Wonder Woman is an American television series, adapted from the DC Comics comic book superhero, originally created by Charles Moulton. The Amazon goddess fought evil and eventually joined a covert military agency. Let’s take a look at the stars of this popular superhero series and check out essential facts.
How Did Wonder Woman Begin?
Wonder Woman (1974), starring Cathy Lee Crosby, was first a TV movie, directed by Vincent McEveety. ABC described the ratings for the pilot as "respectable but not exactly wondrous," so the TV network did not move forward with the show at that time.
After that, Warner Brothers and ABC took the script (and show) in a different direction with The New, Original Wonder Woman (1975), starring Lynda Carter. (Crosby claimed that she turned down the part.) Based on Carter's successful appearance, ABC ordered two more episodes: "Wonder Woman Meets Baroness Von Gunther" and "Fausta: The Nazi Wonder Woman." The network ordered another 11 episodes, and then CBS ordered a full 22 episodes.
Comic Book Sync
The Wonder Woman TV series was closely linked with the Charles Moulton's comic-book superhero. Like her comic-book counterpart, the TV superhero was an Amazon princess, one of DC's most powerful superheroes. In order to keep up with Wonder Woman. DC Comics synced the show with their comics.
So, for example, when the show Wonder Woman was set in the 1940s, the creators made sure that the Earth 2 version matched. Thus, when the Wonder Woman TV show shifted to modern times, the creators adjusted the comic book time frame accordingly.
Lynda Carter (Wonder Woman)
Lynda Carter was an international phenomenon, as a 1972 Miss World beauty-pageant contestant, even before she became the goddess-like Wonder Woman/Diana Prince on the popular Wonder Woman TV series (1977-1980).
Although she quickly became a fem-phenom, she never wanted to be a pin-up or sex symbol. As she told US magazine: "I never meant to be a sexual object for anyone but my husband. I never thought a picture of my body would be tacked up in men's bathrooms. I hate men looking at me and thinking what they think. And I know what they think. They write and tell me."
Lynda Carter = Stunt Woman
During the Wonder Woman series, Lynda Carter played the part of a superhero. So, of course, the script called for the character to perform many superhuman feats. Famously, Carter performed many of her own stunts, including hanging from a helicopter while in mid-air. In that particular incident, she also didn't wear the protective wrist guards, a safety measure intended to prevent a fall.
Carter's daredevil antics upset the TV network, probably with good reason. Imagine the PR nightmare if she was hurt and the public found out that the network had allowed their beloved star to place herself in such danger.
Richard Eastham (General Philip Blankenship)
Richard Eastham played the role of General Philip Blankenship on the Wonder Woman TV show. He drew from his personal experience, in the United States Army during World War II, which lent the performance an authenticity that producers wanted.
On the show, General Blankenship works as part of the War Department in Washington DC, with Steve Trevor, to stop the Nazis. The part was first played by John Randolph but was taken over by Richard Eastham after the pilot episode. On July 10, 2005, Eastham passed away from complications due to Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 89.
Lyle Waggoner (Steve Trevor/Steven Trevor, Jr)
Lyle Waggoner pulled double duty when he joined the Wonder Woman cast. He played both Steve Trevor and son Steven Trevor, Jr. Waggoner recalls the part of Steve as "a real gung-ho kind of guy." It was Wonder Woman's role to rescue him, no matter what sort of trouble he got into.
With his dual-role on Wonder Woman, Waggoner appealed to a younger audience. He's also known for his work on The Carol Burnett Show (1975-1979). Before his memorable acting career took off, he was an Army radio operator and an encyclopedia salesperson.
Bradford Dillman (Arthur Deal III)
Bradford Dillman played the Nazi spy, Arthur Deal III (code named "Thor"), on the Wonder Woman series. With his dark hair and aristocratic charm and good looks, he was perfect for the part of the hand-picked investigator, appointed by President Roosevelt. Ironically, Deal was responsible for framing Steve Trevor (Lyle Waggoner) as a Nazi spy. In his evil, villainous role, Deal worked with Baroness von Gunther for months to fabricate the appearance of Trevor's traitorous dealings with Germany.
