Carter in 2012
|Born||Linda Jean Córdova Carter
July 24, 1951
Phoenix, Arizona, United States
|Occupation||Actress, singer, songwriter, beauty pageant titleholder|
|Known for||Wonder Woman (1975–79)
Lens Express commercials
Sky High (2005)
|Spouse(s)||Ron Samuels (m. 1977; div. 1982)
Robert A. Altman (m. 1984)
Carter is most widely known as the star of the American live action television series Wonder Woman, in the role of Diana Prince / Wonder Woman, based on the DC comic book fictional superheroine character of the same name, which aired on ABC and later on CBS from 1975 to 1979.
Carter was born in Phoenix, Arizona, the daughter of Juanita (née Córdova) and Colby Carter. Her father is of English and Scots-Irish ancestry, and her mother, whose family hailed from Mexico, is of Mexican, Spanish and French descent. Carter made her public television debut on Lew King's Talent Show at age 5. During high school, Carter performed in a band called Just Us, consisting of a marimba, a conga drum, an acoustic guitar, and a stand-up bass played by another girl. When she was 16, she joined two of her cousins in another band called The Relatives. Actor Gary Burghoff was the drummer. The group opened at the Sahara Hotel and Casino lounge in Las Vegas for three months; because Carter was under 21, she had to enter through the kitchen.
Carter attended Arizona State University. After being voted "Most Talented", she dropped out to pursue a career in music. In 1970, Carter sang with The Garfin Gathering. Their first performance was in a San Francisco hotel so new that it had no sidewalk entrance. Consequently, they played mostly to the janitors and hotel guests who parked their cars in the underground garage. She returned to Arizona in 1972.
In 1972, Carter won a local Arizona beauty contest and gained national attention in the United States by winning Miss World USA, representing Arizona. In the international 1972 pageant, representing the United States, she reached the semifinals. After taking acting classes at several New York acting schools, she made her first acting appearance, in an episode of the 1974 police drama Nakia entitled "Roots of Anger". She soon began making appearances on such TV shows as Starsky and Hutch and Cos, as well as appearances in several "B" movies.
The Wonder Woman fictional superheroine character was created by the American psychologist and writer William Moulton Marston and artist Harry G. Peter in 1941 for DC Comics. Conceived in the wake of popularity of Superman, Marston designed his creation as counter-programming to the Man of Steel. The Diana Prince/Wonder Woman character is also referred to by such names as the Amazing Amazon, the Spirit of Truth, Themyscira's Champion, and the Goddess of Love and War. Wonder Woman was an instant hit with readers, and for the last 76 years, the character has been the world's most prominent DC comic book female superhero.
Carter's acting career took off when she landed the starring role on Wonder Woman as the title character and her secret identity, Diana Prince. The savings she had set aside from her days of touring on the road with her band to pursue acting in Los Angeles were almost exhausted, and she was close to returning to Arizona when Carter's manager informed her that Joanna Cassidy had lost the part to her. Carter's earnest performance greatly endeared her to both fans and critics and as a result, she continues to be closely identified with Wonder Woman.
The Wonder Woman series lasted for three seasons, which aired on ABC and later on CBS from 1975 to 1979. For decades, this 1970s TV series has been the version of Wonder Woman most fans picture when they imagine the ageless Amazon, and they would be entirely justified; Lynda Carter's performance, rooted in the character's inherent goodness, combined with a comic-accurate costume and a catchy theme song, made for a depiction that was nothing less than iconic.
In 2017, Carter explained her perspective of portraying the Diana Prince/Wonder Woman character. Carter says she got the role back in 1975 largely because she looked the part, which was both a blessing and – as one of the show's producers warned her – a curse: "Oh, women are going be so jealous of you"... "Well, I said, ‘Not a chance. They won’t be, because I am not playing her that way. I want women to want to be me, or be my best friend!". As Carter describes Wonder Woman, "There is something about the character where in your creative mind for that time in your life where you pretended to be her, or whatever the situation was, that it felt like you could fly".
In 2007, toy company DC Direct released a 13-inch full-figure statue of Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman, limited to 5,000 pieces; it was re-released in 2010. Also in 2010, DC Direct began selling a 5½-inch bust of Carter's Wonder Woman to celebrate the DC Comics' 75th anniversary.
With Gal Gadot's role as Wonder Woman in the 2016 film, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, being hailed one of the best parts of the film, Carter voiced her approval of the young actress' performance and welcomed her character's arrival in a theatrical film.
