Lee throws herself into the part of Losira and gives it her all. I get a chuckle out of how they had to cover up her bellybutton with that costume.

Land of the Giants. Lee was really hitting all the science-fiction shows back in the day. In “Rescue” she’s the mother of children caught in a cave-in and has to listen to the Little People and their plan to rescue the kids.

Mission: Impossible. If there was a popular TV series, chances are Lee was on it. For the long-running espionage series, she played a recurring character named Tracey in several episodes and was finally able to let her hair down again, literally.

The Immortal. Do you remember this show? You probably don’t since it was a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it 1970 thing about a guy who was being exploited for his eternal existence. Lee guest-starred in an episode called “The Queen’s Gambit.”

Cruise into Terror. You most likely don’t remember this 1978 TV movie about a cruise ship that stumbles upon the son of Satan stuck in a sarcophagus. Don’t worry; Lee’s presence can make anything at all better.

Time Express. Lee returned to the business of time travel in this short-lived Vincent Price anthology show. How short-lived? Four episodes, and Lee was in the one titled “The Copy-Writer/The Figure Skater.” I guess it just wasn’t the, ahem, time for the show.

Fantasy Island. Now, here’s the granddaddy of all genre anthology shows, right? In its Season 7 episode “Roarke’s Sacrifice/The Butler’s Affair” Lee’s in love with her manservant. Happens all the time.

Not from Fantasy Island, but hey…

The Munsters Today. Listen, I get it: No one can truly replace Yvonne DeCarlo as Lily Munster in our hearts. But if someone’s gotta try, then I think Lee Meriwether had a pretty good shot at it. She played the role for three seasons and looked beautiful every single moment.


— Meow! LEE MERIWETHER Picks the Greatest CATWOMAN. Click here.

— LEE MERIWETHER: Meredith, Romero and Gorshin Were the Cat’s Meow. Click here.

JIM BEARD has pounded out adventure fiction since he sold a story to DC Comics in 2002. He’s gone on to write official Star Wars and Ghostbusters comics stories and contributed articles and essays to several volumes of comic book history. His prose work includes his own creations, but also licensed properties such as Planet of the Apes, X-Files, Spider-Man, Kolchak the Night Stalker and Captain Action. In addition, Jim provided regular content for Marvel.com, the official Marvel Comics website, for 17 years.

Check out his latest releases: a Green Hornet novella How Sweet the Sting, his first epic fantasy novel The Nine Nations Book One: The Sliding WorldRunning Home to Shadows about Dark Shadows, and the most recent Batman ’66 books of essays he’s edited: Zlonk! Zok! Zowie! The Subterranean Blue Grotto Essays on Batman ’66 – Season OneBiff! Bam! Ee-Yow! The Subterranean Blue Grotto Essays on Batman ’66 – Season Two and Oooff! Boff! Splatt! The Subterranean Blue Grotto Guide to Batman ’66 – Season Three.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. She was my favorite Catwoman when I was younger as well. So beautiful. And I was a huge Barnaby Jones fan when I was a kid.

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  2. I’m a big Lee Meriwether fan too. IMO, her portrayal of Catwoman was the closest to the comic book version. I also loved her in Time Tunnel as Dr. Ann MacGregor – particularly the episode “The Walls of Jericho” where she (the skeptic scientist) and General Kirk (the believer) clash.

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