TV’s Batgirl Yvonne Craig Dies at 78

Yvonne Craig Dead

Yvonne Craig, the actress best known for her role as Batgirl in the 1960’s “Batman” TV series, died on Monday. She was 78.

Craig passed away at her home in Pacific Palisades surrounded by her family, according to her spokesman. She had been suffering from breast cancer that metastasized to her liver.

Craig also played Martha, the green Orion Slave Girl who wanted to kill Captain Kirk, in the third season of “Star Trek.”

Her guest appearances on TV include “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,” “Fantasy Island,” “The Mod Squad” and “The Many Lives of Dobie Gillis.”

She also starred in two movies opposite Elvis Presley, “It Happened at the World’s Fair” and “Kissin’ Cousins.”

In 2000, Craig wrote a book entitled “From Ballet to the Batcave and Beyond,” which covered some of her years in the ballet as well as her theatrical career.

She is survived by her husband, Kenneth Aldrich, her sister Meridel Carson and nephews Christopher and Todd Carson.

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  1. Chris Sullivan says:

    I grew up loving Yvonne Craig as Batgirl – along with my best friend at the time. Batgirl was not only inspirational to young women, but to many young gay men as well. Last year, after 37 1/2 years apart – I reconnected with my childhood best friend online and my first message to him was about Yvonne Craig and Batgirl (someone I knew he would remember me by). Our relationship renewed and we got married this past June. Both of us always carried great affection for Yvonne and the Batgirl character. My husband turned 50 the day Yvonne passed – and oddly enough – we had discussed taking a car ride up to pass by her residence to help celebrate the day. To learn of her passing the same day we had thought about driving by was so amazing. It felt like she was reaching out to us in some unknowable way before her time to move on came about. Although we never got to meet her, she will always live in our hearts and hold a special and cherished place in our memories. Rest in peace Dear Yvonne – Chris and Neil will always cherish the many wonderful times your wonderful spirit enriched our lives.

  2. Heidi Gouge says:

    RIP Yvonne Craig. I emailed her years ago to thank her for being one of my first positive female role models. She portrayed a character that was smart, independent, courageous, strong, gorgeous, and could keep up with and outwit the boys. Pretty influential stuff for a 7 year-old.

    And Ms. Craig kindly responded to my email with appreciation.

  3. Carlos Ruiz says:

    Mi más sentido pésame desde Argentina por la muerte de tan destacada actriz .-

  4. Paul J. Coyne, A.C.E. says:

    So heartbroken.

    I am just destroyed right now over the passing of Yvonne Craig. She was one of the brightest lights in our lives when my 25 year old wife Elaine was diagnosed with cancer and I want people to know who she was to me in real life..

    While others may have admired her from the other side of the TV screen, I came to know her in a very real way. Words cannot express how much this one hits me.

    Like everyone else my age, I grew up watching Batman. I saw the reruns in my little Massachusetts town right when I hit puberty and Batgirl was, along with The Bionic Woman, my teenage crush. Once she put on that purple suit, she owned me.

    Many years later, after going to film school and saving all my money, I moved to Los Angeles with my wife and found an internship on a documentary about Rita Hayworth. I became good friends with another intern on the project, Christopher Carson, who would enlist me to work with him on his student film about dolphin abuses in the tuna and amusement park industries. The film would go on to win a number of awards and is, to this day, one of the films I’ve edited that I am most proud of.

    One night, and I don’t remember how it came up, Chris mentioned that his mother’s sister was Yvonne Craig. I must have turned red knowing I was one degree away from my teenage crush. I told my wife Elaine the news and she reminded me that Yvonne was on my “List” of people I could get with if ever given the opportunity. My face grew redder.

    When Chris graduated, he invited me to a graduation party at Yvonne’s apartment. On the way there, I was so nervous. My wife Elaine thought that maybe we should reassess the “List” and decide that it was something more fun in the fantasy world than in reality. That only made me more nervous.

    I walked into her apartment in 1991 and there she was. She was older and she was shorter than I expected, but she was every bit as attractive as I had imagined. But the attraction wasn’t found in a skin-tight leotard. She glowed with a light from within. She genuinely glowed. Her smile was honest. Her laugh was deep and sincere. She told me stories about working with William Shatner and Adam West. She made sure I ate a lot of food because she knew I was a poor intern.

    She asked my wife Elaine and I about our young marriage and instead of being skeptical about our deciding to get married after only two weeks, she embraced it. She told me she could feel the love between us. She told us, “you two are gifts to each other. Open them every day.” I left more in love with her than I had ever been as a pubescent teen.

    A couple of years later, Elaine started to complain of pain in her hips. After some tests, we found that she had a tumor which had spread to her lungs. The prognosis was not good, even though she was only 24. I let friends know that we would be moving back to Massachusetts after her first round of chemo. One of those people was my friend Chris Carson.

    I worked during the day to raise money for our move, and spent late nights with Elaine in the hospital. I was sleeping 3 hours a night. It was the hardest time of my life.

    A few weeks later I got a call from Yvonne, asking if there was anything she could do to help. I didn’t want to impose and told her things were fine. She refused to believe me and said she was coming over the next day and I better have things for her to do.

    She came by a couple of times a week from that point on, driving an hour and a half to get to our tiny apartment. She did our laundry, she cooked us meals. She released me from the things I shouldn’t have been worrying about. When I told Elaine about it, she sighed. “How many other cancer patients have a true superhero working for them?” she said. Elaine also joked that my fantasy had come true. Batgirl had put her hands in my pants. Yes, it was as she was folding my laundry but that was just a detail.

