Lynda Carter

Lynda Carter, PBS Pioneers of TelevisionLynda Carter is best known for her marquee role as Wonder Woman on the 1970s TV series of the same name. While considered perfect for the role, Carter faced challenges from the beginning. Some thought her costume was too revealing. “I wore less on the beach!” Carter protested. “It was more than a bikini–it was the American flag in a one-piece suit,” Carter said.  Her hourglass figure was flattering, but Carter hoped her tiny waist didn’t make her look too delicate. Though she had the right hair and statuesque body for the part of Wonder Woman, Carter had to grow into acting since she had little experience when she landed the role.

Female action characters were rare in the 1970s and the producers used a man for Carter’s stunt double. When Carter saw the actor’s hairy chest and square physique, she laughed and thought, “I can’t have that.” In one episode in which Wonder Woman hangs from a flying helicopter, Carter decided to do it herself.  After successfully completing the risky stunt, the studio executives, worried that Carter could get hurt, immediately hired a female stunt double.

Wonder Woman as a Role Model

“Wonder Woman” launched in the mid 1970s, during the height of the women’s movement. In the first episodes, the Wonder Woman character voiced messages of empowerment, such as, “Women are the wave of the future and sisterhood is stronger than anything,” but the feminist messages didn’t last long. The network thought Wonder Woman’s feminist talk would turn off viewers—that it was “dangerous,” as Carter puts it now with a roll of the eyes. Even with the toned down scripts, Carter insisted that the show portray a positive female role model.  “The generation of women my age had mothers who were saying ‘you can do whatever you set your mind to,’” Carter said. Her character was resourceful and in control, often coming to the rescue of the show’s male lead, Lyle Waggoner. “Wonder Woman” was among the first TV dramas with a female lead and it gave invaluable experience to a wide range of female writers and producers.

  • Robert

    Wonder Woman is my hero, and Lynda Carter is her embodiment.

  • juan andres

    lynda carter is the best!!!

  • Steven Derrick Wilber

    Lynda Carter was my role model growing up, having watched the ‘Wonder Woman’ TV show through reruns in the late ’80s. I’m thankful she’s being recognized for all her good work beyond the ‘swimsuit’.

  • David Bers

    I think God wanted Lynda Carter to be Wonder Woman.

  • Antonio Encarnacion

    i Love Lynda Carter As Wonder Woman.. <3

  • Caridad Medina

    Cuando era nina era mi serie favorita! Ah y no se diga La mujer bionica fueron mis heroes y modelos,actualmente soy un ser humano positivo y con fortaleza. Ser mujer es muy dificil pero no imposible…..TODAS LAS MUJERES SOMOS SUPER MUJER MARAVILLA.

  • Glenn Brown

    Ms. Carter is more than a television or entertainment pioneer. She is becoming a living legend. And in spite of PR-style copy that claimed fathers of children watching the show were watching ‘Wonder Woman’ thanks to Carter’s uncommon beauty — the show was predominantly geared to and viewed by children. Carter knew this — and no matter how silly or dated the plots may seem today (particularly those of the CBS ‘modern era’ seasons), Carter was completely and utterly believable as the world’s first and most famous female superhero. She earned her paychecks, and today, deserves the respect if not accolades of the industry. Now, where’s that star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame — or an honorary Emmy celebrating Lynda Carter as the trailblazer and positive role model (to young girls AND boys) that she was and continues to be?

  • Pilar

    Thumbs up! Love Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman.

  • Heidi

    I just turned 40 this past summer and for Christmas I got my 3 1/2 yr. old a Wonder Woman costume. She LOVES it. She puts it on first thing in the morning every single day. She loves saying that she’s a superhero. Soooo sweet! WW was one of the first hero role models for us girls. My daughter loves Jessie from Toy Story, too. There aren’t any Barbies in our house, btw.

  • SKimball

    I had the good fortune to meet her once and spend some time with her. She was equally beautiful on the inside and just a very kind person.

  • Jennifer Sundberg

    Wonder woman was my hero growing up. A few years ago I got the chance to see Linda Carter as a guest star in the musical Chicago. She wasn’t as good as some of the regulars, but I thoroughly enjoyed watching her because she was so enjoying playing the part that her joy and fun were contagious! Love Linda!

    • Robbie Moraes

      Regretfully these days, Wonder Woman does not seem to be taken that seriously at DC or Warner Brothers when it comes to their feature films based on DC Characters. It’s about time Wonder Woman came to the big screen.

  • Grim Womyn

    No mention of the fact that she is Mexican? Way to not work the diversity angle PBS

    • Youran Idjit

      “Her father, Colby Carter, is an art dealer of Irish and English descent, and her mother, Juana Córdova, is of Mexican descent.”
      What you meant to say is that Carter is Irish. Racist bastard.

  • ldsgirl

    My daughter–my only one, and youngest of four children, used to go with me when her brothers were in school and she was still small. We were–Wonder Woman and her sidekick, Super Girl. What can I say, it was just the two of us? No one ever said to me I couldn’t because I wasn’t a boy, and I wouldn’t believe them if they had. I do believe that Wonder Woman told a lot of other girls that, too, if they hadn’t found that out growing up, as I did. Rock on, Linda Carter, and thank you for being our hero!

  • ed

    I never could understand the invisible plane and still see her, what was that all about?

  • Robbie Moraes

    Lynda Carter may have belived in Wonder Woman, but it sounds like Warner Brothers never did.

  • Randie

    Yes to Lynda Carter as a strong good feminist role model,but about Lindsay Wagner who played the intelligent,strong beautiful Bionic Woman in the mid 1970’s? She even won an Emmy award for her role in it.