Pioneers of television: Lynda Carter defied all odds—here is her today

Female action heroines were uncommon while I was growing up, which may explain why Lynda Carter became a legend after appearing as Wonder Woman in 1975.

For many children, she was a hero for a long time. In the 1970s, many girls would pretend to be Wonder Woman by wearing their mother’s tiara and using a tea towel as a cape.

Lynda was one of the world’s most gorgeous ladies. She is, in my perspective, still…

When I hear the name Lynda Carter, I immediately think of her iconic performance as Wonder Woman. In the 1970s, when the women’s liberation movement was at its peak, the TV show was one of the few Hollywood shows with a female lead.

Lynda was a natural fit for the part in many respects. She was brilliant, beautiful, and had class to match her great sense of humor.

But Lynda had to get past a lot of problems before she got the job and shot to fame. For example, she lacked acting experience and battled with the producers.

Lynda Carter was born in Phoenix, Arizona, in 1951. She made her public television debut at the age of five when she appeared on Lew King’s Talent Show. Yet, as I grew older, another obsession took over: music. Lynda was a member of a band in high school. She began working extra as a 15-year-old by singing at a neighborhood pizza shop, earning $25 every weekend.

By then, her parents had split up, and she had had a hard time growing up. People were shocked when they saw Lynda as a child, and they often made comments about how tall she was.

The Wonder Woman star has always been tall, which gave her an early inferiority complex that she worked hard to overcome.

“All of these sentiments are carried over from when I was a child. I mean, I was rather tall! ‘Oh, are you tall?” someone would exclaim. I laugh and add, ‘Yes, I’m tall!’ I used to be a clown. “I felt like disintegrating jelly inside,” Lynda told reporters in 1979.

Lynda, on the other hand, complimented her upbringing. She attended church every Sunday, went on picnics with her sister, and had a mother who dreaded her “going Hollywood.”

“It was very moral, very middle-class, very old-fashioned, and quite good,” she remarked.

Miss World America
The Phoenix-born Carter did attend Arizona State University for a while, but after being voted “Most Talented,” she suddenly decided to quit. What’s the reason? She intended to devote her entire life to pursuing a profession in music.

Such plans, however, had to be amended quickly because Lynda had never made a name for herself as an artist.

Instead, in 1972, she won a small beauty pageant in Arizona, which opened new avenues for her. That same year, she represented her state by becoming Miss USA. Lynda also had the opportunity to represent her nation and participate in the 1972 Miss World pageant. She came in 15th place.

Lynda has minimized her beauty queen career in retrospect.

“I didn’t win anything. “They slap a flag on you, hang a crown on your head, and label you a beauty queen,” she explained.

She also described the experience as “awful” and “traumatic,” claiming that beauty pageants contain “built-in cruelty.”

Lynda studied acting at many New York acting schools in the early 1970s. She was determined to make it in show business and landed tiny roles in major TV shows like Starsky and Hutch and COS. But the competition in Hollywood was strong, and Lynda almost ran out of money while living in Los Angeles to pursue her goal.

Her finances were depleted, and she was ready to seek a “regular” job.

Her life altered, however, when she was cast as the lead in Wonder Woman in 1975. She was ready to leave for Arizona when her manager called to tell her that Joanna Cassidy had been turned down for the role of Diana Prince and her crime-fighting alter ego, Wonder Woman.

The 6-foot-tall beauty, who had only $25 in her bank account on the day she was cast, was overjoyed. The series was based on a superheroine that DC Comics created in 1941. Wonder Woman was one of the first female superheroes, and the series was a big hit with fans when it originally came out.

Wonder Woman’s creators, writer William Moulton Marston and illustrator Harry G. Peter believed that females, too, needed a hero. There was also a powerful declaration of female empowerment in the opening episode of the Wonder Woman TV series, which was very appropriate for the time.

50,000 feminists marched down New York City’s Fifth Avenue in the Women’s Strike for Equality March a few years before the series aired.

“Any culture that does not respect the feminine is condemned to ruin,” Wonder Woman said in one of the earliest episodes. Women are the future, and sisterhood is stronger than anything.”

Nevertheless, the feminist message was eventually watered down, much to Lynda Carter’s chagrin.

“The network feared Wonder Woman’s feminist remarks would turn off viewers—that they were “dangerous,” Carter told PBS.

Other indications suggested that things had not changed significantly in Hollywood. For example, the filmmakers desired to utilize a male stunt double (with a hairy chest and bulky muscles) while filming dangerous action scenes. Evidently, using a female stunt was thought unimaginable, which irritated Lynda.

“I can’t have that,” she stated flatly.

