Rolling Stone, August 25th, 1988


Where Are They Now: Batgirl


Batman, the campy comic book come to life, was an instant smash when it debuted on television in 1966. Twice a week, the Dynamic Duo - Batman (Adam West) and Robin (Burt Ward) - delivered animated pows, bangs and thuds to such evil villains as the Penguin, the Joker, the Riddler and Chandell (played by Liberace). But in 1967, the show's ratings had begun to wane. To liven things up, a new character was added - Batgirl, played by Yvonne Craig.

Today, Craig, who recently married her companion of sixteen years, sells real estate in California. "It's fun to make deals," she says. "You get into a whole other part of your brain that you don't use as an actress. Now I understand why people become managers and agents."

Craig wasn't quite sure what she was getting into when she was offered the role of Batgirl. "I hadn't seen the show prior to doing it," she says. "I never read comics as a kid, so why would I watch them on TV?" Nonetheless, she took the part and liked the work - even doing her own stunts, which included driving a motorcycle. "They took the shocks off of it so they could put these lovely bat wings on it. And any time it would go over a pebble, it was like jumping off a table."

After Batman went off the air, in 1968, Craig appeared on other television shows, including It Takes a Thief, The Mod Squad and Star Trek. Prior to her stint on Batman, she had costarred in two Elvis Presley movies, It Happened at the World's Fair and Kissin' Cousins.

She described Presley as having "a droll, dry sense of humor. He was very much aware of his effect on women, but very much a Southern gentleman. The only other person I've seen have that awareness of his own persona is Mick Jagger. He knows down to the flick of an eyelash what his audience expects of him. Elvis had that same sense of what his audience wanted from him, and what he was to women. We had a love scene by a tree. And he said, 'You need to stand closer to me, because my fans expect that.' I thought, 'Okay!' "

Craig's last acting job was in an episode of The Six Million Dollar Man in 1978. But she says she plans to do a movie soon in London.

So what ever happened to her Batgirl costume? "Burt Ward stole it," she says. "When we finished shooting the Batman show, we all said goodbye and went away, and apparently Burt took my costume and my wig. He would dress up his girlfriend and tie her to a pole or something at shopping malls. It was like a whole act that they did."





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