Why didn't Julie appear in season 3?

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High C
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Why didn't Julie appear in season 3?

Post by High C »

For many years, conventional wisdom has been that Julie Newmar didn’t play Catwoman in season 3 because she was filming the movie, Mackenna’s Gold. However, that reason simply doesn’t make sense the more one examines things, including a new piece of ‘evidence.’

First, some background. Mackenna’s Gold was a lavish Western that, according to wikipedia, opened on May 10, 1969 and originally was envisioned as running for nearly three hours before being cut down to a running time of 2:08 (that might explain why it was filmed in 1967 and not released until ’69). Julie had a role as a fierce, mute Native American woman called Hesh-ke.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mackenna's_Gold

Although his part wasn’t as large as Julie’s, Burgess Meredith also had a role, and he managed not only to do four half-hour Batman episodes in season 3, he also did the first three that were filmed. (That’s according to the production numbers, 1701 for the season premiere, and 1703 for the two-parter with Ethel Merman.) That would seem to discredit the 'unavailable' theory all by itself.

But there's more. Now for the new ‘evidence.’

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/6-18-67

This was a short film made by a young George Lucas (yes, that George Lucas) which was supposed to be a making-of documentary but turned into an artsy short instead. According to this:

http://binarybonsai.com/blog/george-luc ... films-1971

Lucas was disenchanted with the bloated Mackenna’s Gold and thus didn’t make it the usual behind-the-scenes short. 6-18-67 is the date he finished filming, after three months. Now it’s true that may have been the first three months of the production, but that still means that Mackenna's Gold began shooting in mid-March 1967 at the very latest.

We know from a production schedule on the old David Sutton site (boy, do I miss that site!) that Eartha Kitt’s solo CW ep was filmed in mid-October 1967. It was production No. 1717, preceded by No. 1715, the two-part CW/Joker team-up. So we can safely assume all of Eartha’s eps were shot in Oct. 1967.

While I cannot prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt, it’s highly unlikely Mackenna was still being filmed at that time, if it already had been in production for three months by mid-June. (And, FWIW, Julie's second season Star Trek guest shot is said to have been filmed from May 19-29, 1967, smack in the middle of Mackenna's filming.) See link:

http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Friday' ... _(episode)

So all of this would seem to indicate Julie didn’t appear in season 3 of Batman for some other reason(s). Why she did not, I don’t know. Maybe she was burned out after shooting 11 S2 episodes followed by a grueling Mackenna's shoot in the desert.

Or maybe she was upset with the 'lovesick' turn the character had taken. Remember, in Back to the Batcave, Adam West wrote, "Julie felt that Catwoman should be pure evil, teasing Batman rather than actually falling in love with him.......But Bill Dozier and Stanley had their vision, and she went along with it."

But whatever the reason Julie didn't appear in the final season, the evidence strongly suggests it wasn’t because of Mackenna’s Gold.
'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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Dr. Shimel
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Re: Why didn't Julie appear in season 3?

Post by Dr. Shimel »

Given the budget cuts, she probably didn't feel it was worth it.

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epaddon
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Re: Why didn't Julie appear in season 3?

Post by epaddon »

Some very good points, High C and good job tracking down that item about the Lucas thing which does place things in context better.

Clearly, the producers were preparing for S3 thinking that Julie would be available. There is a publicity pic of Yvonne as Batgirl standing in front of a rogue's gallery of villains and one of them is Julie as CW. If they didn't think Julie was going to be there at some point, I doubt they would have done that.

And then consider that in the first episode of S3, they have Batman and Robin comment that Catwoman has been put away and won't be bothering them for awhile. That just smacks of trying to tell the audience, "Don't expect to see Catwoman for awhile" and cover for the fact that they were trying to stall for time to get Julie back, just as they stalled for as long as they could for Gorshin in S2. But at some point they had to have gotten a vibe from Julie that she didn't want to come back which was why they didn't wait as long to go with a replacement as they did in S2 when they went to Astin ultimately for Riddler.

Bookworm
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Re: Why didn't Julie appear in season 3?

Post by Bookworm »

I watched on Youtube a Batman reunion from a late night Fox show in the late 1980s. In the show, Julia says she wasn't there in season 3 because she was filming McKenna's Gold. So it is more than conventional wisdom. Maybe, she techinically could have participated in season 3, but the film took a lot out of her and she wanted a break.

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Aussie Batfan
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Re: Why didn't Julie appear in season 3?

Post by Aussie Batfan »

Good research and back up evidence guys.
i questioned this back on the old Board and from memory there were other factors that contributed to Julie not appearing in Season 3.
My other question is why didn't they give Lee Meriwether a second gig as Catwoman if Julie wasn't around... that would have at least provided some consistency!!!
Terry

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John Mack
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Re: Why didn't Julie appear in season 3?

Post by John Mack »

Lets ask Julie herself.

John
Music. BAT! Music.

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Riddler Fan
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Re: Why didn't Julie appear in season 3?

Post by Riddler Fan »

Perhaps she wanted to concentrate on doing more movies and less TV. This has happened to more TV actors than I could name (David Caruso, Shelley Long). They get fame from a TV show and think Hollywood is the next step. Or it might just be the money, or lack there of or the insipid stories in S3.

Robin Holyisms
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Re: Why didn't Julie appear in season 3?

Post by Robin Holyisms »

Batguitarist wrote:Lets ask Julie herself.