With the success of the 2017 American superhero film Wonder Woman based on the DC Comics character of the same name, distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, directed by Patty Jenkins, Carter was recently asked about how playing the Diana Prince/Wonder Woman character for a long time, and having so closely identified with her, what it was like seeing someone else play her? Carter responded, "When it was first given a green light, it would be dishonest of me to say I didn't have a little pang of "well, here it goes." But after my first conversation with Patty Jenkins, I felt I had linked arms with a woman who I would go though the rest of my life with. And then when I met Gal, I linked the other arm with her. The three of us really understand what being on the inside of Wonder Woman's skin feels like. I mean, so does anyone who ever believed in herself as Wonder Woman, whether it was a little girl or a gay boy – they know, too. But there's a perspective that comes from being famous for it. She is strong, and she can do anything, and there's this goodness to her. There's beauty and strength that transcend time and events. People relate to her – we are her. You and I are her, and that's why you see those little signs and T-shirts that say things like "Wonder Woman works here" or "My mom is Wonder Woman." Patty Jenkins was able to bring that all to the big screen".
Carter gave praise to Gal Gadot's performance of Diana Prince/Wonder Woman in the 2017 Wonder Woman, by tweeting, "Wonder Woman is breaking box office records!!! Bravo, Patty Jenkins! Bravo, Gal Gadot! Bravo, Chris Pine!" Patty Jenkins also took a moment to address a fan question about Carter’s lack of cameo in the film — and hopes that it might be featured in an already demanded sequel.
It is clear that Carter holds the new film and the character introduced more than 75 years ago dear, "Many actresses or actors, they want to divorce themselves from a role because we are actors, we really aren't the people that we play. But I knew very early on that this character is much more than me certainly, and to try to divorce myself from the experiences that other people have of the character is silly" she said.
A possible sequel film to the 2017 Wonder Woman was part of the topic of conversation when Carter joined the Library of Congress's Coolidge Auditorium. During production of the 2017 Wonder Woman feature film, director Patty Jenkins approached Carter to appear in a cameo role in the film, as Carter confirmed, "Patty asked me to do a cameo in this. She was in England, and I was doing my concerts", Carter said, explaining she had singing engagements that made her unavailable. "At that time we couldn't get our timing together. So, this next time, if she writes me a decent part, I might do it".
In 1978, Carter was voted "The Most Beautiful Woman in the World" by the International Academy of Beauty and the British Press Organization. She had also signed a modelling contract with Maybelline cosmetics in 1977. In 1979, she appeared in a Diet 7Up commercial along with the late Don Rickles.
During the late 1970s, Carter recorded an album, Portrait. Carter is credited as a co-writer of several songs and she made numerous guest appearances on variety television programs at the time in a musical capacity. She also sang two of her songs in a 1979 Wonder Woman episode, "Amazon Hot Wax". In 1977, Carter released a promotional poster through Pro Arts at the suggestion of her then-husband and manager, Ron Samuels. The poster was very successful despite Carter's dissatisfaction with it. In 1981 during an interview on the NBC television special Women Who Rate a 10, she said:
It's uncomfortable because I just simply took a photograph. That's all my participation was in my poster that sold over a million copies was that I took a photograph that I thought was a dumb photograph. My husband said, "Oh, try this thing tied up here, it'll look beautiful". And the photographer said "the back-lighting is really terrific". So dealing with someone having that picture up in their... bedroom or their... living room or whatever I think would be hard for anyone to deal with.
In 1979's Apocalypse Now, she originally was cast in the role of Playboy Playmate Bunny, but the filming of her scenes was interrupted by the storm that wrecked the theater set, prompting nearly two months' delay for rebuilding. By the time Francis Ford Coppola, the director of the film was ready to shoot again, Carter's contractual obligations to Wonder Woman had forced her back to the States, and her scenes were reshot with Colleen Camp. The only evidence remaining of Carter's involvement are the Playboy centerfolds that were specially shot by the magazine as movie props. At one point in the Redux version of Apocalypse Now, a glimpse of Carter's pinup is visible, as the only nude work ascribed to the actress outside of Bobbie Jo and the Outlaw.
Carter also made a guest appearance on The Muppet Show. In the episode's running gag, Kermit the Frog repeatedly reminded the other Muppets that their guest was Lynda Carter and not Wonder Woman, but to no avail, as they ineptly attempted to become superheroes by taking a correspondence course, and Miss Piggy portrayed "Wonder Pig", a spoof of Carter's iconic television character.
Her other credits include the title role in a biopic of actress Rita Hayworth (born Margarita Carmen Cansino), titled Rita Hayworth: The Love Goddess (1983) and a variety of her own musical TV specials: Lynda Carter's Special (1980), Encore! (1980), Celebration (1981), Street Life (1982), and Body And Soul (1984). Carter's next major role after Wonder Woman was in the crime drama television series, Partners in Crime with Loni Anderson in 1984. She then portrayed Helen Durant in the 1989 CBS television film Mike Hammer: Murder Takes All where she booby-trapped Las Vegas entertainer Johnny Roman (Edward Winter), her husband Doctor Carl Durant, and his employee accountant Brad Peters (Jim Carrey) to their deaths. Throughout the 1990s, Carter appeared in a string of television movies that resulted in a resurgence in television appearances. Also, because of the re-syndication of Wonder Woman on such cable networks as FX and SyFy, Carter participated in two scheduled on-line chat sessions with fans. Around that time, Carter created her own production company, Potomac Productions. Throughout the 1990s, she also appeared in commercials for Lens Express (now 1-800 Contacts). In 1993, Carter expanded her performance resume to include voiceover work as the narrator for the Sandra Brown book Where There's Smoke.
