Anyone over the age of 35 should remember who played Wonder Woman on TV in the late 1970s. The hit TV show featured a then-unknown actress in the role of the popular female superhero. Lynda Carter's portrayal of the Amazonian warrior woman and her alter ego, Diana Prince, was immensely popular with fans.
Linda Jean Cordova Carter was born in Phoenix, Arizona to a Mexican immigrant mother and an Irish-American father. This blended heritage gave Linda a beautiful and exotic look, with black hair and blue eyes. Linda was talented as a child and took singing and dancing lessons. As a teenager, she sang in a rock band that enjoyed limited regional success.
Beauty and Brains
Carter entered a Phoenix beauty pageant and easily won, launching a successful run in beauty pageants. Carter eventually won the Miss Arizona pageant as well as the Miss World USA pageant. She attended acting schools in New York before moving to Hollywood in 1974, where she received bit parts in some popular shows, including Starsky and Hutch, and a few low budget movies.
Carter, who had by now changed her name's spelling to Lynda, earned the title role of the new Wonder Woman television project in 1975. Fans were thrilled at Carter's portrayal of the strong and sexy superhero and the series earned continuously high ratings. Marketing material quickly followed, from Wonder Woman posters and lunch boxes to dolls and Halloween costumes.
The Wonder Woman TV Series
Wonder Woman made its debut in 1975 as a television movie, followed quickly by two one-hour specials. Because of the overwhelming popularity, CBS picked it up as a series in 1976. While several of the elements surrounding Wonder Woman's history and abilities were modified for the show, the most famous addition came about surrounding Diana Prince's ability to transform into her super alter ego. Carter came up with the Wonder Woman spin that allowed the mild-mannered Prince to transform into her superhero costume. The series was re-released on VHS in the late 1990s and the Wonder Woman video series featured collector's edition interviews and behind the scenes footage. DVDs of the series were released in the mid 2000s, including commentary, documentaries and bonus scenes.