Yvonne Craig

  Dead Famous

Yvonne Joyce Craig died on August 17, 2015 after battling cancer, the cancer metastasized to her liver, “She had been in chemo almost continuously for the past two plus years since being diagnosed and that had weakened her immune system as well as her body,” her family said in a statement, she was an American ballet dancer and actress best known for her role as Batgirl in the 1960s television series Batman, and as the Orion slave girl Marta in the Star Trek episode “Whom Gods Destroy” (1969).

She wanted to be a dancer, and she was good enough to dance professionally while still in high school. She performed with the prestigious Ballet Russe at the Metropolitan Opera, but very briefly.

In 1951, her family moved to the Oak Cliff neighborhood in Dallas, Texas, where she attended WH Adamson High School and then Sunset High School, from which she did not technically graduate due to the lack of “a single PE credit”.

During the 1960s, Craig regularly appeared in television drama series. Craig appeared five times on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, portraying five separate girlfriends for the titular character between 1959 and 1962.

Craig began her career as a ballet dancer with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, with which she toured for three years. She left to pursue an acting career in Hollywood, where she won small roles in films such as “Gidget” and “The Gene Krupa Story” (both 1959).

Craig appeared on Star Trek as Marta, a green-skinned Orion slave girl who wanted to kill Captain Kirk in the episode “Whom Gods Destroy” (1969). From September 1967, Craig appeared in her highest-profile role—as Batgirl—for the third and last season of the 1960sABC TV series Batman.

As Batgirl she wore a purple and yellow outfit and rode a “purple motorcycle with white lace trim”, whereas as her alter ego Barbara Gordon she played the librarian daughter of Commissioner Gordon.

After her time in show business, Craig worked in real estate, owned a company that markets prepaid telephone cards, and made frequent appearances at science fiction and comic book conventions.

She said she led a “quiet life at home,” but was frequently away on safari trips to Africa or white water rafting in Ecuador with her second husband, real estate magnate Kenneth Aldrich.

“Yvonne was a very, very sweet person who had a love of animals. She was a very spirited happy energetic person.

When she entered the room, everything seemed to light up. It was a tragic loss,” said her co-star Burt Ward, who portrayed Robin.

“Most of the joy in my current life can be traced back in some way to seeing Yvonne Craig be amazing as Batgirl, my first real life hero,” said Gail Simone, a former writer of the Batgirl comics.

“As a kid, I looked up to her as a superhero on television. As an adult, I looked up to her as a human being,” Sebring told CNN. “She and her sister Meridel became these two of the coolest aunts in my life.

And our friendship is something that I will never forget.”