When Wonder Woman was supposed to hang from a flying helicopter in one episode, Lynda wanted to do the dangerous scene by herself. Following that protest, the producers agreed to hire a female stunt double.

From 1975 through 1979, the classic Wonder Woman series aired for three seasons. Lynda brought Wonder Woman to life for many of us, and her performance on screen was praised. No man was immune to her allure, yet Lynda’s portrayal of a female superhero would also inspire many female authors, fans, and producers.

Yet, several viewers thought her attire was too exposing.

“On the beach, I wore less!” Carter objected.

“That was more than a bikini—it was the American flag in a one-piece garment.

Lynda, the 6-foot-tall beauty with the hourglass shape, landed her career-making role primarily because she looked the part, but she wasn’t about to play on preconceptions. Some producers even told her that other ladies would be envious of her.

“‘Not a chance,’ I answered. There won’t be, because I’m not going to play her that way. I want ladies to aspire to be like myself or my best buddy!” There’s something about the persona that made you feel like you could fly in your creative mind for that moment in your life when you pretended to be her, or whatever the scenario was,” Lynda remarked.

Whether she liked it or not, Lynda Carter became the woman many men fantasized about. In 1978, she was chosen “The Most Beautiful Woman in the World,” and a classic photo of her in a tied-up crop top was the top-selling poster that year.

She had to put up with a lot as one of our era’s most legendary beauties, and the attention she received because of her looks was not always pleasant.

“I never imagined a photo of my body would be put up in men’s restrooms. I despise males who look at me and think what they think. And I know what they believe. “They write to me and inform me,” she explained.

Lynda also spoke up about her discontent with that renowned, best-selling poster from 1981.

“It’s awkward since all I did was take a snapshot. My only contribution to my poster, which sold over a million copies, was that I took an image that I felt was stupid. “Well, try this item wrapped up here; it’ll look wonderful,” my spouse said. “The backlighting is just great,” stated the photographer. “I believe it would be difficult for anyone to live with someone putting that photo up in their… bedroom or their… living room or anything,” she remarked during an appearance on the NBC television show Women Who Rate a 10.

Lynda Carter’s breakthrough as Wonder Woman opened several avenues for her. She shook hands with President Ronald Reagan, appeared on The Muppet Show, and had her own musical TV series.

Lynda was enjoying the high life after earning $1 million for 26 episodes of Wonder Woman. She lived in a $1,200,000 French-style villa above Benedict Canyon in Los Angeles. A troop of German Shepherds guarded the mansion. She also had a fleet of Bentleys.

Her next big role was as Carole Stanwyck in the TV show Partners in Crime, which was a crime drama. Lynda starred opposite another stunning and brilliant actress, Loni Anderson, in the film.

Lynda established her own production firm, Potomac Productions, in the 1990s. She also starred in a number of TV movies and kept herself busy with voice-over work.

Lynda continued to star in films as the millennium progressed. Younger fans may know her as Pauline from the 2005 remake of The Dukes of Hazzard. At the same time, she dabbled in theater, obtaining a role in the London West End production of Chicago.

Still, the sophisticated and beautiful actress will be remembered for the role that made her famous in the 1970s. Lynda has maintained tight relationships with the superhero community. Lynda, for example, was selected as one of the awardees by DC Comics. When filming for the 2017 Wonder Woman feature film began, director Patty Jenkins contacted Lynda to attempt to persuade her to make a cameo.

But she had to decline the offer because it did not fit into her schedule at the moment.

“At the time, we couldn’t seem to get our timing right.” “Therefore, if she writes me a good portion the next time, I might do it,” she remarked.

Lynda was also there in 2016 when the United Nations honored Wonder Woman as an “Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls” on the 75th anniversary of her initial appearance.

“The greatest honor and responsibility of playing Wonder Woman were acting as a role model for fans all around the world, especially young girls,” Lynda stated at the ceremony.

“I’ve seen with my own eyes how a strong but kind superhero can help women believe in themselves and men accept equality.”

Before she was in Wonder Woman, Lynda Carter was in a relationship with the French singer-songwriter Michel Polnareff.

Lynda married talent agent and promoter Ron Samuels in May 1977. The pair met the previous year at an ABC affiliate party. Samuels was a major deal in show business in the late 1970s, working alongside Jennifer O’Neill, Joyce DeWitt, Jaclyn Smith, and Barbara Carreras.

Lynda and Ron’s love story began when he invited her to his office to discuss business. Yet their lunches, dinners, and tennis matches quickly became more than that, and they realized they were dating.

Ron was a gorgeous, prosperous businessman, and Lynda was taken with him. While Ron was astounded by Lynda’s extraordinary beauty, he also fell in love with her sincerity and honesty.

