Lynda Carter: Her Complicated Life & Career

Lynda Carter, the ultimate Wonder Woman of the 1970’s, may have played the great superwoman, but she also faced super demons that affected her Hollywood career.

A True Wonder Woman

Carter is also a wonder woman in her own right, highlighted through her support for socio-political issues. Throughout her career, the actress constantly supported different causes and has been raising awareness for many socio-political issues including equal rights for the LGBT community, while frequently attending pride parades in Washington D.C. The actress also supports women’s rights and is an advocate regarding the Irritable Bowel Syndrome, a sickness which plagued Carter’s mother for over 30 years.

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A Triple Threat

Although Lynda Carter is a household name due to her TV and film career, she actually started as a musician. Choosing to pursue her passion since a young age, Carter played guitar and marimba in several bands while still in high school. At age 17, she joined her two cousins and together they performed as the musical group named, The Relatives. Their drummer was Gary Burghoff, who later left the band to appear in the hit show M*A*S*H.

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Moving To Film

The group toured the United States from coast to coast and went to be an opening act for a show in the Sahara hotel in Las Vegas for almost three months. Since she was under the age of 21, Carter had to be sneaked into the hotel through the kitchen. After the band broke up, Carter joined a different group called The Garfin Gathering in 1970 but chose to keep her musical career on the back burner as she preferred to concentrate on her acting career.

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Wonder Woman Controversy

When the United Nations wanted to name Wonder Woman as the organization’s ambassador, their intention was to represent female empowerment. Nevertheless this was not taken too well by others, and more than 600 UN staff members signed a petition to stop it. While some saw the representation of Wonder Woman as not being an appropriate spokeswoman for the United Nations, Carter emphasized that the role of Wonder Woman and all she embodied, was “about fighting for freedom” rather than a woman walking around in scantily clad clothing.

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Not All Girls Wanted To Be Like Carter

Before there was confirmation that Gal Gadot would reprise the role of Wonder Woman in the 2017 remake, rumors circulated that it would be Megan Fox. Carter was ready to point out, however, that Megan had previously trashed Wonder Woman. Fox was quoted as saying that Wonder Woman was a “lame superhero” and further went to say “I just don’t get it. Somebody has a big challenge on their hands whoever takes that role but I don’t want to do it.”

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Beauty Queen

Her career began when 21-year old Carter had spontaneously applied for a local beauty competition that was held in her home state of Arizona. After she won first place, Carter was sent to compete, and subsequently won, in the Miss Phoenix and Miss Arizona competitions. Carter then represented the United States in the Miss World Pageant in 1972, eventually reaching the contest’s semi-finals. Although she didn’t win, the competition successfully helped boost Carter’s status in the entertainment business thereafter.

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Super Stunts

It is not often you hear of Hollywood actors performing their own stunts in movies, unless they get some crazy adrenaline thrill and there is little chance of their life being in danger. When Carter saw that her stunt double looked nothing like her in a shot from the season two episode Anschulus 77, Carter stood up to the plate of doing the helicopter stunt herself. This is when you see Lynda Carter actually holding onto the helicopter and being lifted 50 feet in the air…

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Her Own Stunt Double

During the 70’s, the entertainment business was comprised almost entirely of men. When filming the dangerous scene of hanging from the helicopter herself, Carter was furious when she found out that there weren’t any female stunt doubles to perform it – hence taking it on herself. She exclaimed that it was absurd for a stunt man to perform her moves in any circumstance, so after the incident, the studios decided to hire the first stunt woman in Hollywood.

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Don’t Mess With Wonder Woman

Carter may have proven confident in doing her own stunts at times, but it was down to her stunt double to complete the rest. So technically speaking, her stunt double, Jeannie Epper, also had the role of Wonder Woman. Her son, of course bragged about this at school, only to be laughed at by his classmates. Carter didn’t let Epper miss out on the credit, and invited her son’s class to see Epper as a superhero in action.

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Inventing The Famous Spin

Lynda Carter actually invented the Wonder Woman spin in the series. During an interview she gave in 2005, Carter admitted that she came up with the transformation move, pointing out that it was not present in the original Comic. While the show producers debated on how to perform the change between Diana Prince and Wonder Woman, it was Carter, who was also a dancer, who suggested that she do a pirouette for the transformation, hence creating the character’s trademark.

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Staying At The Top Of Her Game

Today, Lynda Carter is still considered as one of the most memorable actors around the world. In addition to her famous performance as Wonder Woman, Carter appeared in many other TV programs, music and theater. At the peak of her career, She was considered as one of the richest actors in Hollywood. Carter has invested most of her earnings in various prospects and bought a mansion in Maryland. Her current net worth is approximately $10 million.

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Performing With Kenny Rogers

After the colossal success of her role in Wonder Woman, Carter decided to return to her first artistic passion – music. Portrait, her first album, was released in 1978 and several songs from it were even performed by Carter herself while portraying Diana Prince on the popular show. In 1980, she joined forces with famous country singer Kenny Rogers to sing a duet, performing the song “You and Me” on her television music special Lynda Carter Special.

