A Look Back at Lynda Carter’s Insane Stuntwork on 1970’s ‘Wonder Woman’

Lead Photo: Courtesy of MeTV
Courtesy of MeTV
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Wonder Woman has walked a long, torturous road to get to the big screen. Gal Gadot is certainly trying to inhabit a new Wonder Woman for 2017, but it’s impossible to ignore the character’s first actress: Lynda Carter. The half-Latina performer embodied truth, justice and the American Way on television screens between 1975 and 1979. When she wasn’t wrangling baddies with her lasso of truth or dodging bullets, Wonder Woman was defying gravity, sometimes literally.

In this throwback Thursday clip posted by the classic television channel MeTV, Carter is shown actually dangling from the bottom of a helicopter. In the era before CGI, stunt doubles were commonly employed to keep actors from harm. In “Anschluss ’77,” Wonder Woman’s second episode of season two, Carter’s stunt double, Jeannie Epper, was planning to step in. The problem? Audiences would easily deduce that Carter wasn’t hanging off the helicopter since the double didn’t look much like her.

Carter gamely jumped onto the bottom of the helicopter, free of any wrist hookups or safety nets and sailed away like a superhero would, 50 feet in the air. In today’s day and age Carter would have been added in via green screen, hanging off something passing for the bottom of the helicopter. Sorry Gal, but I don’t think you can best Lynda there!

After performing the stunt Carter said, “It was so much fun. Where else in life can you have all these adventures?” As MeTV reports, the network was less than thrilled.

Carter has been out and about helping the new incarnation of Wonder Woman, though the deck remains stacked against it. Controversy continues to swirl about whether the new movie is receiving its fair share of marketing in comparison to other films starring men. The fictional character also lost the opportunity to be a UN Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls after a letter-writing campaign decried that the character was too provocative because she’s “a large breasted, white woman of impossible proportions.” I’d like to see one of them hang off a helicopter!

You can support the Wonder Woman movie when it hits theaters on June 2. And you can watch Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman every Saturday evening at 8 p.m. on MeTv.