NOOOOOO!!!! This summer has just been filled with misery and horror. Famous people we used to tolerate have turned out to be sexual predators. Couples we thought would last forever (I guess?) have taken their marriages out back and shot them. And now Batgirl is dead. Actress Yvonne Craig passed away on Monday after Batgirl-kicking breast cancer for two years. She was 78.
An Indiana native, Deadline reports that Yvonne started her entertainment career as a ballet dancer. She performed with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo for two years prior to director John Ford’s son Patrick casting her opposite Dennis Hopper in 1959’s The Young Land.
From there, she went on to co-star in one of the greatest TV shows of all time – Batman! For those of you who aren’t comic book geeks or fans of that amazing show, Yvonne played Commissioner Gordon’s daughter Barbara. She was a mild-mannered librarian by day, and a ginge-wigged kick-ass crimefighter by night! She showed up Batman and Robin’s asses every episode in which she appeared. She did it in high heeled boots, too! Hell, Batman didn’t have heels. And I’m pretty sure Robin wore slipper socks.
Yvonne also starred opposite Elvis in the movie Kissin’ Cousins, and played a green alien slave girl in a memorable episode of Star Trek. She went on to make guest appearances in shows like The Six Million Dollar Man, Emergency, and The Courtship Of Eddie’s Father.
Craig told CNN earlier this year that “I hear from women that I was their role model… ‘When I was a little girl, I realized that girls could kick butt just like guys,’ [they’d say].” Precisely!
Batgirl was part of my stereotypical gay boy awakening because I was absolutely fascinated with her. Her shiny purple costume was much cooler than what the boys wore. She had this bad-ass boudoir area in her bedroom that SLID ASIDE to reveal the SECRET DOOR to her Bat-Cycle! Batgirl’s special move was to kick people in the face. She slipped that wig on and for some reason, I felt empowered!
My gay boy awakening also had a lot do with Burt Ward in his pantyhose. Don’t judge. Rest easy, Yvonne Craig.