(Aug. 19, 2015) Yvonne Craig, best known for her role as Batgirl on the 1960s “Batman” TV series, has died. She was 78.
The actress and dancer had been battling breast cancer for two years, her family said in a statement. The cancer metastasized to her liver, and she died Monday in her home in Pacific Palisades.
“She had been in chemo almost continuously for the past two plus years since being diagnosed and that had weakened her immune system as well as her body,” the statement said.
“This didn’t dampen her sense of humor or her spirit, she intended to fight and win this battle. In the end, her mind still wanted to fight but her body had given up.”
Craig originated the role of Batgirl in the show’s third and final season in 1967, “kapowing “and “zzonking” the bad guys alongside Adam West and Burt Ward’s dynamic duo of Batman and Robin.
She also had a memorable role as the green-skinned Marta who wanted to kill Captain Kirk in a third-season episode of “Star Trek.”
But even beyond those two well-remembered roles, Craig had a long and illustrious career that began as the youngest member of a ballet company.
She parlayed that into a movie career, appearing in several films, including two with Elvis Presley — “It Happened at the World’s Fair” and “Kissin’ Cousins.”
Then came her role as Batgirl, and a TV stint that lasted several years and spanned many of the hit shows of the time, including “The Six Million Dollar Man” and the “Mod Squad.”
In later years, Craig worked as a real estate broker, did voice over work for the Nickelodeon cartoon “Olivia,” and, with her sister, went into the prepaid phone card business.
She wrote a memoir, “From Ballet to the Batcave and Beyond,” and was publicly vocal about her support for free mammograms for women who couldn’t afford them.
“She was one special lady and my best friend, so will be missed terribly,” the sister, Meridel Carson, told CNN early Wednesday morning.
Craig leaves behind her husband, Kenneth Aldrich; her sister and two nephews.
The family will hold a private service but hasn’t set a date. They asked that, instead of flowers, donations be made to the cancer research and treatment center, the Angeles Clinic Foundation.