    The hardest part of her chemo came around Christmastime and Yvonne offered to come over and wrap our Christmas presents for me. She spent hours wrapping gifts while I worked on paying our bills. We talked as friends and I will always remember her, truthfully, as one of the sweetest women I have ever known. Every syllable threw a spark into my soul. As she finished wrapping the presents, I saw her rubbing her wrist and asked if she was okay. I found out later she had carpal tunnel syndrome and she was in pain throughout the entire night.

    She didn’t care, because she cared about others more.

    One day she handed Elaine a sequined baseball hat with African designs on it. She said trumpeter Dizzie Gillespie had given it to her. She said to Elaine, “I love this hat and I want you to wear it when you feel like you don’t have enough music in your heart.”

    We moved back east and Elaine passed away at the age of 26, one year later. She wore that hat often and kept a photo of Yvonne as Batgirl near her bedside throughout her illness. She was the superhero on her side.

    A few years after Elaine passed away, I returned to Los Angeles and reconnected with Chris. We worked on another project together and at a premiere screening, Yvonne attended. She saw me first and threw her arms around me. She had tears, but she also had a huge smile. I told her everything she had meant to us and she reacted as if I was overdoing it. To her, she had only acted as a human being should.

    I loved Yvonne Craig. As a teenager who fell for the mythical creature, and as an adult who fell for her most loving heart.

    Many years went by and I eventually remarried. We gave birth to a spirited daughter who, by the age of three, had become a big fan of superheroes. I told her I knew the real Batgirl and she asked me, “Is she really a superhero?”

    I told her she was.

    Chris has told me that he has shared videos of my daughter with Yvonne, especially one of my daughter dressed as Batgirl, pretending to climb sideways up the side of a building. Yes, my daughter had figured out that mythical superheroes sometimes do things in the real world.

    It is not a lie to say that I have thought the world a brighter place because I knew that Yvonne Craig was part of it. Look at images of her smiling and you will see what I mean.

    Rest in peace, Yvonne Craig. Aunt of Christoper Carson, hero of millions, glowing friend who washed my towels and gave us a hat. That last part was one of the most beautiful and selfless gifts in my life.

  5. Patti Kane says:

    She also played one of the friends of Sandra Dee in Gidget, as did I. I remember her well, bouncing along the beach at Malibu as we tried to “vamp” Jimmy Darren and the others. She was a delight as well as a great talent. RIP, Yvonne.

  6. Robert Townsley says:

    Another sad reminder for us septuagenarian’s who still can’t believe how fast life has gone by !

  7. Chelsea says:

    RIP Yvonne Craig.

  8. a fan says:

    Sad to hear, remember her well. I was pre-teen young around time of TV BATMAN but remember these shows well, always wondered what becomes of some of these actors.They entertained us, were good @ their craft. Condolences to family.

  9. macd says:

    I just saw Ms. Craig a few days ago on a Perry Mason episode on the MeTV channel. She was lovely indeed.

  10. demoncat4 says:

    how sad for not only have trekers lost another one of those who were part of the original one. but also batgirl has given up her cape and cowl for good. sympathy to her friends and family for their loss of a talent , this sadly also leaves only three cast members from the batman tv series still around.

  11. Andy Shick says:

    the many lOves of Dobie Gillis

  12. Rick says:

    RIP Bat Girl and The Green Onion Slave Girl in Star trek

  13. Jerry Sherman says:

    Yvonne Craig was a great actress and will be missed by many.

  14. Gone but definitely not forgotten

  15. R.I.P.
    I loved her in ‘Kissin’ Cousins’ as well as ‘Batman’.

  16. dangerman1973 says:

    #LeonardNimoy #RoddyPiper #JamesHorner my own dad and now her. THE MOST TRAGIC YEAR EVER. :(

  17. Chris Darling says:

    She was my heartthrob as a young boy. And she seemed to be on every TV series I watched for most of my youth. Farewell Batgirl.Hope we meet again, same Bat time, same Bat channel.

  18. Earl says:

    RIP Yvonne…

  19. Chris says:

    Met Yvonne at a holiday party a few years ago. She was so charming and she talked with great relish about her love for the ballet. Condolences to her loved ones.

  20. Chuck Kopsho says:

    I remember when she was in an episode of Irwin Allen’s Land of the Giants. Bruce Dern was also in the episode. Yvonne and Bruce played a pair of time travelers. RIP.

  21. God Bless You Pretty Lady And All Of The Loved Ones You Left Behind :(

  22. j doherty says:

    Loved it when she would appear on Batman! Rest now and be at peace.

  23. Andrew Buydens says:

    It was Marta, not Martha, on Star Trek.
    Sexiest green skinned alien ever.

    RIP Yvonne. Your fans miss you already.
    Thanks for all the entertainment and memories.

  24. Steve g A says:

    May you Rest in Peace and may your family find peace at this time

  25. Norman Stanley says:

    R.I.P Batgirl

  26. cadavra says:

    Another giant chunk of my childhood gone. Sigh…

  27. JOE S HILL says:

    What a stunning loss! i had the pleasure of meeting Yvonne Craig in early 1990,along with the late Mark Lenard,at a Creations Star Trek convention-a very lovely and sweet lady,who’ll always personify the image of “Batgirl”,,a serious and heartbreaking loss-may she seriously rest in peace,,she will be missed!

  28. “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis,” not, “The Many Lives of Dobie Gillis.”

  29. JOE S HILL says:

    You people,with the infomercial stuff-you mind not posting your bullshit scams on these sights-fans are in mourning here,and i think it’s damned rude and stupid to inject your commercial rubbish-you get the message Leelacosta,,keep your trash out of these areas!!

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