Batgirl Yvonne Craig, pioneer of female superheroes, dead

  • Reuters, Los Angeles
  • Updated: Aug 20, 2015 15:40 IST
A file picture of Yvonne Craig. She portrayed the crime-fighting Batgirl in the 1960s TV hit, Batman. Craig died Monday, August 17, 2015 in her Los Angeles home from complications from breast cancer. She was 78. (Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc via AP)

Yvonne Craig, the American actor and dancer who played Batgirl in the 1960s TV series Batman, has died at the age of 78 after battling cancer, her family said on Wednesday. Craig, whose Batgirl character dressed in a glitzy purple bodysuit and yellow cape, was diagnosed with breast cancer some years ago and the cancer recently spread to her liver, her family said in a statement on her official website.

She died on Monday at her home in the Pacific Palisades neighborhood near Los Angeles, they said. Craig played Batgirl and her alter ego librarian Barbara Gordon in 1967 and 1968, opposite Adam West's Batman.

In 1969, she played Marta, a green-skinned Orion slave girl who attempted to kill Captain Kirk in television's Star Trek series. Throughout her career, she also made guest appearances on TV including on The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Fantasy Island, The Mod Squad and The Many Lives of Dobie Gillis.

In the early 1960s, she also starred in two movies opposite Elvis Presley in It Happened at the World's Fair and Kissin' Cousins. Craig originally trained as a ballet dancer and moved into acting in the late 1950s.

Craig's family said on her website that the actor had made clear in her final months that she wanted no-one to mourn for her "but instead celebrate the awesome life she had been fortunate enough to live. She felt that she lived a wonderful life and was blessed in many ways."

She is survived by her husband Kenneth Aldrich and sister Meridel Carson.

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