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Yvonne Craig, original Batgirl, remembered as 'role model'

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(Read caption) Yvonne Craig, the actress best known for playing Batgirl in the 1960s Batman TV series, is regarded by many as a pioneer of female superheroes on screen. Ms. Craig inspired many as she originated the role of Batgirl and was known to perform her own stunts. Craig was also known for roles on TV shows such as The Man From U.N.C.L.E., The Six Million Dollar Man, Kojack and Star Trek.

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Actress Yvonne Craig, who is often remembered for portraying Batgirl in the 1960s “Batman” TV series, has died.

Craig starred with Adam West and Burt Ward in the TV show, which aired from 1966 to 1968 and also starred Cesar Romero, Burgess Meredith, Julie Newmar, and Eartha Kitt. 

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The actress also appeared on the “Star Trek” TV series with William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy as well as “Fantasy Island,” “Starsky and Hutch,” and “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” 

She also starred in the Elvis Presley films “Kissin’ Cousins” and “It Happened at the World’s Fair” and provided voice work for the Nick Jr. animated series “Olivia,” which debuted in 2009. 

Craig first appeared in the third (and final) season of “Batman,” which ran on ABC. Batgirl’s alter ego was Barbara Gordon, the daughter of Police Commissioner Gordon (Neil Hamilton). Craig also reportedly did her own stunts on the show.

“I hear from women that I was their role model,” Craig said in an interview. "[They would say,] ‘When I was a little girl, I realized that girls could kick butt just like guys.’ ”

Despite the current superhero movie and TV show boom, few projects center on female superheroes, though there are some planned for the future. CBS’s adaptation of the “Supergirl” story is set to debut this fall with Melissa Benoist as the title character. Wonder Woman, played by actress Gal Gadot, will appear in the March 2016 “Batman v Superman” and is slated to get her own 2017 movie from the Warner Bros. studio. In addition, a movie starring the female version of superhero Captain Marvel is set to be released in 2018, according to Marvel Studios.