In 2000, Carter hosted the I Love 1978 episode of BBC2's I Love the '70s. The following year, she was cast in the independent comedy feature Super Troopers, as Vermont Governor Jessman. The writers and stars of the film, the comedy troupe Broken Lizard, with Jay Chandrasekhar directing, had specifically sought Carter for the role. Inspired by the character detour from her usual roles, she agreed to play a washed-up, former beauty queen in The Creature of the Sunny Side Up Trailer Park (2004), directed by Christopher Coppola. She won an award for being the "Superest Superhero" on the Second Annual TV Land Awards that same year. When an announcer reported about an invisible plane being double-parked illegally and needed to be relocated before it was towed, she performed her spinning transformation once again after 25 years. A younger actress wore the star-spangled outfit at that moment. Carter made her first appearance in a major feature film in a number of years in the big-screen remake of The Dukes of Hazzard (2005), also directed by Chandrasekhar. She also appeared in Disney's action comedy film Sky High (2005) as Principal Powers, the headmistress of a school for superheroes. The script allowed Carter to poke fun at her most famous character when she states: "I can't do anything more to help you. I'm not Wonder Woman, y'know". She did not wear glasses like her Diana Prince persona. In 2006, she guest-starred in the made-for-cable vampire film Slayer. The following year, Carter returned to the DC Comics' television world in the Smallville episode "Progeny" (2007), playing Chloe Sullivan's Kryptonite-empowered mother.
Carter expanded her voice-over work to include video games, performing voices for the nord and orsimer (orc) females in two computer games of The Elder Scrolls series, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. These games were developed by Bethesda Softworks; her husband, businessman Robert A. Altman, is Chairman and CEO of Bethesda's parent company, ZeniMax Media.
From September to November 2005, Carter played "Mama Morton" in the West End London production of Chicago. In 2006, her rendition of "When You're Good to Mama" was officially released on the Chicago: 10th Anniversary Edition CD box set. In May 2007, Carter began touring the U.S. with her one-woman musical cabaret show, An Evening with Lynda Carter. She has played engagements at such venues as Feinstein's at Loews Regency in New York, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the Plush Room in San Francisco, and the Catalina Jazz Club in Los Angeles. In June 2009, her second album, At Last, was released and reached #10 on Billboard's Jazz Albums Chart. In June 2011, Carter released her third album, Crazy Little Things, which she describes as a delightful mix of standards, country, and pop tunes.
In 2015, Carter wrote and recorded four original songs for the video game Fallout 4, in which she herself stars. An EP of the songs from the game's soundtrack was released on iTunes on November 6, 2015.
On October 21, 2016, the 75th anniversary of the first appearance of Wonder Woman, that character was designated by the United Nations as its Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls, a gesture intended to promote gender equality and empowerment of women and girls. In attendance to mark the occasion were Carter, fellow Wonder Woman actress Gal Gadot, DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson, Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins and U.N. Under-Secretary General Cristina Gallach.
In 2017, Carter rejoined the DC Comics film and television family on the second season of The CW's Supergirl television series in the role of President Olivia Marsdin. Executive producer Andrew Kreisberg described Carter's presence on the show as "a big stand to necessitate Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) and the DEO protecting her".
In January 1984, Carter married Washington, D.C. attorney Robert A. Altman, law partner of Clark Clifford (and now CEO of ZeniMax Media). She left Hollywood in 1985 to join her husband in Washington DC for a few years. Carter and her husband have two children: James (born January 1988), and Jessica (born 1990), and live in Potomac, Maryland, in a home they built in 1987, shortly before the birth of their son. The 20,000 square foot Georgian-style mansion was profiled in the premiere issue of Closer magazine in November 2013, as well as on HGTV.
In 1993, after a lengthy and highly publicized jury trial stemming from his involvement with the Bank of Credit and Commerce International and its secret acquisition of First American Bankshares Inc., Altman was acquitted. Carter was seen on the TV news with her arm around him, declaring, "Not guilty! Not guilty!" to the gathered reporters.
