After entering a local beauty pageant, Lynda Carter went on to win the title of Miss USA in 1973. Shortly afterward, Hollywood came knocking. Carter studied acting in New York and began making guest appearances on such TV shows as Starsky and Hutch. But it was her marquis role as Wonder Woman in 1975 that made her a recognizable star and kept her in the public eye for the years it ran.
Early Life and Career
Lynda Jean Cordova was born on July 24, 1951 in Phoenix, Arizona. The youngest of three kids, the statuesque Lynda studied classical dance and drama throughout her childhood and teen years. After briefly attending Arizona State University, she dropped out to tour the country and sing with her high school rock band. By 1972, Carter had returned home to begin a modeling career. After entering a local beauty pageant, she went on to win the title of Miss USA in 1973.
Shortly after winning her crown, Hollywood came knocking. Carter studied acting in New York and began making guest appearances on such television shows as Cos and Starsky and Hutch. But it was her marquis role as Wonder Woman in 1975 that made her a recognizable star. The show originally started out as a special on ABC, but by 1976 the network had turned it into a series. After one season, it was picked up by CBS where it aired for another few years, despite the network's initial fear that a female lead wouldn't be popular.
"TV executives didn't think there was a market for a female holding a show like Wonder Woman," Carter confided to the Daily Mail. "Women were buying all their products, yet men dominated the shows."
However, Wonder Woman proved to be a hit to both male and female viewers alike. On the 75th anniversary of the heroine, Carter recently explained why Wonder Woman still resonates today. "We’re still fighting the same fight. We still need more female role models," she told Variety in October 2016. "But Wonder Woman is much more than a cartoon character. She’s fighting for truth and justice and the secret self that exists in all women and girls. There’s a moral fiber and a goodness about her that all women have."
In 2016 Carter praised actress Gal Gadot's performance as Wonder Woman in the film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Post Wonder Woman, Carter has kept up her love for both music and acting. She has appeared live in Las Vegas and has made guest appearances on television shows like Law & Order, Smallville, and Two and a Half Men. In 2005 she appeared in the film version of The Dukes of Hazzard and played Mama Morton in the West End London production of Chicago. Carter is also known for being a spokesmodel for Maybelline throughout the '80s and Lens Express in the '90s.
In October 2016 Carter can be seen playing the role of President Olivia Marsdin in season two of the CW's Supergirl series.
In 2008 Carter admitted she had privately battled alcoholism in her past. In an interview with People, she revealed she had checked herself into a rehab clinic in the late '90s and has been sober ever since.
Carter was married to Hollywood producer and manager Ron Samuels from 1977-1982. She married Washington lawyer Robert Altman in 1984; the couple has two children, Jamie and Jessica.
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