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 jewelry.
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 humor, 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 enroll 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.
“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.
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 favor 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.
To Lynda Carter’s dismay, the feminist message was later watered down.
According to Carter, the network believed that Wonder Woman’s feminist commentary would scare away viewers and was therefore “hazardous.”
Other indications that little had changed in Hollywood were also present. For instance, when filming dangerous action sequences, the filmmakers wanted to utilize a male stunt double (with a hairy chest and enormous muscles). Evidently, using a female stunt was unheard of, which infuriated Lynda.
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.
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 outfit was excessively exposed.
“On the beach, I dressed less!” Carter rebuked him.
“It wasn’t just a bikini; it was the American flag dressed in one-piece.”
Lynda wasn’t going to capitalize 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 fantasized 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 believe it would be difficult for anyone to live with someone putting that photo up in their… bedroom or… living room or anything,” she remarked in an interview with the NBC television show Women Who Rate a 10.
After Wonder Woman’s triumph, Lynda Carter’s career took off in a big way. She shook hands with President Ronald Reagan, had her own musical TV specials, and had a notable guest spot on The Muppet Show.
Lynda was living the high life in a $1,200,000 French-styled home atop Benedict Canyon in Los Angeles after earning $1 million for 26 episodes of Wonder Woman. A group of German Shepherds were manning the mansion as security. She also has many Bentleys in her garage.
Her next notable performance was in the crime drama television series Partners in Crime, where she played Carole Stanwyck. Loni Anderson, another attractive and accomplished actress, was Lynda’s co-star in that role.
Lynda established Potomac Productions, her own production firm, in the 1990s. She also made countless TV movies appearances and worked as a voice actress a lot.
As the 2000 arrived, Lynda proceeded to make more movie appearances. She is arguably best known to younger audiences as Pauline from the big-screen adaptation of The Dukes of Hazzard (2005). She also dabbled with theater at the same time, obtaining a part in the London West End theater’s production of Chicago.
But the sophisticated and beautiful actress will always be known for the career-defining part she played in the 1970s. Lynda has had a tight connection to the superhero community. For instance, Lynda was one of the honorees according to DC Comics. Before the 2017 Wonder Woman movie’s principal photography started, Lynda was contacted by director Patty Jenkins in an effort to persuade her to appear in a cameo.
She had to decline the offer, though, because it conflicted with her schedule at the moment.
“At that time, we were unable to coordinate our timetable. So, if she writes me a good part for this time, I could agree to do it,” she said.
Lynda was also present in 2016 when the United Nations honored Wonder Woman as its “Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls” in honor of the 75th anniversary of her debut.
During the ceremony, Lynda stated, “The greatest honor and responsibility of playing Wonder Woman was serving as a role model for fans around the world, particularly females.”
“I’ve personally witnessed how a strong yet kind superhero can encourage women to believe in themselves and men to support equality,” the author said.
Lynda Carter had a romantic relationship with French singer-songwriter Michel Polnareff before she became Wonder Woman.
Lynda wed Ron Samuels, a talent agent and promoter, in May 1977. At an ABC affiliates party the year prior, the couple had first met. Samuels was a prominent figure in the entertainment industry in the late 1970s. He collaborated with actresses like Jennifer O’Neill, Joyce DeWitt, Jaclyn Smith, and Barbara Carreras.
When Ron invited Lynda to his office to talk business, their romance officially began. But they soon realized they were dating when their meetings, meals, and tennis matches changed.
Lynda was impressed with her future husband since Ron was a gorgeous, accomplished businessman. While Lynda’s remarkable beauty captivated Ron, he was also taken by her honesty and sincerity.
Ron was 35 and Lynda was 25 when they got married. Lynda donned a Victorian-inspired gown created by Don Feld, the person behind the famous Wonder Woman costume, at the ceremony.
Lynda and Ron were one of Hollywood’s most well-known couples for a while because they were wealthy, attractive, and young.
But the facade has a few dents.
Lynda has admitted she was miserable during the marriage, which lasted from 1977 until 1982, in hindsight. She described it as “an unpleasant phase” in her life in an interview with the New York Times. However, if you look back in the archives and read interviews with the pair at the halfway point of their relationship, specific issues are already apparent then.