Dillman continued to play shady, edgy, even-villainous characters. The California native also wrote two books: the 1997 football fan book Inside the New York Giants and his 1997 autobiography Are You Anybody?: An Actor’s Life.
Christine Belford (Baroness Von Gunther)
Christine Belford portrayed Wonder Woman’s enemy Baroness Paula von Gunther on the Wonder Woman series. As a recurring arch-nemesis, she battled the Amazons, but she was also a murderer. She heads up the US-based espionage ring, Abwehr, and she worked with Arthur Deal III to frame Steve Turner as a Nazi spy.
Early on, in her career, Belford modeled, but also took on a number of other jobs. As she once said, she played a "waitress, a bar maid, and I also drove an ice truck." Her work on TV included appearances on Ironside, The Six Million Dollar Man, Hart to Hart, The Incredible Hulk, Family Ties, The Golden Girls, Beverly Hills 90210, and Battlestar Galactica. More recently, she's done voicework for narrations, animations, promotional spots, and commercials.
Lynda Day George (Fausta Grables)
Lynda Day George portrayed the role of Fausta Grables, who is also known as the Nazi Wonder Woman, on the Wonder Woman TV series. She poses as Wonder Woman on the show, and even kidnaps Diana (Wonder Woman, played by Lynda Carter). Her main goal in coming to American, though, was to uncover the truth about the real Wonder Woman.
Other memorable parts included her role as Lisa Casey on Mission: Impossible (1966), as well as guest-star roles on The Love Boat (1977) and Charlie's Angels (1976). She appeared in numerous films with her husband, Christopher George, but gave up acting after he died of a heart attack.
Beatrice Colen (Etta Candy)
Beatrice Colen, the granddaughter of George S. Kaufman, played the role of Wonder Woman’s sidekick and best friend, Etta Candy, for the first season of the Wonder Woman series. You'll remember Etta as the vivacious young woman who seemed eager to jump in wherever she was needed.
The Etta character was dropped in after the first season, but Colen went on to take on the part of Marsha Simms on the sitcom Happy Days. She also appeared in Schoolboy Father (1980), Brave New World, Lifeguard, High Anxiety, American Pop, and Who's That Girl? On November 18, 1999,Cohen passed away at the age of 51 from lung cancer.
Debra Winger (Drusilla/Wonder Girl)
Debra Winger portrayed Drusilla (a.k.a Wonder Girl), daughter of Hippolyta, on the Wonder Woman show. Hippolyta sent Drusilla to America to urge Diana to return. Diana decided to convince Drusilla of the importance of Wonder Woman. During a car trip with General Blankenship, Nazi spies abducted the general and inspired Drusilla to transform into Wonder Girl.
Winger feared that her Wonder Girl role would typecast her, making it more difficult for her to snag big movie roles. She bought herself out of her contract with the money she made from the show. The producers also wanted to make a Wonder Girl spin-off show, but she declined the offer. After leaving the show, she has found received three Oscar nominations for Best Actress for her work in An Officer and a Gentleman, Terms of Endearment, and Shadowlands.
Jayne Kennedy (Carolyn Hamilton)
Jayne Kennedy played the role of Carolyn Hamilton on Wonder Woman. She appeared in one 1977 episode titled "Knockout." In the episode, Carolyn Hamilton is an undercover cop with the San Francisco Police Department. She later became involved with a terror organization but turned back to the good side with Steve Trevor and Wonder Woman’s help.
Aside from Wonder Woman, Kennedy appeared as Hamilton in four different episodes of Wonder Woman '77 Meets the Bionic Woman, this time as the character Nubia. Later, Kennedy starred in the film Body and Soul, which earned her the 1982 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture award.
Cloris Leachman (Queen Hippolyta)
Iconic actress Cloris Leachman played the role of Queen Hippolyta, mother of Diana, on the Wonder Woman TV series. She is a mentor to Diana, but she rarely ventures from Paradise Island, where she leads the reclusive Amazons. In the story line, the queen had reservations about Diana volunteering to escort Major Steve Trevor back to the US, but Diana discussed herself and won every trial/contest. She had no choice but to allow Diana to be the emissary.
While the role of Queen Hippolyta was initially played by Leachman in the Wonder Woman series, Carolyn Jones took on the part in The Feminum Mystique. Also, the part was taken on by Beatrice Straight in The Return of Wonder Woman, which aired in the second season.
