Pioneers of television: This is Lynda Carter today, who broke down all barriers

When I was a child, female action heroes were incredibly uncommon; perhaps this is why Lynda Carter, who played Wonder Woman in 1975, became such a cultural icon.

For many people, she served as a hero during their formative years. In the 1970s, many girls would dress up as Wonder Woman using a tea towel as a cape and their mother’s tiara as jewellery.

One of the most attractive women in the world was Lynda. She is, in fact, in my perspective, still…

One thought only comes to mind when I hear the name Lynda Carter: her iconic performance as Wonder Woman. One of the few Hollywood productions with a female lead, the TV series debuted in the 1970s amid the height of the women’s liberation movement.


Lynda was a great fit for the job in many ways. She had a wonderful sense of humour, was stunning and brilliant.

But before she got the job and shot to fame, Lynda also had to overcome a number of challenges. For instance, she had disagreements with the producers and lacked a lot of acting experience.

In Phoenix, Arizona, Lynda Carter was born in 1951. She made her public television debut at the age of 5 when she participated in Lew King’s Talent Show. But as I got older, music replaced that fascination. Lynda joined a band in high school. She began singing extra shifts at a nearby pizza joint when she was 15 years old, earning $25 per weekend.

Her parents had already separated by that point, and she had to deal with additional challenges growing up. When Lynda was young, people would gasp at her sight and she would frequently hear remarks about how tall she was.

Being tall her entire life gave the Wonder Woman actress an early inferiority problem that she worked really hard to overcome.

“All of these emotions are carried over from my childhood. I was tall, really! Oh, are you tall, someone would exclaim. I chuckle and declare, “Yeah, I’m tall!” A clown, I was. In 1979, Lynda told reporters, “I felt like disintegrating jelly from the inside out.

However, Lynda generally admired her upbringing. Every Sunday she attended church, went on picnics, made jokes with her sister, and had fun. Her mother dreaded her “going Hollywood.”

She described it as being “so moral, so middle-class, so traditional, and so good.”

Carter, who was born in Phoenix, did enrol in Arizona State University for a while, but she abruptly decided to leave after being named “Most Talented.” The cause? She was determined to give her musical career her full attention.

Plans had to be quickly amended, though, because Lynda was unable to establish herself as a notable artist.

Instead, when she triumphed in an Arizona beauty pageant in 1972, fresh avenues began to open. In that same year, she represented her state by winning Miss USA. Lynda also had the opportunity to compete in the 1972 Miss World pageant and represent her nation. She placed 15th overall.

Lynda has downplayed her role as a beauty queen in the past.

Getty Images

“I received no awards. They name you a beauty queen, slap a small flag on you, and put a crown on your head,” she claimed.

Additionally, she described the event as “awful” and “traumatic,” claiming that beauty pageants had “a certain built-in cruelty.”

Lynda studied acting at many New York acting studios in the early 1970s. She managed to secure a few small roles in well-known TV shows like Starsky and Hutch and Cos because she was determined to make it in the entertainment industry. However, Lynda almost ran out of money while residing in Los Angeles to follow her goal due to the intense competition in Hollywood.

She was getting ready to take a “regular” job because all of her money had been depleted.

Her life, however, was forever altered in 1975 when she was cast as the lead in Wonder Woman. When her manager called to inform her that Joanna Cassidy had been passed over and that Lynda had been given the role of Diana Prince and her crime-fighting alter identity, Wonder Woman, she was just about to leave for Arizona.

The 6-foot-tall beauty, who had only $25 in her bank account when she was offered the role, was ecstatic. The superheroine character established in 1941 for DC Comics served as the inspiration for the TV show. One of the first female superheroes ever, Wonder Woman’s book series was an instant success with fans.

Getty Images

Girls needed a hero too, according to Wonder Woman’s creators, writer William Moulton Marston and artist Harry G. Peter. The debut episode of the Wonder Woman TV series also made a strong statement in favour of female emancipation, which was completely on trend at the time.

A few years before to the start of the series, 50,000 feminists participated in the Women’s Strike for Equality March through New York City’s Fifth Avenue.

In one of the earliest episodes, Wonder Woman proclaimed that “any culture that does not respect the female is bound to ruin. The future is being shaped by women, and sisterhood is stronger than anything.

Getty Images

But the feminist message was played down later, to Lynda Carter’s disappointment.

“The network thought Wonder Woman’s feminist talk would turn off viewers – that it was “dangerous,” Carter told PBS.

There were also other signs that things hadn’t changed much in Hollywood. For example, the producers wanted to use a male stunt double (with a hairy chest and big muscles) while shooting risky action scenes. Apparently, it was considered unthinkable to use a female stunt, which pissed Lynda off.

She remarked, “I can’t have it.”

In one episode, Lynda chose to do the potentially dangerous scenario by herself while Wonder Woman was meant to hang from a moving helicopter. Following that performance, the producers decided to employ a female stunt duplicate.

Getty Images

From 1975 through 1979, the enduring Wonder Woman television series aired for three seasons. Lynda was praised for her on-screen performance in which she brought Wonder Woman to life for many of us. Every man in the room was drawn to her attractiveness, but Lynda’s portrayal of a female superhero would also serve as an inspiration to many female writers, viewers, and producers.

Nevertheless, several viewers thought her attire was excessively exposed.

“On the beach, I dressed less!” Carter rebuked him.

Getty Images

“It was the American flag in a one-piece suit, not just a bikini,” someone said.

Lynda wasn’t going to capitalise on preconceptions, despite the fact that the 6-foot-tall beauty with the hourglass body mostly landed her career-launching job because she looked the part. She was also forewarned by some of the producers that ladies would be envious of her.

I responded, “Not a chance. Because I am not using her in that way, they won’t be. Women should aspire to be like me or be my best friends. There was something about the character that made you feel like you could fly during the period in your life when you pretended to be her, or in whatever circumstance you were in,” Lynda said.

However, whether Lynda Carter wanted it or not, she was transformed into the lady that many men fantasised about. She was named “The Most Beautiful Woman in the World” in 1978, and the most popular poster that year included a famous image of her wearing a tied-up crop top.

She endured quite a bit as one of the most famous women of our time, and the attention she attracted wasn’t always flattering.

“I never imagined that a photo of my body would be posted in men’s restrooms. I detest the way that men perceive me when they look at me. And I am aware of their opinions. They contact me via writing,” she stated.

Lynda revealed in 1981 that she didn’t like the well-known, bestselling poster.

It makes me uneasy because all I did was take a picture. My only contribution to the nearly a million copies of my poster that were sold was the photo I shot, which I considered to be a stupid photo. Oh, try this wrapped up here, my husband said, it will look lovely. Moreover, the photographer remarked, “Wow, the backlighting is absolutely fantastic.”

Therefore, I think it would be difficult for anyone to deal with someone having that picture up in their… bedroom or… living room or whatever,” she said in an interview for the NBC television special Women Who Rate a 10.

Facebook Comments