From my wife comes this link to a Yahoo story about the bizarre feud between Jim Belushi and Julie Newmar. I have to say, knowing nothing about the particulars and finding it not that hard to believe that Belushi might be an asshole and a bad neighbor, my money is on Newmar being the ultimate source of the problems. In the 15 seconds my wife and I were around her she was a horrible bitch of a person. At Dragon*Con one year in the mid 90’s she was one of the constellation of fading or faded stars that makes up the “I Remember You, You Were Somebody Once” nostalgia track at the con. We were walking out the door of the Merchandise Mart and she walked up behind us. Apparently we weren’t moving fast enough, because she put her hands on my wife’s back and shoved her into the revolving door, croaking in her cigarette scarred voice “Keep it moving, honey!” Ever since then, she has been a running joke in our household. When someone is dawdling, we’ll intone in our old crone voice “Keep it moving, honey!”
Even things like To Wong Foo with her cameo at the end aren’t that much fun to us because we don’t take her as a cute campy symbol of the 60’s. We see her as a Norma Desmond type, a crazy old mean bitch who doesn’t seem to realize that she is a has-been. Interestingly, years after this happened I was talking with a well known figure in Atlanta SF fandom and she described how horrible it was to be Newmar’s liason. She’d cozy up to every man, flirt with them, and then when their backs were turned be abusive and horrible to all the women. She’d try to tell people how bad she was and all the guys would say “What? You’re crazy, Julie’s great.” I believed her. I saw the claws come out. From entirely different sources, I have heard Eartha Kitt is no better. What is it with these Catwomen?