Lyle Waggoner as Batman?
Lyle Waggoner famously auditioned for the role of Batman on the Batman series (1966-1968). As you must know, Adam West was the actor chosen for the role. The Batman series is famous for its crime-fighting duo who take on villains in a campy, slightly irreverent and simplistic style.
Teenagers were the target audience, and the messaging included reminders to use seat belts, eat veggies and drink milk, and even do homework. All-in-all, 129 episodes aired, which helped to inspire Matt Zoller Seitz and Allan Sepinwall to rank it #82 on the list of Greatest American TV Shows.
Stanley Ralph Ross
A veritable superhero aficionado (he wrote for the 1960s Batman episodes), Ross contributed a great deal to the creation (and success) of the Wonder Woman TV episodes. Ross declined a previous offer to contribute to the earlier iteration of the Wonder Woman series because of the casting choices. Apparently, he did not find the original Wonder Woman to be right for the job.
And like we mentioned, he was a superhero aficionado, so he obviously had very strong feelings on the matter. Famously, Ross played a big role in casting Lynda Carter for the Wonder Woman role. But, even Lyle Waggoner would later say that she perfectly fit the part of Wonder Woman (when he ran lines with her in his initial audition).
Tom Kratochvil - IRAC (Information Retrieval Associative Computer)
Tom Kratochvil played the part of the intelligent computer, IRAC (Information Retrieval Associative Computer, better known as Ira), who first made an appearance in the second season of Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman used IRAC to make and store the records of her other identity: Diana Prince.
Kratochvil also completed voiceover work for other TV series including The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries, Is The Life (1952), and Paw Paws (1985). In one “oops” of an episode (“I.R.A.C. is Missing,” to be exact) IRAC was said to stand for “Internal Retrieval Associative Computer” as opposed to “Information Retrieval Associative Computer.”
First Time for Warner Bros.
The Wonder Woman TV series was the first time Warner Bros. had the opportunity to handle property from DC Comics once they were both owned by Warner Communications (now Time Warner). And we can probably safely assume that they're glad this was their first shot, seeing as it was so insanely successful. Wonder Woman is only getting more popular.
Time Warner is now the conglomerate with subsidiary companies including DC Comics, Warner Bros. Studios, Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Bros. Television, Warner Bros. Animation, Warner Home Video, and The CW Television Network. More recently, the union of DC Comics and Warner Bros led to box office hits like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Presto Chango: Wonder Woman's Transformation
Wonder Woman’s transformation is one of the most memorable moments of the show. In the first two episodes, Lynda Carter would slowly spin her clothes off, but she came up with the Wonder Woman spin. And once she came up with said spin, well, the rest was history. It was just too cool not to use!
As she told Entertainment Weekly, "They couldn't figure out how I would make the change," she said of the network. "So I said, 'I can do a pirouette or a spin.'" Since the producers thought it would be too time-consuming, they opted to use a ball of light instead. This switch happened in episode three.
Who Else Wanted to Be Wonder Woman?
Lynda Carter was not the only one that wanted to portray Wonder Woman on the TV screen. She had plenty of competition for the role. Joanna Cassidy, who won a Golden Globe Award for "Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical" was one of the other actors who was most interested in the role.
In addition, Angie Bowie, who was married to the late David Bowie, auditioned. The stories of how the starring actress was chosen are fascinating, but so too is the reality that many other, very talented actresses were considered for the main role of Diana, in Wonder Woman.
Wonder Woman's Jet Is Controlled Telepathically
The Invisible Jet that Wonder Woman flies throughout the series has another characteristic that’s even more exciting that being invisible; Wonder Woman can control and summon it using telepathy. Originally, the concept of the Invisible Jet was created in order to be an allegory for the invisible compliance of females to the patriarchy in the 1940s.
According to sources, “The Invisible Plane would be undetected while moving quietly at supersonic speeds so that it would not be shot down by the guns of Man’s World. The idea was avoidance of conflict rather than meeting hostility head on.”
The Bracelets Of Submission
Wonder Woman’s bracelets, known as the Bracelets of Submission acted as a force protecting her from anything that came her way. From gunshots to explosions to even impact from a fall, Wonder Woman’s bracelets saved her from many a close call.
To create this effect in the show, Carter explained that, “[the property master] wired, almost like matchsticks, these little loads in the front where the stars were and within those stars there were some wires. Those wires went up the back of my wrist and into the palm of my hand… I would fire them depending on which arm was taking the shot. It was pretty ingenious,” Mental Floss reports.
The Bracelets Were Made from Zeus' Shield
Lore has it that Wonder Woman’s indestructible Bracelets of Submission were crafted from the remains of her father’s (Zeus) destroyed shield. His shield, named Aegis, was originally made out of the hide of a goat. After they were turned into Wonder Woman’s bracelets, there were able to draw on the power of Aegis.
No wonder they’re unbreakable. Sources say that William Moulton Marston incorporated the bracelets when creating Wonder Woman “as an allegory for his philosophy on loving submission and the emotional control associated with it in order to balance out the strength of the human ego.”
Leif Garrett Made an Appearance on the Show
Smartly timed to match up with the release of his new album, pop heartthrob of the ‘70s Leif Garrett played twins on an episode of Wonder Woman in 1978. In the episode, Wonder Woman had to save Leif and his twin. And, of course, he performed his hit song “I Was Made For Dancing” in the last scene of the episode.
Garrett made his guest appearance in the third season of The New Adventures of Wonder Woman and apparently, the writers were at this point trying to appeal to younger audiences. Garrett’s appearance didn’t stop the show from cancellation and it didn’t save him from a later drug addiction later in his life.
A New Wonder Woman for a New World
After a long hiatus, Wonder Woman made a comeback in pop culture in 2016 as a supporting character in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. However, this new version of Wonder Woman bears a different attitude and costume than the Wonder Woman of Lynda Carter’s day.
The new Wonder Woman is darker and edgier, as is the style with the characters in the DC Cinematic Universe of the 21st century. Her brief appearance in the 2016 superhero flick sparked enough interest for Wonder Woman to get her own film, which is due out in June 2017, starring newcomer Gal Gadot.
What Does Lynda Carter Think?
Since hearing of plans that Wonder Woman would be brought to life to accentuate the growing DC Cinematic Universe, Lynda Carter says she’s happy that a new Wonder Woman is coming to screens. When Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was slated to premiere and there were talks of a new Wonder Woman making an appearance, Carter told British publication Express in 2015: “I hope that the film is good. It is odd that it is an Israeli actress and not an American but she seems to be very pretty and I wish her well.”
After the movie came out, many people were upset over Wonder Woman’s minor role, but news has since come out about Wonder Woman’s feature film. Of her appearance in the prior film, Carter has said, “It’s not a bad way to reintroduce her that way.”
Lynda Carter Today
Somehow Lynda Carter has managed to remain stunning and age gracefully in an industry that is known to not be so nice to its people. But don’t let her poise fool you, Carter still has moves! Following her stint as the 1970s-era Wonder Woman, Lynda spent the 1980s performing on stage as a showgirl at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas!
Years later in 2007, she went on tour for her one-woman cabaret show, "An Evening with Lynda Carter." In 2015, she even wrote and recorded songs for the latest installment of the Fallout 4 video games. Now that’s some diverse talent!
An Icon for Generations
While some people viewed Wonder Woman as an object of male fantasy, Carter has always emphasized how much the show was supposed to be empowering for women.
In a 2016 interview with The New York Times, Carter said, “I still have women at airports coming up to me saying: ‘Oh, you don’t know what it meant to me...That’s really where the fantasy became a reality, where Wonder Woman became something much more than a TV show or a comic book… If a guy comes up and says, ‘Oh my God, I had such a crush on you when I was a teenager,’ I say: ‘Talk to the hand. I don’t want to know.’”
She Will Always Be Typecast
Because of Lynda Carter’s original role as Wonder Woman, she is seemingly always typecast as a superheroine, save for movies like Dukes of Hazzard.
When asked if she had a problem with being typecast, Carter told Film Monthly, “I’ll always be typecast. It’s moniker: Wonder Woman is: Lynda ‘Wonder Woman’ Carter.” Carter expressed that she’s proud of the role that made her famous, because it said a lot about that times: “You have to remember the time period, and in the ‘70s the only women on television were comediennes doing half-hour or variety shows… But things have changed a lot and it was great to be kind of pioneering women in television and having the people that makes these projects realise that there’s a huge market for female characters and doesn’t have to be about guns and guys.”
