Kitty O’Neil, a longtime Hollywood stuntwoman whose illustrious career included setting numerous records for speed and performing action sequences in place of Lynda Carter for “Wonder Woman,” has died at 72.
She passed away in South Dakota last Friday from pneumonia, The Washington Post reported.
O’Neil, who was born in Corpus Christi, Texas, became deaf after she contracted measles, mumps and smallpox at the same time when she was just five months old, according to the newspaper.
She went on to become a fearless thrill-chaser who earned acclaim as a diver, jumper and driver.
The performer notably filled in for stunt scenes as the heroic Wonder Woman in the 1970s TV series about the comicbook character, receiving credits for 52 episodes.
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She also served as the stunt double on “The Bionic Woman” for star Lindsay Wagner, earning credits for 58 episodes, in addition to appearing in several movies, including “The Blues Brothers.”
O’Neil achieved the land-speed record for a woman in 1976 when she operated a rocket car at an average speed of 512.7 miles per hour — and hit a high speed of 618 mph — while driving across Southeast Oregon’s Alvord Desert.
She retired from the stunt industry in 1982.