Actress Yvonne Craig, who is best known for playing Batgirl (and alter ego Barbara Gordon) on the third season of the ’60s Batman TV series, has died at the age of 78. The cause of death as reported by her nephew, via The Hollywood Reporter, was breast cancer that had metastasized to her liver.
In addition to her 26-episode run on Batman, Craig was known for twice playing opposite Elvis Presley — in It Happened at the World’s Fair (1963) and Kissin’ Cousins (1964) — and a memorable guest appearance on Star Trek as an insane Orion slave girl. In her successful TV career she appeared on such series as Dobie Gillis, 77 Sunset Strip, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., My Favorite Martian, The Mod Squad, the Six Million Dollar Man, and Fantasy Island. She most recently voiced the grandmother on the children’s series Olivia.
Craig was trained as a ballerina, and joined up with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo in the 1950s, while still a teenager. She transitioned into acting, landing a major role in 1959’s The Young Land, opposite Patrick Wayne (son of actor John) after being discovered by Patrick Ford (son of director John). She dated Elvis Presley for a time, and on Batman, she did her own stunts, including riding Batgirl’s unusual motorcycle. While her Batgirl was intended as a wholesome role model for young women, other roles in Craig’s career capitalized on her sexiness — see the video clip below from The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Craig also appeared with Adam West and Burt Ward in government PSA about the Federal Equal Pay Law.
As a tribute to Craig, here are 30 or so classic photos, leading off with pictures of her in her iconic Batgirl costume.
Footage of a sexier Yvonne Craig from The Man From U.N.C.L.E.: