Batgirl Remembered

Yvonne Craig, original TV Batgirl, dies of breast cancer at 78

Remembered as both sex icon and female role model, Yvonne Craig secured her place in pop culture as the alluring librarian who moonlighted as the high-kicking, crime-squashing Batgirl.

According to The Los Angeles Times, Craig died Monday at her Pacific Palisades home of breast cancer that had metastasized (spread) to her liver. She had battled breast cancer for more than two years. She was 78 years old.

Craig starred in many notable films, including the Elvis Presley films "It Happened at the World's Fair" (1963) and "Kissin’ Cousins" (1964), before assuming more iconic roles like Batgirl (1967-68) and Marta, the sexy, murderous alien in the 1969 "Star Trek" episode, “Whom Gods Destroy,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. However, she is perhaps most fondly remembered for the 26 episodes of the Batman TV series in which she played the masked, beguiling heroine.

She told The Boston Herald in 2002: “Guys all say, ‘I had such a crush on you.’ Girls all say, ‘I always waited for Batgirl to come on. You were such an inspiration,’” according to the LA Times.

Before pursuing acting, Craig was a ballerina, and at 17 traveled as the youngest member of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, reports The Hollywood Reporter. As Batgirl, she did all of her own stunts.

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Women who are now 60 years old have a 3.48 percent chance of developing breast cancer in the next 10 years, according to the CDC.

Metastatic breast cancer is cancer that has spread to another part of the body, usually the lungs, liver, bone or brain, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Breast cancer usually spreads by invading nearby healthy cells or traveling through lymph vessels or the bloodstream to other parts of the body.