Pioneers of television: Lynda Carter defied all odds – this is her today

Due to the scarcity of female action heroines throughout my early years, Lynda Carter’s rise as an idol was all the more crucial.

Her portrayal of Wonder Woman enthralled viewers in 1975, and she became a hero in the eyes of many young girls. Many girls would imitate her by donning their mother’s tiara and fashioning a tea towel cape.

Lynda Carter had an inherent beauty that still speaks to me today. Whenever I hear her name, I automatically think of the legendary role of Wonder Woman.

The television series aired during the height of the women’s liberation movement in the 1970s and was one of the few to have a female lead.

Lynda was a natural fit for the character in many respects. She was not only highly skilled and strikingly gorgeous but also bled grace and a fantastic sense of humor.

However, her route to landing the part and achieving popularity was challenging. She had disagreements with the show’s producers as a relatively inexperienced actress.

Lynda Carter was born in Phoenix, Arizona, in 1951. She made her public television debut at age five when she appeared on Lew King’s Talent Show.

Throughout her childhood, though, her love of music took center stage. Lynda joined a band in high school, and at the age 15, she began singing at a neighborhood pizza parlor, earning $25 per weekend.

Lynda experienced numerous challenges throughout her youth, including frequent observation of her height, which sometimes prompted gasps from onlookers. The actress, noted for her size, struggled with an inferiority complex caused by childhood events.

“All these feelings are remnants from my childhood,” she said as she reflected on those years. I mean, I was pretty tall! ‘Oh, are you tall!’ someone would exclaim. And I’d laugh and say, ‘Yeah, I’m tall!’ I looked like a clown. I felt frail and defenseless on the inside.”

Despite these difficulties, Lynda recalls her upbringing fondly, which included frequent church attendance, picnics, amusing interactions with her sister, and a mother who discouraged her from being overly involved with Hollywood.

Her upbringing was considered morally decent, middle-class, old-fashioned, and full of goodness.

Before becoming Wonder Woman, Lynda briefly attended Arizona State University, where she was named “Most Talented.” However, her desire to pursue a music career caused her to discontinue her studies.

Unfortunately, her musical ambitions were dashed, and after winning a local beauty pageant in Arizona in 1972, she chose a new course. This victory qualified her to represent her state in the Miss USA pageant, and she later competed in the Miss World pageant, finishing in the top 15.

Lynda retrospectively dismissed her stint as a beauty queen, noting, “I didn’t receive any significant awards.” They draped a banner over me, crowned me, and dubbed me a beauty queen.” She also blasted the event, calling beauty pageants “bad” and “painful” and accusing them of being nasty.

Lynda improved her acting skills in the early 1970s by attending multiple acting schools in New York. She was motivated to make it in the entertainment industry and landed minor roles in major TV shows such as Starsky and Hutch and Cos.

However, the fierce competition in Hollywood had nearly destroyed her cash, and she was on the verge of abandoning her aspirations in favor of a regular job.

Lynda’s life dramatically changed in 1975, just when it appeared like all hope was lost when she earned the central part in Wonder Woman.

She was considering returning to Arizona when her manager called to tell her that Joanna Cassidy had been rejected and that the role of Diana Prince and Wonder Woman was now hers.

Lynda had only $25 in her bank account when this life-changing opportunity presented itself. The Wonder Woman series was based on the superheroine character introduced by D.C. Comics in 1941, and it was a massive hit with readers.

The creators of the show, writer William Moulton Marston and artist Harry G. Peter believed that girls deserved a heroic figure as well. The debut episode of the Wonder Woman T.V. series featured a bold message about female empowerment that was in keeping with the day’s attitude.

Fifty thousand feminists marched down New York City’s Fifth Avenue in the Women’s Strike for Equality March a few years before the series premiere.

“Any civilization that does not recognize the female is condemned to destruction,” Wonder Woman declared in one of her early episodes. Women are the future, and sisterhood is more powerful than anything.”

Despite this feminist message, the network eventually diminished its importance, much to Lynda Carter’s dismay. Lynda was enraged when the filmmakers used a man stunt double for dangerous action scenes.

Lynda bravely attempted the dangerous stunt in one memorable episode where Wonder Woman was supposed to dangle from a soaring helicopter. She vehemently opposed it, declaring, “I can’t accept that.” following this protest, the producers agreed to hire a female stunt duplicate.

From 1975 through 1979, the famous Wonder Woman series captivated fans for three seasons. Lynda Carter played the part and got considerable praise for her performance.

Her attractiveness drew males in, but her portrayal of a female superhero inspired a generation of female authors, fans, and producers.

Some viewers, however, thought her attire was too exposing, causing Lynda to defend her fashion choices. “I wore less on the beach!” she exclaimed, surprised.

It was more than just a bikini; it was the American flag dressed in a one-piece outfit.” Although recognizing the character’s visual appeal, she refused to reinforce prejudices.

Despite producer cautions regarding probable female envy, Lynda stated, “Not a chance. They won’t feel envious because I’m not using her that way.

I want ladies to strive to be like me or be best friends. Something about the persona sparks the creative mind, making you feel like you can fly.”

Regardless of her intentions, Lynda Carter became the object of many men’s desires. In 1978, she was voted “The Most Beautiful Woman in the World,” and a picture of her in a tied-up crop top became the year’s best-selling poster.

She was uncomfortable knowing that images of her body were exhibited in men’s restrooms because of the attention she received because of her appearance. She loathed men’s objectification and assumptions about her.

Lynda Carter was provided with various chances following her success as Wonder Woman. She shook President Ronald Reagan’s hand, appeared on The Muppet Show, and was featured in her musical television programs.

She lived a luxury lifestyle in a French-styled mansion above Benedict Canyon in Los Angeles, guarded by a pack of German Shepherds after earning $1 million for 26 episodes of Wonder Woman. Among her stunning car collection were several Bentleys.

Her next important appearance was as Carole Stanwyck in the crime drama television series Partners in Crime. She appeared in this performance alongside another skilled and lovely actor, Loni Anderson.

Lynda founded her production company, Potomac Productions, in the 1990s and appeared in several T.V. movies. She also contributed her voice to several projects.

As the new century arrived, she continued to work in movies and even moved into theater, getting a role in the West End production of Chicago in London.

Despite her varied career, Lynda will be remembered for her pivotal part in the 1970s. She has remained close to the superhero community, with D.C. Comics honoring her as one of its honorees.

Patty Jenkins, the director of the 2017 Wonder Woman feature film, reached out to Lynda to entice her to make a cameo appearance.

Due to scheduling issues, she declined the offer but expressed a willingness to participate if a suitable role becomes available.

Lynda attended the United Nations 75th-anniversary celebration of Wonder Woman’s debut appearance in 2016, where the character was named an “Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls.”

During the ceremony, Lynda spoke on the honor and responsibility she felt playing Wonder Woman, especially as a role model for people worldwide.

Lynda Carter’s personal life has likewise been filled with ups and downs. Before becoming Wonder Woman, she was in a romance with French singer-songwriter Michel Polnareff.

She married talent agent and promoter Ron Samuels in May 1977, whom she met a year earlier at an ABC affiliates party. In Hollywood, the young and gorgeous pair had a high-profile marriage.

There were disagreements, especially opposing ideas about starting a family. While Lynda wished for children, Ron repeatedly put off the thought. On the other hand, Lynda eventually admitted to being miserable during the marriage, which lasted from 1977 to 1982.

In interviews, Lynda expressed her insomnia and sensitivity to unpleasant comments, indicating that their marriage was under strain.

Their divorce was completed in June 1982, ending one of Hollywood’s most famous marriages. Despite the heartache and difficulties, Lynda wished her ex-husband well and prayed for forgiveness.

Lynda found love again in 1984 after her divorce. She married Robert A. Altman, a Washington, D.C., attorney she met at a business dinner.

Their connection was instant, and they relocated to Potomac, Maryland, far from Hollywood’s flash and splendor.

Lynda chose to stay out of the spotlight to raise her two children, James Altman (born in January 1988) and Jessica Carter Altman (born in October 1990).

Lynda’s most excellent adventure became motherhood, and she relished every moment. She has recently expressed her thanks for being a mother, emphasizing the great love and joy her children have brought into her life.

Despite her commitment to her family, Lynda Carter continues to work in the entertainment world. Even in her 70s, she continues to have an influence. Life, however, has not been without its challenges.

In February 2021, she lamented the death of her loving husband, Robert, who died at 73 from leukemia. Lynda has been deeply affected by his death and still grieving.

Lynda has also been open about her battles with alcoholism, which originated from her first marriage’s unhappiness.

She has, nevertheless, attained almost 20 years of sobriety thanks to the help of her late husband, Robert. Despite her difficulties, Lynda Carter remains an inspiring figure—a true Wonder Woman—who has utilized her celebrity to advance important causes.

I’ve long admired Lynda and her incredible career, and I hope she continues to shine as one of God’s beacons of light in a world that can sometimes feel dark.