They say never meet your heroes. But “they” never met Julie Newmar.
(UPDATED 8/2016: We’re celebrating JULIE NEWMAR’s birthday! For more interviews and features, click here.)
I actually haven’t met Julie Newmar. At least not in person. But I have spoken to her many times on the phone and she is lovely, warm and gracious.
I relish telling people that not just because I like to boast — I do, because I pinch myself after every conversation — but because it’s important to me that Batman ’66 fans know that Julie is exactly the person you’d want her to be.
Today is Miss Newmar‘s birthday. I called her yesterday to wish her well and asked her whether she ever gets tired talking about Catwoman.
“I think people give me more than I give them,” she said. “Especially in person, when I meet people at any of these comic cons or book events.
“I was in Pittsburgh last weekend and I sat there for eight hours. I didn’t drink or eat anything and the line never ended. The people were so warm and kind and enthusiastic. By 6 o’clock, I was absolutely floating on air. And it lasted the whole weekend. So it’s who you’re with.”
See now, the thing is, when you hear her say it, you know it’s true. There’s a lilt in her voice that’s utterly charming and genuine. This is a woman who is known the world over and played one of the iconic roles of popular culture and yet she doesn’t take any of it for granted.
“I always take my camera along on my trips now because what I get to see through my eyes, from my experience, is … mind-grasping. I’m looking on Facebook now and I see these adorable people. It’s so enchanting that I put three of them up on my cover. … Oh, my gosh, I’m in love with those three guys.”
I asked her whether things have changed since the show was finally put out on home video.
“That’s put a whole fire under the classic Batman ’66, as it’s called, thanks to Warner Brothers,” she said. “And they did a beautiful job of packaging it. I’m always thrilled to open that. It’s such a beautiful box that they created.
“I only did six, hour shows and the color of the show is purr-fect,” she said, knowing just who she was talking to. “Just like the original. No, I think better. I think it’s better.”
I pointed out that after years of watching the show washed out on TV, I thought the colors were pastels. Turns out they were strikingly bold.
“And you can blow it up and put it on those big, 60-inch screens that I have in my bedroom,” she said.
And she giggled.
Such a flirt.
I could have gone on all afternoon and the wonderful thing is that she made me feel like she could have too.
That’s a wonderful gift.
So I guess it turns out that even though it’s her birthday, she’s the one who’s still giving to a fan like me.