Life After Wonder Woman
After finishing Wonder Woman, Carter divorced her first husband, Ron Samuels, who was her former talent agent. Having to deal with that and the stigma of being seen as a heroine the rest of her life, Carter turned to something darker: alcoholism.
Express reports that Carter has said, “Alcoholism is an abyss. You are terrified of the addiction. You just can’t stop. The disease has taken over, it is not a matter of having will-power. Addiction feels so shameful but it really is a disease, and if you have got the gene that turns it on, it is devastating.” Carter says that the alcoholism was really bad after the scandal that her second husband found himself in.
Carter's Second Marriage
In 1984, Carter remarried attorney Robert A. Altman, giving up her Los Angeles lifestyle to live with him in Washington, D.C. In the early ‘90s, Altman and his partner, Clark Clifford, found themselves amidst the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) scandal.
Altman and Clifford at the time ran First American Bankshares and were “indicted on charges of fraud and lying to banking regulators about First American’s illegal ownership by the… BCCI, a shadowy global institution,” according to a report by The Washington Post. Throughout the trial, Carter was seen at her husband’s side, adamantly declaring that he was not guilty.
While Altman and his partner were ultimately acquitted, the whole ordeal led Carter’s alcoholism to spiral out of control.
At the time, she also had two young children with Altman, for whom she says she wasn’t really present, she told Express, “I didn’t drink during my pregnancies but I wasn’t really present for my two children, though my kids never saw me out of control. But when I had a drink I couldn’t stop. Most people have a drink and feel a little high but I’d feel nothing. My liver doesn’t process alcohol until I’ve had three drinks. Then I’d fall off the cliff of under the table.”
Carter Gets Better
By the new millennium, despite how good Carter was at keeping her problem concealed, her family was still well aware of her drinking issue. Her husband eventually urged her to get help for the sake of their marriage and children, who were by then 20 and 17 years old.
In 2008, Carter opened up to People magazine about how rehab has helped her fight her addiction. At the time of the interview, Carter had been sober for nearly ten years, saying that “the best measure of a human being… is how we treat the people who love us, and the people that we love.”
Carter Opens Up
In 2002, Carter appeared on Larry King Live and opened up about her experiences in rehab while battling her alcoholism. After being asked what it was like, Carter said, “It’s like going back to school That’s the way I felt about it. You go to classes all day long and take notes and participate in group discussions...”
After King asked if talking about alcohol all day would make you want it more, Carter said, “No… It has never bothered me if I’m not drinking. That’s why it’s such a disease. I never even think about it… there’s so much freedom in that, just not having to even think twice about it.”
Stanley Ralph Ross
Co-creator Stanley Ralph Ross can be credited with gifting us with the Wonder Woman television series we know and love today. Having previously written a third of the episodes for the 1960s Batman television series, Ross was approached to help bring Wonder Woman to television.
An earlier iteration of Wonder Woman was created by television writers Stan Hart and Larry Siegel in 1967, but he declined because he didn’t agree with the casting of Cathy Lee Crosby and how Wonder Woman was represented. After that version tanked, he was brought in to develop a version of Wonder Woman that stayed true to the comics and was instrumental in casting Lynda Carter and Lyle Waggoner.
Wonder Woman Is Multi-Ethnic
If you think there are diversity issues in the media in this day and age, imagine how big of a deal it was to have Lynda Carter cast in a main superheroine role in the 1970s! Carter, whose mother was of Mexican heritage, made Wonder Woman a multi-ethnic comic-book superhero.
While her father is of English and Scots-Irish ancestry, Carter’s mother is of Mexican, Spanish, and French descent. Even though Wonder Woman can be considered a representation of an all-American girl of the 1970s, it wouldn’t make sense for her to be assigned to any one ethnicity, since she’s supposed to be from a different planet anyway!
She's Also a Princess
According to the original comics, Wonder Woman’s origin story reveals that she is Diana of the tribe of Amazon women who live on Paradise Island. Paradise Island is also known as Themyscira, which is a fictional island nation on Earth. Wonder Woman’s homeland is Themyscira, where she is known as Princess Diana of Themyscira.
