Best Known As 'Batgirl,' Yvonne Craig Dies At 78 Actress Yvonne Craig played opposite some of Hollywood's biggest names, including Bing Crosby and Elvis Presley. Her breakout role was in the 1960s Batman TV series starring Adam West.
NPR logo

Best Known As 'Batgirl,' Yvonne Craig Dies At 78

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/432978480/432978481" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Best Known As 'Batgirl,' Yvonne Craig Dies At 78

Best Known As 'Batgirl,' Yvonne Craig Dies At 78

Best Known As 'Batgirl,' Yvonne Craig Dies At 78

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/432978480/432978481" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Actress Yvonne Craig played opposite some of Hollywood's biggest names, including Bing Crosby and Elvis Presley. Her breakout role was in the 1960s Batman TV series starring Adam West.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And now some sad news from Gotham City.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The actress who originated the role of Batgirl in the 1960s "Batman" TV series has died.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "BATMAN")

YVONNE CRAIG: (As Batgirl) I'm Batgirl. You are no longer alone, caped crusaders.

INSKEEP: Yvonne Craig died of breast cancer at the age of 78. It is, though, a moment to remember a remarkable life, beginning with these questions.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "BATMAN")

BURT WARD: (As Robin) Who is she? Where'd she come from?

ADAM WEST: (As Batman) I have no idea, Robin.

GREENE: Well, we'll tell you. Yvonne Craig started out as a classically trained ballerina, which came in handy when she joined the "Batman" show for its third season.

INSKEEP: That's because Craig performed her own stunts, zonking and boinging bad guys alongside Batman and Robin.

GREENE: And she did this before Lynda Carter's Wonder Woman.

INSKEEP: Or Halle Berry's Storm. It was an era when a female hero had to subvert expectations to do her job.

GREENE: Yvonne Craig's Batgirl was out saving the boys when they thought they were saving her.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "BATMAN")

CRAIG: (As Batgirl) Now to get you out of those silk straitjackets.

WARD: (As Robin) Holy vanity case. What a time to powder her nose.

CRAIG: (As Batgirl) Correction, boy wonder. It's my electronic Batgirl Compact with a laser beam, which will destroy anything.

INSKEEP: And when she wasn't saving the boys, Craig was busy fighting for the girls, like in this 1970s public service announcement.

(SOUNDBITE OF PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT)

WEST: (As Batman) Quick, Batgirl. Untie us before it's too late.

CRAIG: (As Batgirl) It's already too late. I've worked for you a long time, and I'm paid less than Robin. Same job, same employer means equal pay for men and women.

WEST: (As Batman) No time for jokes, Batgirl.

CRAIG: (As Batgirl) It's no joke. It's the Federal Equal Pay Law.

WARD: (As Robin) Holy act of Congress.

GREENE: Yvonne Craig's death at age 78 is a moment to remember a character men needed a bit more than they thought they did.

Copyright © 2015 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.