Lynda was 25 when they married, and Ron was 35. Don Feld, the creator of the renowned Wonder Woman costume, created a Victorian-style gown for Lynda.

Lynda and Ron were one of Hollywood’s most renowned couples for a few years; they were wealthy, young, and incredibly gorgeous.

The facade, however, had fissures.

Lynda has said that she was unhappy during the marriage, which lasted from 1977 until 1982. She described it as “an unpleasant phase” in her life in an interview with the New York Times. Still, if you go back in time and read interviews with the couple when they were halfway through their marriage, you can see that there are already some problems.

For example, the couple disagreed on whether or not to have children. Lynda desired to be a mother, but Ron preferred to wait a few more years. After the two years were over, her spouse indicated he wanted to wait for another two.

Lynda opened up about the marriage’s troubles in an interview with the Daily Press in 1980.

“The biggest tension between us arises when I’m between projects. I suffer from sleeplessness. And I walk by myself. If my husband says one phrase that hurts my sentiments, I dissect it. “I reread it a million times,” she explained.

In June 1982, they got a divorce, and one of Hollywood’s sexiest couples broke up.

“I hope he forgives me, and I have forgiven him since it was difficult for both of us. And I wish him luck—honestly and genuinely,” Lynda said.

Lynda would find love again after her divorce from her first marriage. She married Robert A. Altman, a Washington, D.C.-based attorney, in 1984.

Lynda and Robert met for the first time at a business dinner in Memphis, Tennessee, and it was love at first sight. Lynda was a spokesperson for Maybelline, which organized the event, and a friend urged Robert to attend. The buddy tried to entice Robert by claiming that Wonder Woman actress Gal Gadot would be present.

“I knew she was a pretty actress who posed for Maybelline, but I couldn’t quite place her,” Robert explained.

I was expecting to go back to the hotel and watch a football game. “I thought the last thing I wanted to do was go to dinner with a Hollywood star.”

Fortunately, Robert changed his mind.

The pair hit it off right away after being seated next to Lynda. For everyone during the meal, the attraction was evident and powerful. In fact, they were so engrossed in one another that it felt nearly impolite to the rest of the table. Lynda was overjoyed when she met Robert after leaving a horrible marriage, and she couldn’t disguise her joy.

“This is (Robert’s) first marriage, and mine is my second. But this is my first… My best pal is Robert. I’ve heard it said that your spouse should be your best friend. But I’d never had it before. He supports me, and I support him. “A friend does not try to dominate you,” Lynda said in 1985, according to Newsday.

The pair exchanged vows in front of guests including Ed McMahon, Barbara Mandrell, and acting colleague Loni Anderson at the Bel-Air Bay Club in Pacific Palisades, California.

The couple then chose to live in Potomac, Maryland. Lynda chose to leave Hollywood and move away from the spotlight now that she had the man she had always desired.

She concentrated on raising her own and her husband’s two children, James Altman (born January 1988) and Jessica Carter Altman (born October 7, 1990), after moving into their 20,000-square-foot Georgian-style estate in Potomac.

Lynda shared some of her views on parenting in 2018, and it’s clear how much her children mean to her.

“It turns out that my greatest experience was becoming a mother, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it,” she said on Mother’s Day, beside an Instagram photo of her children.

Lynda Carter is currently 71 years old and continues to work in the entertainment world. Yet, the last several years have been quite trying for her.

She was forced to say goodbye to her dear spouse in February 2021. Tragically, Robert was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia and died in a Baltimore hospital at the age of 73.
Lynda has suffered much as a result of Robert’s death. She attempted to put her pain into words in February of this year when she uploaded a photo of herself and her spouse a year after his death.

“Your 75th birthday would have been today. To me, you can’t be gone since the love you generously offered lingers. It lives on in me, in our children, and in the countless people you influenced. You gave so much of yourself while you were here, and we remember your love, life, and legacy today.

“If I were on a mountain today, I would sing to you through the canyons. Instead, I awoke to the sunrise over the sea and sang my heart out to you.”

Lynda has also been frank about her drinking issue in recent years. According to the actress, she began drinking because she was unhappy in her first marriage. She is presently enjoying nearly 20 years of sobriety.

When she needed aid, her husband Robert was there for her—he was her “hero in shining armor” during her recovery struggle.

“I’ve been sober for 23 years. And I didn’t start drinking until I was in my mid-twenties. I’d quit drinking for two or three years, then restart, and it felt dreadful. It was a long time ago, and I’m pleased today,” she stated in 2021.

You actually are Wonder Woman because you have utilized your celebrity to do wonderful things!

For many years, I have appreciated you and your work, and I hope you continue! In a darkened world, you are one of God’s blazing lights.

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