Yvonne Craig, the first actress to ever portray Barbara Gordon/Batgirl, has died.
Craig passed away Monday night in her home in Los Angeles, California after succumbing to breast cancer, which had metastasized to her liver.
Yvonne Craig was trained as a ballet dancer and was a member of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo in the 1950s before transitioning into a career in acting. She appeared in multiple films including several Elvis pictures and Seven Women from Hell, which starred her future Batman co-star, Cesar Romero. When film roles tapered off, Craig moved to television where she made appearances in such programs as My Three Sons, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., and even Star Trek, where she appeared as a green-skinned alien woman. Not long after her own attempt at a TV pilot went unsold, Craig was contacted again by its producer, William Dozier, but this time it was to interview for an important role on his far more lucrative project, the hit series Batman.
Yvonne Craig not only landed the part, but defined a character who continues to thrive in pop-culture to this day. Craig did all of her own stunts, even those performed on Batgirl’s now iconic motorcycle. Despite only appearing in the final 26 episodes of the series’ 120 episode run, Craig’s stand-out performance is remembered as an integral part of the show’s legacy.
The family of Yvonne Craig has asked not for flowers, but for donationss to be made to The Angeles Clinic Foundation.
If you’d like to learn more about the life of Yvonne Craig, read her 2000 memoirs, From Ballet to the Batcave and Beyond.