The Catwoman was created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane and first appeared as “The Cat” in Batman #1 (spring 1940).
Partially inspired by Kane’s cousin, Ruth Steel, for the look, she talks about it below.
as well as, actress Jean Harlow for the personality of Catwoman.
Selina Kyle, first appears in Batman #1 (Spring 1940) in which she is known as “The Cat”. Debuted as a Jewel thief hoping to steal the necklace of a wealthy heiress aboard a luxury yacht. Robin having suspicions goes undercover to protect the necklace from thieves. Batman and Robin soon came across several gunmen and made short work of them, Batman even took time out for a Golden Age PSA
They return to the yacht and Batman crashes a fancy dress party, to be awarded with the first prize. He returns the stolen loot and Robin sets off the fire alarm. This is a trap to persuade The Cat to reveal him/herself. a Mrs. Peggs races off surprisingly well for someone with a bad ankle, But the dynamic duo still catch her.
Batman pulls off her wig and removes her make-up to reveal a pretty girl. the necklace is hidden under her bandage. Denny tries to take the necklace, but Batman knocks him out. The Cat tries to persuade Batman to join her as “King of Crime”, but he refuses. (this phrase would repeat itself when Catman has the same offer to Batwoman) read about it here: dccomicsnews.com/2014/04/30/legacy-bill-finger-cat-man/ …
Batman takes The Cat to the police himself. However, The Cat jumps over the side and Batman lets her escape. He’s clearly smitten, even though he still has a fiancée.
Kane on the creation of Catwoman (The Cat):
Kane states he and Finger saw cats as “kind of the antithesis of bats.”
I felt that women were feline creatures and men were more like dogs. While dogs are faithful and friendly, cats are cool, detached, and unreliable. I felt much warmer with dogs around me, cats are as hard to understand as women are. Men feel more sure of themselves with a male friend than a woman. You always need to keep women at arm’s length. We don’t want anyone taking over our souls, and women have a habit of doing that. So there’s a love-resentment thing with women. I guess women will feel that I’m being chauvinistic to speak this way, but I do feel that I’ve had better relationships with male friends than women. With women, once the romance is over, somehow they never remain my friends.
From The Cat to Catwoman.
The Catwoman in other media:
Julie Newmar: Batman T.V. series 1966
Newmar modified her Catwoman costume, now in the Smithsonian Institution and placed the belt at the hips instead of the waist to emphasize her hourglass figure.
Eartha Kitt: Batman T.V series 1966
She took over the role of Catwoman for the third and final season of the 1960s Batman television series, replacing Julie Newmar, who was unavailable due to other commitments.
Lee Meriwether: Batman the movie 1966
Meriwether portrayed Catwoman for the 1966 Batman movie, she also appeared in two episodes of the Batman TV series in 1967 as Lisa Carson, a love interest to Bruce Wayne in the episodes ‘King Tut’s Coup’ & ‘Batman’s Waterloo’, at the end of which she offered Bruce Wayne a nightcap of ‘Milk & Cookies’.
Jane Webb: (voice) Superman/Batman hour 1968
Melendy Britt: (voice) New Adventures of Batman 1977
Adrienne Barbeau: (voice) Batman: The Animated Series
In the 1990s, Barbeau mostly appeared in made-for-television films such as Scott Turow’s “The Burden of Proof” in 1992, as well as playing Oswald’s mother on “The Drew Carey Show” and gaining new fame among animation fans as Catwoman on Batman: The Animated Series and Gotham Girls. Coincidentally, Barbeau’s on-screen son on “The Drew Carey Show”, Diedrich Bader, would go on to perform the voice of Batman on the animated series “Batman: The Brave and the Bold”.
Gina Gershon: (voice) The Batman
Nika Futterman: (voice) Batman: The Brave and the Bold
Maggie Baird: Birds of Prey
Stephanie Sheh: (voice) DC Nation..Batman of Shanghai
Michelle Pfeiffer: Batman Returns
Halle Berry: Catwoman
Kelley Huston: (voice) DC Universe Online
Anne Hathaway: Dark Knight Rises
Eliza Dushku: Batman: Year One
Tress MacNeille: Batman: The Dark Night Returns Pt. 2
Catwoman an evolution:
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Source: DC Wiki, Bill Finger Appreciation Group