R.I.P. Yvonne Craig (1937 – 2015)

The family of Yvonne Craig has announced that the actress passed away earlier this week following a long battle with breast cancer. She was 78 years old.

Yvonne Joyce Craig was born on May 16, 1937 in Taylorville, Illinois before spending most of her childhood in Columbus, Ohio. Originally trained as a ballet dancer, Craig began acting professionally in 1959 with appearances in The Young Land, The Gene Krupa Story, and Gidget. After guest spots in Mr. Lucky and Perry Mason, Craig starred opposite Elvis Presley in It Happened at the World’s Fair and Kissin’ Cousins. Craig also landed starring roles in Mars Needs Women and In Like Flint.

In the mid-to-late ‘60s, Craig had memorable guest starring roles in The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Wild Wild West, McHale’s Navy, and the original Star Trek, in which she was famously painted green as the alluring Orion slave girl Marta. But Craig’s best known role was Barbara Gordon a.k.a. Batgirl on the Batman TV series starring Adam West and Burt Ward.

After the second season of Batman, the producers of the show and DC Comics decided to introduce a new Batgirl to be simultaneously unveiled in the comics and the TV series. Craig was the first actress to portray Barbara Gordon/Batgirl, and the character has remained popular to the present day.

Following her stint on Batman, Craig appeared in Love, American Style, Kentucky Jones, The Big Valley, It Takes a Thief, The Mod Squad, Kojak, Emergency! and The Six Million Dollar Man. She later moved into real estate and became a popular guest on the convention circuit. Craig’s last major role was “Grandma” on the Olivia animated series that ran from 2009 to 2011.

CraveOnline extends its condolences to Craig’s family, friends, and fans all over the world. She’ll always be Batgirl to us.

Photo Credit: DC Comics/20th Century Fox Television/Warner Bros. Television