John
That would be an excellent idea. Because I e-mailed her about this a while ago but I never got a response.

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Re: Why didn't Julie appear in season 3?

Post by Bob »

I suppose it was about money and/or getting bored with the role. Just my wild guess. I was glad Eartha got her chance, she made the Catwoman E-vil again

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Scott Sebring
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Re: Why didn't Julie appear in season 3?

Post by Scott Sebring »

Batguitarist wrote:Lets ask Julie herself.

John
Julie is asked often and generally responds with the Mackenna's Gold scenario.
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epaddon
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Re: Why didn't Julie appear in season 3?

Post by epaddon »

Which doesn't necessarily make it so and by that, I don't mean Julie would be misleading when she says that. Lee Meriwether I can recall wasn't sure about the chronology of when she did the Batman movie when she was reminiscing a few years ago, not knowing if she'd done a Fox movie "The Undefeated" before or after it (it was in fact more than two years after it). Or it could be that years later, it's being more tactful and less controversial to just say it was for this reason and not for other reasons one wouldn't want to trumpet about today like salary, or dissastisfaction with the part. People do that all the time.

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exm
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Re: Why didn't Julie appear in season 3?

Post by exm »

Seldom have I seen a post that required so much homework, so kudos to High C

Julie was in an absurd number of episodes in season 2 - something like 10(?). Perhaps there was some agreement she would get a certan number of episodes if she continued as Catwoman, and then when it was apparent there'd be anywhere near that number in season 3, she was less interested.

I think it is also possible that the addition of Batgirl caused Dozier and company to re-evaluate what role Catwoman played in the series. If they weren't that committed to Newmar, they could have decided that Batgirl would assume responsibility for delivering the mysterious, sensual, and romantic flirting ingredients that they were apparently desparate to include as often as possible in season 2.
And that reduced Catwoman to just a generic female villain.

As far as when Julie's unavailability became apparent, I suspect they knew well in advance of the season 3 Catwoman episodes that she wouldn't around. In the first Batman scene of season 3, Batman mentions that Catwoman has just been sent off to jail (..."where she will remain until the part is recast" you could kind of read between the lines).

High C wrote:
This was a short film made by a young George Lucas (yes, that George Lucas) which was supposed to be a making-of documentary but turned into an artsy short instead. According to this:

http://binarybonsai.com/blog/george-luc ... films-1971
I didn't make it through this whole blog, but it cetainly seemed to be leading up to the conclusion that Julie backing out of Batman's season 3 was the genesis of Star Wars

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Scott Sebring
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Re: Why didn't Julie appear in season 3?

Post by Scott Sebring »

epaddon wrote:Which doesn't necessarily make it so and by that, I don't mean Julie would be misleading when she says that. Lee Meriwether I can recall wasn't sure about the chronology of when she did the Batman movie when she was reminiscing a few years ago, not knowing if she'd done a Fox movie "The Undefeated" before or after it (it was in fact more than two years after it). Or it could be that years later, it's being more tactful and less controversial to just say it was for this reason and not for other reasons one wouldn't want to trumpet about today like salary, or dissastisfaction with the part. People do that all the time.
Agreed. I'm just letting folks know the general Julie response since somebody made the suggestion to ask her. I don't think the Mackenna's Gold schedule conflict was the actual case either.
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Dr. Shimel
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Re: Why didn't Julie appear in season 3?

Post by Dr. Shimel »

The Batman movie was filmed during April-May 1966, so it had to have been filmed before "The Undefeated," since the latter wasn't released until November 1969. Given the fact that it was a John Wayne film, I have to imagine any studio of that era wouldn't have waited almost four years to put it out.

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High C
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Re: Why didn't Julie appear in season 3?

Post by High C »

Scott Sebring wrote:
epaddon wrote:Which doesn't necessarily make it so and by that, I don't mean Julie would be misleading when she says that. Lee Meriwether I can recall wasn't sure about the chronology of when she did the Batman movie when she was reminiscing a few years ago, not knowing if she'd done a Fox movie "The Undefeated" before or after it (it was in fact more than two years after it). Or it could be that years later, it's being more tactful and less controversial to just say it was for this reason and not for other reasons one wouldn't want to trumpet about today like salary, or dissastisfaction with the part. People do that all the time.
Agreed. I'm just letting folks know the general Julie response since somebody made the suggestion to ask her. I don't think the Mackenna's Gold schedule conflict was the actual case either.
Thanks, Scott. I just want everyone to know I didn't bring this up to question Julie's motives. I've never met her, but from the opinions of everyone on the board who has, it's obvious to me she is a terrific, classy person. So if she did 'opt out,' so to speak, I'm sure she had her reasons and they were good ones.
HONK wrote:Seldom have I seen a post that required so much homework, so kudos to High C

Julie was in an absurd number of episodes in season 2 - something like 10(?). Perhaps there was some agreement she would get a certan number of episodes if she continued as Catwoman, and then when it was apparent there'd be anywhere near that number in season 3, she was less interested.
Thanks, HONK! She was in 11 second-season eps, including the cameo in part 2 of Ma Parker.
HONK wrote:I didn't make it through this whole blog, but it cetainly seemed to be leading up to the conclusion that Julie backing out of Batman's season 3 was the genesis of Star Wars
HAHA!! I didn't either. I just referenced it because it said Lucas spent three months on set, and his last day was June 18, 1967!
'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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