As Princess Diana and the daughter of Queen Hippolyta, Wonder Woman is a demigoddess and warrior princess of the Amazonian people. She is also a founding member of the Justice League. As an ambassador of Themyscira, it is Wonder Woman’s duty to bring peace to the outside world.
Wonder Woman Is for Women
In an interview with PBS, Lynda Carter said, “Wonder Woman is an archetype, what she represents. She’s certainly not against men. It’s not about being against men and ‘I can show you I’m stronger than you,’ but it is a woman who is not a victim and will not be a victim, and ‘I’m telling you now, don’t mess with me,’ …She’s also a woman’s woman, she’s not trying to be all that, she’s not after your guy…"
"When I played the role I wanted women to have that feeling toward Wonder Woman and Diana, the alter ego which many people don’t talk about very often.”
How did Carter make this translate to Diana Prince?
Diana Prince Is a Feminist
And Lynda Carter is, too. Unhappy about the way in which she felt Wonder Woman’s alter ego, Diana Prince, was being dumbed down, Carter spoke up. She thought Prince was an invaluable insight into who Wonder Woman really was and that making her into a stereotype of a helpless woman hurt rather than helped the storyline.
While Lynda Carter was trying to make Wonder Woman and Diana Prince a valuable contribution to society, Carter’s image as Wonder Woman was still taken the wrong way at time. Carter told Us magazine: “I never meant to be a sexual object for anyone but my husband… I hate men looking at me and thinking what they think. And I know what they think. They write and tell me.”
She May Have Saved DC Comics
When Wonder Woman made her first debut as a comic book character, it was in direct response to the public’s negative reaction to Superman. Because Superman was released around the time of WWII, many (mostly unfounded) comparisons were made between Superman and the Nazis and fascism.
DC thought that a female superhero would help add some balance to the highly violent, mostly male world of DC comics. In 1940, psychologist William Moulton Marston wrote an article in which he wrote that he saw “great educational potential” in comic books and he was thus approached by comics publisher Max Gaines, who enlisted Marston as an educational consultant.
In the 1940s, psychologist William Moulton Marston was a consultant for DC and created Wonder Woman with a modern female in mind. According to Wikipedia, Marston wanted to create a “new kind of superhero, one who would conquer not with fists or firepower, but with love” and he based the character on the “unconventional, liberated, powerful modern women of his day.”
Marston apparently based Wonder Woman’s character on both his wife and student, Olive Byrne. After getting close with Olive, Marston and his wife invited her into their home and the three began a polyamorous relationship. Both Olive and Mrs. Marston each had two of Marston’s children and all three raised the children in one household.
Is There a Connection?
As a psychologist, Marston took the suggestion from his wife that whenever she got mad or excited, her blood pressure would rise. This led Marston to develop the systolic blood pressure test, which is a major component of the modern polygraph lie detector.
There are a lot of people who say that there is a connection between this and Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth, which when wrapped around anyone would force them to obey orders and tell the truth. However, Marston is said to have created the lasso “as an allegory for feminine charm and compelled its captives to obey the wielder of the lasso.”
Designed to Appeal to Both Sexes
While Wonder Woman was created to appeal to both men and women, she was designed with the intention of appealing to women more. Men already felt welcome to the superhero world and quickly became fans of the new female superhero. But creators at DC comics wanted to make women feel welcome in the world of superheroes as well, creating a marketing scheme of articles and advertisements that would attract women.
When you consider how radical her very existence was in the early 20th Century, Wonder Woman was actually admitted and accepted into the superhero world fairly quickly.
But She Still Wasn't an Equal
While Wonder Woman was indeed accepted into the Justice Society in the mid-1940s, she was still subject to the sexism of the time. Not only was she held back from participating in the Justice Society’s battle’s (the superhero team was known as the Justice Society before it was changed to the Justice League in 1960), but Wonder Woman was instead just given the role of the team’s secretary.
So much for Marston’s vision of her being a role model for equality! But at least it was a start. In later years, Wonder Woman obviously took on a more prominent and serious role in the Justice League.
