AKA Yvonne Joyce Craig
Birthplace: Taylorville, IL
Location of death: Pacific Palisades, CA
Cause of death: Cancer - Breast
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Batgirl on Batman
Yvonne Craig was born in Illinois, raised in Ohio and Texas. She wanted to be a dancer, and she was good enough to dance professionally while still in high school. She performed with the prestigious Ballet Russe at the Metropolitan Opera, but very briefly. When she was told after a performance that she would be shifted to a smaller role, she quit on the spot.
At 20 she was still dancing, but also working as a struggling actress in Hollywood. She made her film debut with a small role in the then-shocking story of teen pregnancy, Eighteen and Eager. Her first starring role came in 1959, opposite Patrick Wayne and Dennis Hopper in The Young Land.
Craig dated Elvis Presley and appeared in two movies with him, supplying a few sizzling moments in the otherwise ordinary It Happened at the World's Fair, then plying her wiles as his titular love interest in Kissin' Cousins. She had key supporting roles in The Gene Krupa Story with Sal Mineo and In Like Flint with James Coburn. Aficionados of beach-blanket movies will remember her Ski Party with Frankie Avalon and Dwayne Hickman, and fans of utter schlock might remember Craig as the sexy geneticist kidnapped to repopulate a dying planet in Mars Needs Women, with Tommy Kirk.
She was cute and buxom, but her acting talents were never formidable, and Craig's career was in decline by the time TV's campy Batman, with Adam West and Burt Ward, cast Mary Ann Mobley as Batgirl for a proposed spin-off series. When Mobley became ill, though, it was Craig's big break. During Batman's final season, she played the petite librarian Barbara Gordon, daughter of Police Commissioner Gordon, who secretly rode a wild motorcycle after hours as the crime-fighting Batgirl. The spin-off series, though, was scuttled.
In Craig's most memorable performance after Batman, she was the green-skinned Shakespeare-spouting Marta, consort of an insane former starship captain in "Whom Gods Destroy," a last-season episode of the original Star Trek. She worked frequently on television through the late 1970s, but performed rarely after that. Her last film was an almost unseen 1990 comedy about mortuaries, Digging Up Business with Billy Barty and Ruth Buzzi.
After her time in show business, Craig worked in real estate, owned a company that markets prepaid telephone cards, and made frequent appearances at science fiction and comic book conventions. She said she led a "quiet life at home," but was frequently away on safari trips to Africa or white water rafting in Ecuador with her second husband, real estate magnate Kenneth Aldrich. She died in 2015.
Father: Maurice M. Craig (tool and die worker)
Mother: Pauline Craig (department store clerical worker)
Sister: Meridel Craig Carson
Brother: David Craig
Husband: Jimmy Boyd (singer/actor, m. 1960, div. 1962)
Boyfriend: Elvis Presley (together c. 1963)
Boyfriend: Mort Sahl (comedian, together mid-1960s)
Boyfriend: Bill Bixby (actor, together late 1960s)
Husband: Kenneth Aldrich (real estate developer, m. 1988)
Risk Factors: Breast Cancer, Liver Cancer
Batman Barbara Gordon, Batgirl (1967-68)
The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis Linda Sue Faversham (1959-62)
FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
Ballets russes (Jan-2005) · Herself
How to Frame a Figg (1971) · Glorianna
In Like Flint (15-Mar-1967) · Natasha, the Ballerina
Mars Needs Women (1967)
One Spy Too Many (28-Feb-1966)
Ski Party (30-Jun-1965) · Barbara Norris
Quick Before It Melts (5-Oct-1964)
Kissin' Cousins (6-Mar-1964) · Azalea Tatum
It Happened at the World's Fair (3-Apr-1963) · Dorothy Johnson
Seven Women from Hell (Oct-1961)
By Love Possessed (19-Jul-1961) · Veronica Kovacs
High Time (16-Sep-1960)
The Gene Krupa Story (Dec-1959) · Gloria Corregio
The Young Land (1-May-1959)
Gidget (10-Apr-1959) · Nan
Eighteen and Anxious (15-Nov-1957)
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