Long before there was Elektra (played by Jennifer Garner), Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Sarah Michelle Gellar) or Wonder Woman (Lynda Carter) there was Yvonne Craig, Batgirl of 1967. She was the very first, the forerunner of all female superheroes we have ever seen on TV – and she performed all her stunts herself!
Yvonne was a trained ballet dancer and became an actress quite accidently while pursuing her dancing career. She was at a dinner with a producer who wanted to make her an actress, but she didn’t want to at that point. Just then, director John Ford’s son passed them by, stopped and asked if she was an actress. Yvonne Craig was speechless; so the producer stepped in and said 'She is and I'm her manager. What can I do for you?' Classic.
Although she is best known for her role in the TV series "Batman" in the 60’s, she acted in many movies; ‘The Young Land’ of 1959 being her first. She even starred in two movies with Elvis Presley! After a lot of success on the silver screen, she moved on to guest starring on TV shows. The most popular ones before Batgirl were ‘The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis’ and ‘77 Sunset Strip’.
Then came Batgirl. Yvonne Craig had a wonderful experience playing this role and everyone loved her! Teenage boys, girls, you name it. Boys loved her sexy, bold action-figure persona for obvious reasons, but the girls looked up to her as a strong woman who stood up against society’s norms and fought for equal pay.
Craig passed away this week at her home in Pacific Palisades, after a bout of breast cancer. She was 78. Her mind wanted to fight the cancer battle, but her body gave way.