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Back To Her Roots

In recent years, Carter has decided to make a comeback to her oldest passion – her music. More than 30 years after her first album came out, she released a long-awaited second album in 2009 called, At Last. Her comeback proved to be a good decision by the star, as the album was extremely successful and it quickly topped the U.S. Billboard and Jazz charts. Based on its success, Carter decided to go back to the studio and released her third album in 2011 called, Crazy Little Things.

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The Ultimate Female Role Model

Carter had said many times that her role as Wonder Woman was quite revolutionary at the time. She felt that the show presented the idea of feminism for the first time to the general public. The actress pointed out that the show helped in reducing the dominant male presence on American television. In her eyes, Wonder Woman helped lead the way to many other female characters on TV such as Roseanne Barr and Tina Fey.

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Her Legacy

The new Wonder Woman movie would become one of the highest-grossing films of all time, while also receiving critical acclaim from many critics around the world. Amongst the film many accolades, it was named as the best film ever made in the DC Comics universe. Carter expressed her happiness, knowing that her legacy was successfully continued, as she herself was already named as one of the honorees in the company’s 50th-anniversary publication for her work on the original Wonder Woman series.

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Learning From Her Mother

Carter praised her mother, Juanita Cordova, claiming often that she was ahead of her time. When she grew up in Arizona as a little girl, the model recalled her mother being extra caring about her and her looks. Carter’s mother was very aware of the sun’s many hazards and warned her daughter to always look out after herself. The actress still admires her mother until this day, who’s skin and looks are well preserved even into her 80’s.

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Strong Willpower

Regarding her weight, Carter has stated that she used to have a perfect body in her youth, but now works extremely hard in order to maintain it. According to the former model and actress, she gains weight easily but has decided to never keep any “fat clothes” in her closet as a lesson in life. Carter said that when your jeans do not fit, it’s time for you to work hard in order to fit back into them.

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The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From The Tree

Lynda Carter’s daughter, Jessica Altman Carter, sure got the glamour genes of her mother. While Jessica never thought of starting a career in the entertainment business, many fans around the world suggested that the beautiful Jessica should be replacing her mother’s role in the new version of Wonder Woman. While we have no idea about her talent, her looks are just stunning and she should be considered for the part. No offense, Gal Gadot.

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Hilary Clinton Supporter

During the tenuous 2016 general elections, Hillary Clinton was getting a lot of hate from all sides. And yet, one of the people who always stood by her side was Lynda Carter. Carter sees a lot of Wonder Woman in Hillary, and says that she supported her all the way. Carter believed that Hillary would have been able to hit the ground running and take up the banner of the presidency. She also likes what the Bernie Sanders supporters had to say as well.

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A Jet Setter

When Lynda Carter isn’t traveling for work and to different performances, she also likes to travel to remote and exotic locations. And two of her favorite places to travel are to the jungles of Myanmar as well as to the Serengeti in Tanzania. However, when she goes to these places, she is not going for a spiritual or adventure trip. She is going to sightsee, and does it all in first class style, of course.

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Keeping Fit

When Lynda Carter is on the road, she has to travel from state to state all across the America. It’s a schedule enough to wear down any 25 year old musician, let alone someone over twice that age. Lynda’s schedule to ensure she remains alert and focused, therefore incorporates a lot of physical movement and exercise. One of the things she does is find a coffee shop a half mile away from her hotel, walk to it, drink, and walk back every morning.

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Palm Springs Walk Of Stars

In 2014, Lynda was honored with a star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars. The 62 year old at the time was being acknowledged for her work as the ultimate super woman. As a film icon, a humanitarian and a singer, the former Wonder Woman accepted this honor before it is time to give over her crown to the newest Wonder Woman in the newest version of the 70’s hit, Gal Gadot.

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Wonder Woman Take 2

When it was announced that Wonder Woman would be reprised in 2016, Carter fans most likely rejoiced at the prospect of seeing their favorite female super heroine on screen. However, the 70’s star was replaced with Gal Gadot this time around. Although Carter proclaimed she would have loved to have a feature in the film, this was not the case. Yet, that is not to say all hope is lost. Rumors have already circulated that Carter could have a role in the sequel to the film.

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Supergirl

While Carter has moved back to her passion of music, and moved to Washington, D.C. to leave the life of Hollywood, Carter still has her foot in acting. She can still be seen on TV screens, on the CW show Supergirl. Coincidently a theme similar to her most famous role in Wonder Woman, maybe she is just a fan of superhero shows. However, this time round she takes on the role of President Olivia Marsdin but understands completely what Supergirl star, Melissa Benoist is going through.

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Pretty Problems

In all the challenges Carter may have faced in her life, it must have come as an even greater disappointment to hear that some considered her to be too pretty for audiences to handle. A hard one to combat, right? Fortunately, the network executives fears were dissolved following the immediate success Wonder Woman’s release. And while she never set out to be a siren vixen, fans were not shy in sharing their thoughts with her making sure they would write to her and let her know.

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Family Life

Carter was married to her first husband, her former talent agent Ron Samuels, from 1977 to 1982. In 1984, she met and married her current husband, Attorney Robert A. Altman (not to be confused with the famous director). Altman was employed in Washington D.C. and the actress chose to leave Hollywood in order to join him in 1985. Together, they had two children; James, born in 1988, and Jessica, born in 1990 and today live in a 20,000 square foot mansion in Potomac, Maryland.