Zeus Is Her Father
For a long time, Wonder Woman’s origin story was as follows: her mother, Queen Hippolyta, created her from clay and was brought to life by Athena. All of her superpowers were a result of the gifts bestowed on her by the Greek Gods.
This meant, of course, that she did not have a father, but in the newest reboot of her beginnings, DC Comics decided to give Wonder Woman a father and who better for the role than Zeus, king of the gods of Mount Olympus? However, as the story goes, Wonder Woman was raised jointly by her mother Hippolyta and her aunts, Antiope and Menalippe.
A Powerful Woman
Wonder Woman became such a powerful figure, that even in the comic books, she decided to run for president! She ran for office in 1943 and 1972, but unfortunately lost both times, especially considering there was no precedent for a woman in office until recently, when former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton came really close to winning the 2016 Presidential Election.
Fortunately, for Carter, she sort of got to live out Wonder Woman’s goals of becoming president when she guest starred on the 2015 television series, Supergirl. While Carter isn’t a former superheroine, she has the opportunity to play the President on the show.
In her 2016 interview with The New York Times, Carter was asked about her inspiration for the role of President of the United States on Supergirl.
“It was Hillary,” Carter said, “I’ve known Hillary Clinton for 35 years. She is the kindest, most wonderful human being. She has an infectious personality and smile and warmth and personality and true nature. She grew up in a time where you had to be a certain way to be taken seriously. Now you can be whoever you want. You don’t have to be serious. You can be feminine and powerful at the same time.”
Wonder Woman's Controversial Wardrobe
If you ever thought that Wonder Woman was more eye candy over a feminist icon, you could possibly point to her clothing — or lack thereof — as the culprit.
When The New York Times asked about this, Carter said, “Yeah, so? Superman had a skintight outfit that showed every little ripple, didn’t he? Doesn’t he have a great big bulge in his crotch? Hello! So why don’t they complain about that? ...If you think of the ‘70s, that was miniskirts and bikinis. I never really thought of Wonder Woman as a super-racy character. She wasn’t out there being predatory. She was saying: ‘You have a problem with a strong woman? I am who I am, get over it.’”
Wonder Woman Ambassador
On October 21, 2016, it was announced that the character of Wonder Woman was named an honorary ambassador to the United Nations “for the empowerment of women and girls through the "Think of All The Wonders We Can Do" initiative that fights for equal rights and treatment for women,” according to People.
However, this announcement did not come without any backlash. Many people took issue with Wonder Woman’s new appointment, starting a petition that said, “The reality is that the character’s current iteration is that of a large breasted, white woman of impossible proportions, scantily clad… the epitome of a pin-up girl,” according to CNN.
Lynda Carter Supports The UN
Despite the backlash, Lynda Carter and the new Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot, still met at the United Nations to support the cause and their approval for Wonder Woman as a UN ambassador.
People reports that in her speech, Carter said, “In some magical and mystical way, [Wonder Woman] is real. She lives and she breathes because she lives in the stories that women tell me day in and day out. I see it in the women that say that she saved them and inspired them to live through some awful thing that they endured because they saw that they could do something great… Wonder Woman inside of you will never let you down.”
And So Does Gal Gadot
Of her contemporary counterpart, Carter has said, “I’m very excited – I feel like I just passed the baton to the anchor in a relay race in the Olympics. I think she’s going to do amazing. She’s a great girl.”
In her own speech at the UN, Gal Gadot announced, “I think it’s such an amazing opportunity for us to share this character’s values and everything that she stands for and just try and inspire little girls and boys and share the message that she has. It’s the most amazing character. It means to world [to play her],” People reported.
Wonder Woman Gets Fired?
But as fast as she was made ambassador, Wonder Woman’s role got taken away, much to the UN’s chagrin. Jeffrey Brez, a spokesman for the UN, told CNN that the decision to end Wonder Woman’s role as ambassador was not based on the unforeseen protest.
Brez clarified, “The objective was to reach out to Wonder Woman fans to raise awareness of UN Sustainable Development Goal No. 5 [an action that seeks gender equality and empowerment of women and girls by 2030]. We did that. We are very happy.” Unfortunately, fans of Wonder Woman weren’t too pleased by the news and began to petition to bring her back.