Did Julie Newmar Really Come Up With an Especially Cutting Remark to The Wild Wild West’s Michael Dunn?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about TV and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the TV urban legends featured so far.

TV URBAN LEGEND: Julie Newmar once had a particularly cutting response to a crude remark by Michael Dunn.

After having some notable success in the world of the theater (even winning a Tony Award for Best Supporting Actress), singer/dancer/actress Julie Newmar tried to make it big in the world of television.

In the mid-60s, she landed the role that she is most known for today, playing the sexy Batman villain, Catwoman.

Michael Dunn was a character actor whose most notable role was as the evil Dr. Miguelito Loveless, who was the most famous recurring villain on the TV series, The Wild Wild West…

Loveless made things difficult for Secret Service agents Jim West and Artemus Gordon (here’s West captured by the diminutive despot)…

Okay, now the precise details of the story vary from the telling, but the basic gist of the story is that Dunn, in real life, was making sexual advances upon Newmar (at a party, at a show – wherever).

He told her, “Julie — tonight I’m going to f**k you silly.”

And Newmar supposedly replied, “Michael — if you do, and I find out….”

Is it for real?

The reason I don’t buy this as a real story (besides it never been confirmed by either actor) is because the same exact story was told almost thirty years earlier, only with Judy Garland standing in for Newmar.

In THAT story, it is Judy Garland responding to the advances of an actor playing a Munchkin in The Wizard of Oz…

In that version of the story, it goes “Judy, someday I’m going to f**k you” and Judy shakes her finger at him and says, “If you do and I catch you…”

It most likely did not happen to Judy Garland, but it DEFINITELY didn’t happen to Julie Newmar.

So thanks for everything, Julie Newmar – everything except this particular quip, that is…

The legend is…

STATUS: False

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is bcronin@legendsrevealed.com.

5 Responses to “Did Julie Newmar Really Come Up With an Especially Cutting Remark to The Wild Wild West’s Michael Dunn?”

  1. I love your line “Thanks for everything, Julie Newmar”. I can guess where it came from.
    If you didn’t know this one, I’ll say it – A year before she was “Catwoman”, Newmar was cast as “Rhoda the robot” on CBS’ sitcom “My Living Doll”. Sitcom veteran Bob Cummings was her co-star (a big step down for him, in my opinion) and the two fought like cats and dogs practically from day one. This culminated with Cummings walking away from the series with several episodes left to film. Co-star Jack Mullaney filled in for him, but the damage was done. CBS cancelled the series after one season.

  2. Her Tony-award role was in The Marriage-Go-Round. A big hit in part because she parades around for one scene in nothing but a towel. The directors later commented about the unsuccessful film version that “nobody buys tickets to a movie thinking tonight maybe the towel will fall off.”

  3. That’s actually a relief. I wouldn’t like to think of Michael Dunn as the kind of person who’d make such an aggressively crude remark. I always liked him a lot.

  4. Julie is great. I saw one of the old “Columbo” episodes she did. I would like to see the other one, they have re-runs on TV. She must have intimidated most men, she was so stunning and intelligent.

  5. She was a dedicated parent to her son too.

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