In 2003, Carter revealed that her mother had suffered from irritable bowel syndrome for over 30 years, resulting in Carter touring the country as an advocate and spokeswoman. Lynda is also a staunch advocate and supporter of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Pro-Choice rights for women, and legal equality for LGBT people. She was the Grand Marshal for the 2011 Phoenix Pride Parade and the 2011 New York Pride Parades, as well as the 2013 Capital Pride Parade in Washington, DC.
In a June 4, 2008 interview with People magazine, Carter stated that she had entered a rehabilitation clinic for treatment of alcoholism and that she had been sober for nearly 10 years. When she was asked what the recovery process had taught her, Carter explained that the best measure of a human being is "how we treat the people who love us, and the people that we love".
In June 2017, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce announced Lynda Carter as a 2018 Honoree recipient for an upcoming Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, category 'Television', to be presented at a future ceremony at Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
|1976||Bobbie Jo and the Outlaw||Bobbie Jo Baker|
|1993||Lightning in a Bottle||Charlotte Furber|
|2001||Super Troopers||Governor Jessman||a.k.a. Broken Lizard's Super Troopers|
|2004||The Creature of the Sunny Side Up Trailer Park||Lynette||a.k.a. Creature|
|2005||Sky High||Principal Powers|
|The Dukes of Hazzard||Pauline|
|2006||Tempbot||Mary Alice||Short film|
|2007||Tattered Angel||Hazel Anderson|
|1974||Nakia||Helen Chase||1 episode|
|1975||Matt Helm||Bobbi Dee||1 episode|
|1976||A Matter of Wife... And Death||Zelda||TV movie|
|Starsky & Hutch||Vicky||1 episode|
|1975–79||Wonder Woman||Wonder Woman/Diana Prince||TV Movie + 59 episodes|
|1980||The Last Song||Brooke Newman||TV movie|
|The Muppet Show||Herself||1 episode|
|1981||Born to Be Sold||Kate Carlin||TV movie|
|1982||Hotline||Brianne O'Neill||TV movie|
|1983||Rita Hayworth: The Love Goddess||Rita Hayworth||TV movie|
|1984||Partners in Crime||Carole Stanwyck||13 episodes|
|1987||Stillwatch||Patricia Traymore||TV movie|
|1989||Mike Hammer: Murder Takes All||Helen Durant||TV movie|
|1991||Daddy||Charlotte Sampson||TV movie
a.k.a. Danielle Steel's Daddy
|Posing: Inspired by Three Real Stories||Meredith Lanahan||TV movie
a.k.a. I Posed for Playboy
|1994–95||Hawkeye||Elizabeth Shields||22 episodes|
|1996||When Friendship Kills||Kathryn Archer||TV movie
a.k.a. A Secret Between Friends: A Moment of Truth Movie
|She Woke Up Pregnant||Susan Saroyan||TV movie
a.k.a. Crimes of Silence
|1997||A Prayer in the Dark||Emily Hayworth||TV movie|
|1998||Someone to Love Me||Diane Young||TV movie
a.k.a. Someone to Love Me: A Moment of Truth Movie
a.k.a. Girl in the Backseat
|1999||Family Blessings||Lee Reston||TV movie
a.k.a. LaVyrle Spencer's 'Family Blessings'
|2003||Terror Peak||Dr. Janet Fraser||TV movie|
|Hope & Faith||Summer Kirkland||1 episode|
|2005||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Lorraine Dillon||2 episodes|
|Law & Order|
|2006||Slayer||Colonel Jessica Weaver||TV movie|
|2007||Smallville||Moira Sullivan||1 episode|
|2013||Two and a Half Men||Herself||1 episode|
|2014||Skin Wars||Guest judge||1 episode|
|2016-present||Supergirl||U.S. President Olivia Marsdin||Recurring Role; 3 episodes|
|2002||The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind||Female Nords|
|2006||The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion||Female Nords and Female Orcs|
|2011||The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim||Azura, Gormlaith Golden-Hilt|
|2014||The Elder Scrolls Online||Azura|
- 1978: Portrait
- 2009: At Last
- 2011: Crazy Little Things
- 2015: Fallout 4 (Original Game Soundtrack) – EP
- Micki Moore (January 30, 1990). "Lynda Carter: Beauty and the creative fire". Toronto Star. Toronto: Torstar Syndication Services. p. E1. ISSN 0319-0781.
A dedicated, hard-working performer, Lynda Jean Carter was born in Phoenix, Ariz., 38 years ago, the youngest of three children.Accessed September 23, 2011.
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That is perhaps a tribute to her heritage -- her mother is a Latin, part Mexican, part Spanish, part French.
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- "The enduring strength of Wonder Woman".
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- "Hurt in heaven with special jet". The Province. Vancouver, B.C.: CanWest Digital Media. p. 14.
NEW WONDERBABY: Lynda Carter, who starred in the Wonder Woman TV series in the 1970s, gave birth Sunday to her second child, Jessica.Accessed September 23, 2011.
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