Yvonne Craig passed away Monday night at her home in Pacific Palisades. A nephew, (Christopher Carson), made the announcement that the cause was breast cancer that had metastasized to her liver. The actress was 78 years old.
Craig played Marta, an insane green Orion Slave Girl who wanted to kill Captain Kirk (William Shatner), in a 1969, third-season Star Trek episode, “Whom Gods Destroy”. But Yvonne Graig is by far more famously known for her role as Batgirl in the Batman 1966 TV series.
As Barbera Gordon daughter of commissioner Gordon and an unassuming librarian, she would go into her secret wall room full of wigs and her costume. Next she is blaring down the street in her Batgirl Cycle with its frilly wings racing to face danger head on……
Any child growing up after 1966 is very lucky to have witnessed the greatest comic book television series of its time “Batman” with Adam West. Not only did this landmark series make stars out of Burt Ward and Adam, the rest of the very talented cast also became huge pop culture sensations. The Original, One & Only Yvonne Craig (Batgirl & Star Trek) was one of the most iconic. Always beautiful in and out of costumes Yvonne played the unconventional 60’s strong-minded female that spoke up freely and kicked criminal’s asses. Craig joined the Batman series in its third and final season (1967-68).
Yvonne once recalled about Batman producer William Dozier, for whom she had done an unsold sitcom pilot years earlier, called and asked her if she would come in for an interview.
“When I got there, he said, ‘We’re thinking of adding a new character to the Batman series — Batgirl. Would you be interested in doing it?’ I said, ‘Very!’. Because they needed someone who could encourage an over-40 male audience and a prepubescent female audience. That’s the real reason why they hired me!”
Not surprising for its time Craig did all of her own stunts and all of her motorcycle riding on the show!
Yvonne also didn’t just conform to Hollywood standards as she always stood up for woman’s rights and equal woman’s pay even in her era. A true role model for young girls to the grown up empowered female, Yvonne Craig will be forever etched in the pop culture world. She will be a symbol for woman’s equality and deeply missed by so many female fans who looked up to Batgirl as their champion superhero who stood proud as she fought crime beside the Dynamic Duo.
From small town Taylorville, Ill., Crain began her theatrical career at age 17 as the youngest member of The Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. She traveled the U.S. and was with the troupe for three years when she was discovered by director John Ford’s son Patrick and cast for the lead in the movie The Young Land (1959).
Crain then starred opposite Elvis Presley in the films It Happened at the World’s Fair (1963) and Kissin’ Cousins (1964). It was widely known that the two were dating.
Her film résumé also included The Gene Krupa Story (1959), John Sturges’ By Love Possessed (1961), 7 Women From Hell (1961) — with future Joker villain Cesar Romero — Ski Party (1965) and Mars Needs Women (1967).
On television, she appeared on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Fantasy Island, The Six Million Dollar Man, Kojak, Land of the Giants, Mod Squad, The Wild Wild West, Emergency! and many other shows.
We will miss you Yvonne Craig R.I.P.