As Nicole Kidman contemplates becoming the next sex kitten to purr-loin the part of Catwoman, she might want to factor into her deliberation a word of warning from Lee Meriwether, the feline femme fatale in the 1966 feature based on ABC's colorful Batman serial: You can take the actress out of the catsuit, but doggone, it ain't easy! "I was not a comfortable puppy!" she exclaims to TV Guide Online. "I left [the form-fitting get-up] on all day and didn't drink many liquids. It was very difficult to sit in, too."
Regardless of the costume's constraints, the ageless former Miss America had been eager to suit up once more herself, to join Caped Crusader Adam West and old chum Burt Ward in the upcoming CBS movie Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt (airing March 9). "I was hoping that I would get to play Catwoman along with Frank Gorshin as the Riddler," she says. "But darn it, Julie Newmar was available. My daughter [stuntperson Lesley Aletter] got to be her double, though, so that was cool."
Since Meriwether was offered a cameo role in the tell-all telepic as a waitress in a Mexican restaurant, she refrained from trying to scratch out the original Selena Kyle's eyes on the set. "Julie and I actually get along just great," Meriwether insists. "Besides, we worked on separate days!"
At least the onetime Barnaby Jones hottie and occasional All My Children guest star (as Martin family matriarch Ruth) was allowed to take out some of her aggressions on Love Boat lady-killer Bernie Kopell when they competed for charity in an episode of the syndicated game show Street Smarts (airing tomorrow; check local listings). "I showed him no mercy. None whatsoever," the three-time Pacific Princess passenger laughs. "I was on [the sea-faring '70s series] three times, and Doc didn't hit on [my characters] once. And Bernie didn't hit on me, either! No one did! He deserved to lose!" Meow!