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Handing Over The Crown

When news broke that Lynda Carter would not be playing Wonder Woman over thirty years on from her original role, she stated “it would be dishonest of me to say I didn’t have a little pang of “well, here it goes”. Though, when she met Gal Gadot, the new Wonder Woman on our film screens, and following skepticism of Gal playing the role, she felt like her super heroine reprisal was in good hands and supported her on the red carpet.

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Tough Childhood

Sometimes it’s not easy being pretty, with a perfect figure, and talents in acting and singing. The children Carter attended school with certainly did not make an exception for the future Wonder Woman. Rather, she had the nickname, Olive Oyl, a reference to the lanky Popeye character. With all her perfections, they saw her height and large feet as flaws for the aspiring actress and musician. Maybe they would have acted slightly different if they knew she would be one of Hollywood’s future icons.

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Leaving Hollywood

While Hollywood screams glitz and glamour, this is not always the case for rising stars. Amongst all her riches and fame, Lynda found that she had little substance in her life. That is why following from shooting her last episode in Wonder Woman, she and husband left the City of Angels to set up a home in Washington, D.C. where her husband worked. Regardless of being in the height of her career, she eventually found fulfillment in her life when she had children.

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Fraud Allegations

In 1992, Carter’s second husband, Robert A. Altman, was accused of a banking fraud. Altman, who is a lawyer, was charged with an attempt to defraud regulators about a secret acquisition involving the Bank of Credit and Commerce International. He was prosecuted in court and was facing a long sentence. Luckily for Altman, Carter was at his side at all times and supported him throughout his trial. Despite all of the drawn out drama, in the end Altman was acquitted of all charges.

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Her Drinking Problem

The famous TV star from the 70’s had admitted in an interview that she suffered from alcoholism in the past. She began drinking in her twenties after Wonder Woman went off the air, but increased it after her first marriage ended in 1982. The actress revealed that she drank in order to avoid her “emotional difficulties” from her first marriage.

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Hiding Her Secret

According to Carter, things had gotten worse following her second marriage. Lynda said that she was very good at hiding her condition, but also said that she did not feel present in her childrens’ lives. Eventually, after many years, Carter understood that she could no longer keep it as a secret from her family. It was her husband Robert who eventually urged the actress to seek professional help for the sake of their relationship and their children.

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Staying Sober

Carter then decided to take her life back in her own hands. She decided it was time to seek out treatment at a rehabilitation center near her home in Washington D.C. According to the actress, she asked God for help and guidance in order to recover from her situation. Luckily, her treatment was successful and Carter said that she learned a great deal about herself and about the best measures of human nature. She is now 20 years sober.

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Plastic Surgery

Even at the age of 66, Lynda Carter is often considered as one of the most beautiful, well preserved mature actresses in the world of show business. However, many rumors began circulating regarding her overly-natural look. According to various sources, Carter allegedly underwent several plastic surgeries as she began to suffer from wrinkles around her face and neck a few years ago. Many reporters claimed that she allegedly had a successful facelift in order to keep her skin firm.

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Missed Opportunities

Originally, the actress was due to play in Francis Ford Coppola’s epic Apocalypse Now. Carter was initially cast as a character in the movie, but after the film’s production was delayed by various circumstances, she could not appear in it due to a schedule conflict with filming a new season for Wonder Woman. Carter was replaced by Colleen Camp, but some footage of her remained of the Redux version that was released in 2001. A photograph of Carter appears during a small scene in the movie.

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Career In Hollywood

During her career, the successfully accomplished actress focused mainly on the small screen, appearing as a guest performer in several movies. Throughout the years, Carter appeared in many TV shows including The Muppet Show, Law and Order, Smallville and Two and a Half Men. As well as her television roles, she did also feature in numerous films such as Bobbie Joe and the Outlaw, Super Troopers, and the 2005 remake of the classic film, The Dukes of Hazzard.

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Video Games

Lynda Carter possesses a golden touch in everything she does, whether it is in television, film, theater or music. In addition, she also found new territory in the video game industry. Carter is a prolific voice actor, who amongst many roles dubbed several characters in The Elder Scrolls games series. Recently, she voiced a character in the game Fallout 4, while also composing some of her own original music for the game’s soundtrack.

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Changing Her Name

Ever since she was a little girl, Lynda Carter knew that she was going to have a career in show business. The talented actress and singer was born in Phoenix, Arizona as Linda Jean Cordova Carter, but she preferred to be known as one of a kind. She then chose to change her name from Linda to the exotic Lynda in order to stand alone on her own in the entertainment industry, and that was the start of Lynda Carter.

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End Of The Road

It was nearly the end of her acting career before landing Wonder Woman. According to Carter, she had only $25 in her bank account when she got the call from the producers telling her she got the role. However, before beating 2,000 women to this iconic role and going onto make millions, she was in the position of asking friends for loans in order to pay rent until she received her first paycheck – we sure hope they all got their loans back.

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