On August 17th, we lost a beautiful, talented woman. Yvonne Craig, who played Barbara Gordon/Batgirl on the 1960’s Batman television series starring Adam West, and the first actress to portray the character on screen, passed away in her home after a long battle with breast cancer. She was 78.
Her fellow Batman alumni offered their condolences in a public statement shortly following her death.
Burt Ward, who played Dick Grayson/Robin said,
“Yvonne was a dear friend and a wonderful actress to work with. We had a great time on Batman. We were friends. She got along great with Adam [West] and myself and everybody else. She was just a delightful person with a sparkling personality. She had an energy and brightness to her that was just uplifting.”
He also said she had visited him at his home several times where they bonded over their shared love of dogs. Ward and his wife run a rescue organization for Great Danes.
Julie Newmar, the original Catwoman, also commented on her memories of Craig. While never having acted with Craig, as Eartha Kitt replaced Newmar as Catwoman during the time Yvonne Craig was on the show in season 3, they both appeared together at multiple conventions and television reunion specials over the years and became good friends.
“My memory of her, especially, was her ebullience,” said Newmar, “I’m looking at a pale, pink dahlia in my garden. They’re the dinner-plate dahlias, bigger than your face and they’re just bursting with joy and that’s the kind of person she was. A smile, always a smile. And she would always show up in these marvelous clothes. They were all made of this silky kind of material. It’s body-hugging. It’s what our Catwoman and Batgirl costumes should have been made out of. Kind of similar but very clinging and comfortable. She was buxom and adorable. Everyone liked her.”
Newmar also added in a Facebook post:
“YVONNE CRAIG I am greatly saddened. She IS a classy lady. She IS loved by everyone.”
Adam West also responded in a Facebook statement:
“I was deeply saddened for us to lose Yvonne. It was too soon. She always brought humor and a fine attitude to our stage. She was a joy to work with. A good person. My heartfelt condolences to Yvonne’s family. We will miss her.”
Yvonne Craig will be missed by family, friends, and fans, but she will live on through her body of work in television, and in the hearts of those who knew her. May she rest in peace.