Julie Newmar is a celebrated American multitalented entertainer who is remarkable for her roles as a screen, stage, and television actress. She is also a dancer, singer, writer, lingerie designer, and entrepreneur. Newmar is fondly remembered as the original Catwoman in Batman(1966) but it is not her only acting role, she has translated roles in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers(1954) and The Marriage-Go-Round.
While her career may have made her a global icon, her marriage with J. Holt Smith was another source of media frenzy for the Los Angeles-born creative.
The Early Life and Background of Julie Newmar
She was born Julia Chalene Newmeyer on August 16, 1933, in Los Angeles. Julia is the oldest of three children born to Don and Helene. Don was a former professional football player and coach while Helene was a fashion designer who used the professional name, Chalene. Understandably, she may have picked up her passion for designing from her mother and as we shall see later, she even patented some lingerie.
Moving on, the entertainer grew up alongside her two younger brothers, Peter Bruce Newmeyer and John A. Newmeyer. Other notable details about her early life include her learning classical music and dancing and designing, which had an impact on her later life.
Meanwhile, her gifted dancing was not lost on many. In fact, by the time she was 15, Julie started dancing as a prima ballerina with
Julie Newmar has Been in the Entertainment Industry Since the 1950s
She started her career as a dancer as far back as 1952. At first, she only appeared in minor uncredited roles but she started gaining recognition after appearing as a dancer-assassin in Slaves of Babylon. Other early works followed suit with Newmar appearing as a dancer. To add to this, her physique made her get roles that were considered as a sex symbol and temptress.
After years of appearing in small parts, Newmar’s breakthrough was in her first billed role as Dorcas in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers(1954). This was followed by her Broadway debut in Silk Stockings(1955).
Ever since, she has appeared on stage, television, and screen with roles ranging from sexy woman to action hero. Unsurprisingly, her role as the first Catwoman in Batman(1966-67) has remained her most notable.
Needless to say, Newmar has had her share of challenges that led to her being fired on some projects. For instance, she was fired in 1973 during the rehearsal of the Broadway play Boom Boom Room. Also, she was replaced in Batman due to a scheduling conflict. At the time, she was replaced by Eartha Kit.
She garnered Some Awards and Recognitions Through her Career as an Entertainer
For a woman who has been translating roles as an actress and dancer, she has garnered many recognitions to show for it.
Notable among these is a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her work in The Marriage-Go-Round. Others are;
- She is one of the few people who appeared in two films that are listed on the Film Registry by the Library of Congress.
- Inkpot Award(2014)
Newmar is also an Entrepreneur
Considering her work in entertainment, Newmar has proven that she is a woman who wears many career hats. As it is, she is also an entrepreneur with an interest in lingerie design and real estate.
A close look at this part of her life shows that she started making waves as a lingerie designer as far back as the 1970s when she popularized items like pantyhose and brassieres. Her decision to design lingerie was influenced by the need to have lingerie that fits her.
She promoted these items under the name Nudemar and went as far as getting patents for them. So far, her designs especially those of the brassiere are described as close to Marilyn Monroe’s style.
More on her business activities: she started investing in the real estate market as far back as the 1980s. Newmar bought and restored properties in Los Angeles neighborhoods like La Brea Avenue and Fairfax Avenue.
She was Married to J. Holt Smith
At the age of 90, Newmar has only been married once. She got married to J. Holt Smith on August 5, 1977. On his own, Smith was an attorney. Following their marriage, Newmar is said to have moved to Fort Worth, Texas to settle into a marital life.
And while things seemed to be going fine for the actress and the attorney at the time, the marriage soon came crashing down in 1984 when they parted ways.
Other Men she was Linked with
Prior to her marriage with Smith, the multi-hyphenated actress was in other publicized relationships. First, she was linked to the novelist Louis L’Amour.
Next, Newmar was linked with Mort Sahl, a comedian, and later Ken Scott, an actor.
The Los Angeles-born Gave Birth to her Only Child at the Age of 48
The Batman actress is the mother of a child whom she shares with her ex-husband. She gave birth to her son, John Jewl Smith, at the age of 48 on March 9, 1981.
According to the multihyphenated creative, she had passed through many challenges, including three miscarriages, before having her son. However, when she welcomed John, he became an important part of her life despite being a special child with developmental difficulties. He was diagnosed with Down syndrome and later a bout of meningitis left him deaf and mute.
Regardless of these, Julie has proven that a mother’s love is unconditional in the support she shows her only child. In fact, a look through her social media updates shows that she takes time to celebrate milestones in his life including his birthdays.