For instance, the couple couldn’t agree on having kids. Ron preferred to put off having children while Lynda was eager to have a family. Her husband indicated he wanted to wait a another two years after those two had passed.
Lynda discussed the difficulties in the marriage in an interview with the Daily Press in 1980.
“When I’m in between projects, our relationship becomes the most stressful. I have sleep issues. And by myself, I pace. I scrutinize anything my husband says that makes me feel bad, even if it’s just one word. I review it countless times,” she remarked.
One of Tinseltown’s most desirable couples divorced in June 1982, and they parted ways.
“It was traumatic for both of us, so I hope he forgives me and I have forgiven him. And I truly and sincerely wish him the best,” Lynda said.
Lynda would discover love once more after her first spouse and her divorce. She wed Robert A. Altman, a lawyer from Washington, D.C., in 1984.
At their first encounter—a business dinner in Memphis, Tennessee—Lynda and Robert fell in love. Robert was convinced to attend the dinner by a friend. The event was organized by the cosmetic company Maybelline, for which Lynda served as a spokesperson. Robert was tempted by the friend’s promise that the Wonder Woman actress will be there.
Robert said, “I know she was a pretty actress who modeled for Maybelline, but I couldn’t quite place her.
“I had planned on returning to the hotel to watch a football game. The last thing I wanted was to go out to dinner and end up chatting with a Hollywood actress, in my opinion.”
Thankfully, Robert had a change of heart.
Lynda was seated next to her, and the two got along right away. Everyone at the dinner could clearly and strongly feel the desire. They were so enamored with one another, in fact, that it nearly struck the other diners as impolite. After leaving a pretty unhappy marriage, Lynda was overjoyed to meet Robert and was unable to contain her excitement.
“This is my second marriage, and Robert’s first. But it’s my first time, for me. My closest companion is Robert. Your spouse is meant to be your best friend, according to a saying I’ve heard. But I had never before encountered it. He supports me, and I support him. In 1985, Lynda spoke to Newsday and said, “A friend doesn’t try to dominate you.
In front of guests including Ed McMahon, Barbara Mandrell, and acting partner Loni Anderson, the pair exchanged vows at the Bel-Air Bay Club in Pacific Palisades, California.
The couple then made the decision to make Potomac, Maryland, their home. After finding the man of her dreams, Lynda made the decision to leave Hollywood and retire from the spotlight.
James Altman (born January 1988) and Jessica Carter Altman, the couple’s two children, were her and her husband’s main priorities after relocating to their 20,000-square-foot Georgian-style estate in Potomac (born October 7, 1990).
Lynda shared some of her motherhood-related thoughts in 2018, and it is clear how much her kids have meant to her.
“It turns out that becoming a mother was my greatest journey of all. And I have enjoyed every second of it,” she said in a Mother’s Day Instagram post alongside a picture of her children.
Even though Lynda Carter is now 71 years old, she is still involved in the entertainment business. Nevertheless, she has had a really difficult few years.
She was compelled to say goodbye to her cherished husband in February 2021. Robert, who was 73 years old, tragically passed away in a Baltimore hospital after being diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia.
Indeed, Lynda has suffered greatly as a result of Robert’s passing. She attempted to express her sorrow in words in February of this year when she uploaded a picture of herself and her late husband.
“You would have turned 75 years old today. Because of the affection you generously gave, I cannot let you go. It continues to exist in us—me, our kids, and all the others whose lives you touched. We honor your love, your life, and your legacy today because you gave so much of yourself while you were here.
“Today, if I were atop a mountain, I would sing to you from its canyons. Instead, I woke up to the sunrise over the water and sung you a song of my heart and love.
Lynda has recently been outspoken about her drinking issues as well. The actress herself claims that she began drinking as a result of her unhappy first marriage. She is currently enjoying more than 20 years of sobriety, though.
When she needed assistance, her husband Robert was a major support to her; he served as her “hero in shining armor” as she fought for her recovery.
“For 23 years, I’ve been in recovery. And it wasn’t until I was in my mid-20s that I ever started drinking. I used to stop drinking for two or three years before resuming, and it felt awful. I’m now quite pleased, and that was a long time ago,” she remarked in 2021.
Watch her interview here: