Inger Stevens signed to appear on show?

General goings on in the 1966 Batman World

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High C
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Inger Stevens signed to appear on show?

Post by High C »

This may seem like a vintage April Fool's joke a day late, and it quite possibly could have been a belated one on Bill Dozier's part, but I assure you this item did run in the Pasadena (Calif.) Independent on April 26, 1966. I apologize for not being technologically proficient enough to post the item itself, but I assure you my transcription is verbatim.

Inger Stevens succeeds Julie Newmar, who had to bow out because of a back injury, in a Batman segment intriguingly titled The Framer's Daughter--you're wrong, that's the right title because Inger plays the daughter of a frame-up artist.


This appeared in a syndicated column, "Mike Connolly Notes From Hollywood"

For those who might not know, Inger Stevens was a Swedish-American actress who was quite talented and beautiful, but also very troubled. She eventually died of an overdose at age 34 in 1970, and it was ruled a suicide.

In April 1966, she was coming off a three-year run as one of the stars of a show called The Farmer's Daughter, hence the aforementioned pun. Not surprisingly, there is no such script, finished or unfinished, listed in Dozier's papers at Wyoming.

Dozier often corresponded with Connolly, so he seems the likely source of this item. Perhaps it was a not-so-subtle prod at Julie, who already had been replaced by Lee Meriwether in the movie because of that back issue. Maybe, for whatever reason, Dozier wanted to remind her she also could be replaced on the show if need be.

In any event, it's a curious item that obviously never came to fruition and likely was not meant to. Strange.
'I thought Siren was perfect for Joan.'--Stanley Ralph Ross, writer of 'The Wail of the Siren'

My hobbies include gazing at the Siren and doing her bidding, evil or otherwise.

'She had a devastating, hypnotic effect on all the men.'--A schoolmate describing Joan Collins at age 17
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dell
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Re: Inger Stevens signed to appear on show?

Post by dell »

Do you think this implies she would have played Catwoman? It seems unlikely to me given the title of the episode.
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chrisbcritter
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Re: Inger Stevens signed to appear on show?

Post by chrisbcritter »

Here you go, 4-27-66 from the Philadelphia Inquirer (their copy was clearer):
The_Philadelphia_Inquirer_Wed__Apr_27__1966_.jpg
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High C
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Re: Inger Stevens signed to appear on show?

Post by High C »

Thanks, Chrisbcritter!
dell wrote: Fri Apr 03, 2020 8:44 am Do you think this implies she would have played Catwoman? It seems unlikely to me given the title of the episode.
dell, thanks for the question. I wanted to get all my historical ducks in a row before I answered.

I'll begin with the Bat-facts as we know them, and then try to connect the dots.

I don't have a copy, but I recall many years ago that on this board or a prior incarnation of it, someone posted a scan of Julie Newmar's contract for the feature film. It was for a salary of $10,000 and dated April 1, 1966.

At some point that month, a back injury forced Julie to cancel, and Lee Meriwether quickly was cast to take her place.

Other than Adam and Burt, Lee was required to spend the most time on set, according to Dozier's files, yet she was paid only $5,500, certainly an unfair price given how much time she had to put in and how late she was cast.

OK, here comes some educated speculation on why Meriwether received just over half of what Newmar was scheduled to make (and this will fit into why the Inger Stevens item was posted):

1--Lee already was contracted to Twentieth Century Fox as a regular on the upcoming series, The Time Tunnel, which had been picked up by ABC for fall 1966.

2--Although Lee had racked up plenty of credits by then, and deserved praise for studying and working at her craft rather than coasting on her Miss America title, Julie was the bigger star at the time.

3--(and this plays into the Inger item) Considering that Dozier obviously wanted her to return as Catwoman in season 2, I find it hard to believe Newmar walked away with nothing monetarily from the film. I think it's reasonable to assume that rather than get into a breach of contract battle, Greenway paid Julie some portion of the $10,000 with a handshake deal for X amount of episodes in season 2 (at the regular villain rate).

According to a production budget, the first Catwoman arc of season 2 was set to go before the cameras on June 22, 1966. So that demanding schedule didn't give Julie all that much time to recover from her back issue. Perhaps this was a subtle reminder of that.

Stevens began getting co-star and supporting roles in movies after her series wrapped, so who knows if she even would have been interested in Batman. And, as the character was written on the show, Catwoman would not have been the right role for Stevens, IMO. I could see her as Selina Kyle and Catwoman, splitting screen time between the two, or as a reluctant Siren (thnk Meriwether on Star Trek).
'I thought Siren was perfect for Joan.'--Stanley Ralph Ross, writer of 'The Wail of the Siren'

My hobbies include gazing at the Siren and doing her bidding, evil or otherwise.

'She had a devastating, hypnotic effect on all the men.'--A schoolmate describing Joan Collins at age 17
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epaddon
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Re: Inger Stevens signed to appear on show?

Post by epaddon »

The episode title pun for the rumored Stevens appearance makes me think they were viewing her (if they were) not as a replacement CW but simply another original villainess to launch S2 in the tradition of all the male guest stars in new characters like Archer, Clock King etc. Clearly they would have wanted to get a beautiful female villainess in early on and if Julie was going to be out for the beginning of S2 because of her back, then Inger at least would have satisfied the glamour element until then.

Inger certainly had no other commitment at that point. After "Farmer's Daughter" ended she did a TV-movie called "The Borgia Stick" that came out in early 67 and then had a thankless supporting role in the Fox movie "A Guide For The Married Man" that came out May 67. She did no more TV guest shots (films only) up to her tragic suicide in 1970.
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Dr. Shimel
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Re: Inger Stevens signed to appear on show?

Post by Dr. Shimel »

The S2 episode of Egghead had something of a farm-based plot--in the second half anyway, so perhaps that began as a vehicle for Stevens and was then re-worked for Vincent Price. Of course, that ep included the egg shampoo Burt Ward got--reportedly for being a jerk.
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