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Julie Newmar: Catwoman's 'purr-fect' tale
NUNN ON ONE Extended for the Online Edition of Windy City Times
by Jerry Nunn
2010-08-18

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Julie Newmar was the "purrfect" Catwoman in the Batman television series, and who can forget her tribute movie To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar? Giving her all to her fans, she will be signing autographs this weekend at the Wizard World Chicago Comic Con.

Windy City Times: Hello, Julie. I just read that you were originally a dancer.

Julie Newmar: I was. I loved dancing. I did musicals for so long such as Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.

WCT: How did you wind up auditioning for the Batman TV series?

Julie Newmar: I didn't have to audition for it. They offered it to me. In television everything happens so fast. It was a wonderful experience. It was a combination of good writing and directing.

WCT: What an amazing character you got to play. Do you feel like you have known Adam West and Burt Ward forever?

Julie Newmar: I have known them a long time. We see each other at all these events but we are not on top of each other. Is Burt going to be at this convention?

WCT: Yes, he is.

Julie Newmar: Excellent! The old gang will be back together then.

WCT: How was the To Wong Foo movie put together?

Julie Newmar: It was a crazy accident, I suppose. It was a title that was concocted by a marvelously funny gay writer. He did a number of things on Broadway.

WCT: How did he get that title?

Julie Newmar: I asked him that one time and he said that producers had stacks of scripts and he hoped that one would make it to the top with a title like that.

WCT: I met you years ago during a signing. In the To Wong Foo, the autograph meant so much to the main character. Have you always known the power of a signature?

Julie Newmar: My mother always had the most beautiful handwriting. Mine is nowhere near the level of hers. I get a lot of fan mail and sometimes I can't tell who a person is but I appreciate the carefulness or clarity of beautiful writing skills. It is like dressing nicely.

WCT: You are currently writing a book, I heard.

Julie Newmar: Yes, it will be out by November, I hope. It's called The Conscious Catwoman Explains Life on Earth. It is a how-to book—how to make your life sweeter and more fun. There is one chapter on makeup and that kind of a thing.

WCT: Fun!

Julie Newmar: People often ask me, "How do I do it?" The book is certainly not a tell-all. It is to help people with stage fright and things like that. It is a book about right thinking.

WCT: I am excited to read it.

Julie Newmar: It is a charming book and only 60 pages. I am just thrilled with what it looks like now.

WCT: Well, then you can go on a book tour and come back to Chicago.

Julie Newmar: That is what I would really like to do.

WCT: Well, many fans will get to see you at this convention.

Julie Newmar: Yes, I like to talk to people and sign an autograph. I just did a convention where they line people up and it was very impersonal. People are so loving when they come up. The person who is coming does not get the emotional reward when it is rushed through. Sometimes it is just for money and that's not fair.

WCT: I saw some of that at the last convention, so I hope celebrities will work to change that.

Julie Newmar: I like the old-fashioned way.

WCT: I remember meeting you and you are so personable.

Julie Newmar: It truly matters to touch someone. It feels great to hear something that they have been longing to tell you. It is a very sweet experience. For being at a convention all day it is just a total blessing. It is an all day love fest. When people tell you how much they love you, how can you not have your eyes wide open? I want to sit on the front of the desk so I can hug people!

WCT: Fans appreciate that! You have so many gay fans as well.

Julie Newmar: I don't care if they are purple! You guys can be anything. You guys are just so full of love. In England people are so terribly proper and they don't come forward to tell you what their experience is. Americans are not like that.

WCT: People get a unique opportunity to meet you.

Julie Newmar: I will tell you it takes a lot of energy. It takes me three hours just to get ready. Just to get presentable, hello, hair in place, lipstick on and be there in a bright spirit. I have to be receptive to everything because there is no time on earth like this!

WCT: That's great.

Julie Newmar: People are not too shy. I am going to see how many pounds you all have put on. [ Laughs ] When I go to the Midwest, I am watching some waistlines, Ohio particularly.

I am sure Chicago is like the two coasts, you all go up and down elevators so you don't want to take up too much room. But I see people sucking in their bellies in the reflection of my limo.

WCT: I will do some sit-ups before I stop by! [ Both laugh. ]

Look for Julie to be even more catty at her booth on Friday, Aug. 20, 12-8 p.m., and Saturday-Sunday, Aug. 21-22, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. for the Chicago Comic Con at the Rosemont Convention Center, 5555 N. River, Rosemont. See www.wizardworld.com .


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