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Original Batgirl Yvonne Craig Dies at 78

LOS ANGELES - Yvonne Craig, who gained fame as TV's original Batgirl at age 30 in the iconic 60s TV series "Batman" died Monday from complications due to breast cancer, her family has said. She was 78.

Craig was born in 1937 in Illinois. She began her performing career as the youngest member of The Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, and toured with the company for three years. She moved to Los Angeles after she was discovered by John Ford’s son Patrick who cast her in The Young Land in 1959 with Patrick Wayne and Dennis Hopper.

At first, Yvonne had small parts in pictures such as "Gidget and The Gene Krupa Story. After that, her film career just bumped along. As Yvonne was dating Elvis Presley at the time, she did have a supporting role in the two Elvis pictures, It Happened at the World's Fair and Kissin' Cousins.

But her fame would come with the cult Television series "Batman" (1966-68) in which she played Commissioner Gordon's daughter, Barbara. Her secret identity was Batgirl and as the Commissioner's daughter, she had access to all the calls of trouble that was taking place in Gotham City. Her character,

Batgirl, was part of the 67-68 season, which was the end of the run for the show. After Batman, she also appeared on other television programs such as "Star Trek" and "The Six Million Dollar Man." As her career wound down, Yvonne went into the real estate business.

In recent years Craig wrote a book of memoirs, "From Ballet To The Batcave And Beyond," and began doing voice over work including the role of Grandma on Nickelodeon's "Olivia" cartoon series.

Craig’s family posted a note about her passing on her official website. It expressed some of her final wishes. “Wish Number One is that her family, friends and fans would know how much she loved them and always treasured her time with them. Wish Number Two was that no one waste a moment of their time in mourning for her loss in sadness but instead celebrate the awesome life she had been fortunate enough to live. She felt that she lived a wonderful life and was blessed in many ways.”

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