September 22, 2016

Where Is She Now: Lynda Carter

DC Comics is one of Warner Brother's many properties, and competes with rival Walt Disney Company's 2009 acquisition of Marvel Comics, although the consensus is that Warner hasn't capitalized on its comic book franchise as Disney has.  Regardless, DC comics gave us some truly enduring and impressive super heroes, among them: Wonder Woman.

Lynda Carter circa 2016
Most Gen Xers remember Wonder Woman from a combination of watching "Super Friends" (catch my post on that at for more background) on Saturday mornings as kids which featured the recurring character (indeed, Wonder Woman was a founding member of the Justice League), and then a successful TV show called "Wonder Woman" that aired on ABC television from 1975 to 1979.  The lead character in the show (and her secret identity, Diana Prince) was played by Lynda Carter, a former beauty pageant winner from Arizona (who was crowned Miss World America in 1972).  Ms. Carter got her start in Hollywood with appearances on such TV shows as "Starsky and Hutch" as well as a few "B" movies.

Unlike earlier movies about Wonder Woman from that era, including the 1974 made-for-TV movie Wonder Woman which starred the blonde actress Cathy Lee Crosby (who later served as a host on ABC's reality television show "That's Incredible!" from  1980 to 1984), the consensus seems to be that Lynda Carter's depiction as Wonder Woman was more likable and believable, probably for her looks, but also because of the actress' adoption of the character.

Ms. magazine's inaugural cover of Wonder Woman
In some ways, Wonder Woman is the most peculiar of all comic book characters.  She emerged in an era when comic books targeted and were consumed primarily by boys, so Wonder Woman likely emerged in response to societal criticisms that there weren't any female super heroes.  But Gloria Steinem, founder of Ms. magazine was responsible for the return of Wonder Woman's original super hero abilities. Offended that the most famous female superhero had been depowered in depictions of her, Steinem placed Wonder Woman (in costume) on the cover of the first issue of Ms. (1972).  Warner was also an investor in Ms. magazine — which contained an appreciative essay about the character.

But the character known as warrior princess of the Amazons also endured her to male comic book readers, plus her secret super "powers" which included a tiara, bullet-proof bracelets, and golden lasso all of seemed to have endeared the character to both gays and lesbians, and in the "Super Friends" cartoon, she also had an invisible jet airplane.  That makes the Wonder Woman character truly unique in the world of entertainment.

Although there has been periodic talks of rebooting Wonder Woman for television, none have gone anywhere, as Warner just can't seem to do much of anything big with its comic book assets in the way Disney has with Marvel's assets.  But Lynda Carter has guest-starred (as the President of the United States) on the successful TV series Supergirl, which will air on The CW in 2016 (see for the news).  The 1975-1979 TV series is available on DVD, and has started to emerge on some streaming services, but has also started to appear on television again (on Me-TV).

An interesting route to take might be online, but again, Disney seems to have succeeded more with that channel than Warner has.  Perhaps that's because Viacom was married to older channels under the leadership of Sumner Redstone, while the rest of Hollywood routinely mines emerging channels for content, and older stars re-establish themselves there (the late Joan Rivers, for example, had a YouTube show called "In Bed With Joan", and Richard Simmons has paid big bucks to an agency to help him build a following online  Now that Mr. Redstone has stepped down (his family basically forced him out), we might see some more creativity from Warner that we had not seen previously, perhaps with the character portrayed by a South American or Asian actress.

But the ABC TV series Wonder Woman (which again, ran from 1975 to 1979) remains an enduring favorite, especially among Gen Xers and a large variety of subgroups.

Where is Lynda Carter today?

Well, a number of programs have reconnected Ms. Carter with her TV audiences over the years.  For example, in 2006, Australia's "Where Are They Now" program ran an entertaining segment with her, which can be seen on YouTube at (or below):

Then, in 2013, former talk-show host Oprah Winfrey interviewed her for her "Where Are They Now" segment which airs on the Oprah Winfrey cable network.  Lynda Carter revealed that she lives in the Washington, DC area (Potomac, MD to be precise) these days, and the reason she and her husband moved there was to be away from Hollywood, where she kind of suggests that people are judged more for how much money they have, rather than for their accomplishments.  She feels that she, her husband and her children are better off where they live now.  Have a look below, or by visiting

But, in typical Oprah interview style, Oprah probes deeper, and Lynda Carter revealed her previous struggles with alcohol abuse (see for more details), although she had already revealed that with a People magazine interview in 2008 and she has been sober since 1998.

Of course, several years have passed since both of these clips were recorded, but the Hollywood paparazzi and press continue to follow Lynda Carter, although they don't seem to be finding much "dirt" that Ms. Carter hasn't already revealed about herself.  Now, at age 65, Ms. Carter and her husband are eligible to collect Medicare and Social Security, although her husband is CEO of a company, so he may not be ready for retirement yet.

In her free time, in addition to taking care of her family (both her kids are over age 25 now, and no longer live at home), Ms. Carter remains a longtime advocate and supporter of breast cancer charities, she supports pro-choice rights for women, as well as full legal equality for LGBT people.  On the latter point, she has been the Grand Marshal for the Pride Parades in Phoenix, AZ as well as New York City and her adopted hometown of Washington, DC.  The main message seems to be that Lynda Carter has bonded with many groups of people over the years, she seems very proud of that fact.

The Australian clip perhaps best summarizes (towards the end of the clip) Lynda Carter's perspective on future Wonder Women, noting that she is certain others will play the role in the future, but she hopes that future actresses will have the same "accessibility" as she managed to give the character.

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