Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Greatest American Hero and Batgirl




I was saddened to hear of the passing of Yvonne Craig yesterday.  I still maintain that she is my favorite comic book heroine to yet appear in live action.  She played the character straight despite the camp around her, few others have ever looked as good in their superhero outfits and you had to dig that tripped out motorcycle. I hope she knew how many fans she had because of Batman and Star Trek.  Rest in peace, Yvonne Craig.

15 comments:

AirDave said...

Awesome. I believe she is the first female live action super-heroine. Truly a pioneer. It is amazing that she was used for that equal pay PSA...

I would argue that she is tied as far as Lynda Carter is concerned. Craig appeared in three of my favorite series: Batman, Star Trek and The Wild, Wild West.

This is a great team-up. I am just one of many The Greatest American Hero fans. Loved that show. William Katt and Robert Culp were awesome. It was such an optimistic show.

-> Ray said...

I loved Robert Culp in GAH and in I, SPY.
Yvonne Craig will be missed.
(If not too late to fix: coMMissioner)

Anonymous said...

I agree completly - she looked so good in that outfit and played it so straight that it made me want to get rid of Batman and Robin and just have the Batgirl show!

Anonymous said...

Nice tribute.

SmearySoapboxPress said...

Nice piece, done in record time, I bet! My favorite Batgirl episode was "The Wail of the Siren", where she teamed up with Robin to rescue Bruce Wayne. It reminded me of the great relationship they shared in "Batman Family"; even though the episode aired years before BatFam was published, I read the comics first.

Bob Buethe said...

@AirDave: I never thought about it before, but I think you're right. I don't remember any live action superheroines on TV or in the movies before Batgirl. And the only animated one I can think of is the Invisible Girl, in the 1967 Fantastic Four cartoon that premiered the weekend before Ms. Craig's bat-debut. (Wonder Girl appeared a few weeks later on the Superman-Aquaman Hour of Adventure.)

David McRobie said...

Actually, there have been plenty of live action masked heroines in the serials, such as Nyoka, the Whip and the Tiger Woman, to name exactly three.
There were also the Wrestling Women series of movies from Mexico, starting in 1965. Add to that various sword wielding kung fu heroines from the 50s.
None of this takes away from the greatness that was Yvonne's Batgirl.

Bob Greenwade said...

This was how I learned of Yvonne's passing. I really enjoyed her as an actress back then (even though I was Too Young To Notice Girls), both as Batgirl and in her guest appearance on Star Trek. I don't think I ever saw much of her afterward, but her portrayal of Barbara Gordon has, I think, influence the carriage of just about every non-powered DC superheroine since then.

Paul Green said...

She was really great! The AP report mentioned afterwards she did guest spots on lots of 70s shows, it was a nice surprise to see her! I remember the first time I saw Star Trek episode, I initially didn't recognize her from the alien appearance, but still she was hot! It's so sad to see so many stars getting older and health problems, but I'm grateful to have the dvds and memories of their work.
I didn't follow GAH much but the few episodes I saw were interesting. The team up sure is timely, I'm sure we will see many more tributes to Yvonne Craig.

BERT said...

So sad to hear of Yvonne Craig's passing the other day. Feels like I've known her since I was 5 years old, which now is a long time ago.
So soon after the passing of Roddy Piper, alot of my childhood stars are fading away. RIP Yvonne, long live Batgirl!

Anonymous said...

I was absolutely numb with disbelief over the news, I think the first time I ever placed a face to the name of Yvonne Craig was on two black-and-white re-runs of THE WILD WILD WEST! Once, where she played a gypsy-dancing femme fatale working for some "Most Dangerous Game" type hunters. And, afterwards, as the artistic girlfriend of John Obadiah Brown (obsessed with causing more chaos than his abolitionist uncle simply to get out of the shadow of the latter's name)!

Of course, those re-runs were courtesy of my family's first cable TV set in 1975. Which is how I also got to see her now-classic performances as Batgirl and Marta of Orion.

RIP, my dear. Your often-underestimated versatility will be missed.

Anonymous said...

With all due respect to my above namesake? Ms. Craig only appeared on one episode of TWWW Season 1 ("Night of the Grand Emir"). It was an entirely different actress who appeared in the subsequent episode ("Night of the Flaming Ghost").

Scott said...

I met her back in the early 90s. She was so nice! She asked me to lean in so she could get a better look at my eyes, then spent 30 seconds just gazing into them. Best. Day. Ever.

She was the first celebrity I ever had to pay for an autograph, but the money want to charity.

It's hard to believe she's gone. I expected her to outlive Adam West and Burt Ward. I am sad.

John Pitt said...

I know I asked for more movie covers, but what a sad way to get one. She was lovely.
Nice tribute, Ross.

Anonymous said...

COVER OF THE MONTH!

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