It’s taken me all day to be able to sit down and try to put my thoughts to paper, as it were. Growing up I think I was pretty typical in that I wanted to be EVERYTHING: doctor, lawyer, Indian chief as the saying went back then; nurse, cowboy, librarian, space explorer, writer, journalist, astronaut, superhero.
The 1970s were a time of change and women were moving into the forefront of jobs and careers, taking on more mainstream male oriented jobs, getting involved in politics and becoming more seen and heard. In Queens, where I grew up, we had Liz Holtzman and Bella Abzug and Geraldine Ferrarro.
I loved Batman and Robin but I especially loved Batgirl. Quiet, mild-mannered librarian, pull a lever or push a button, her vanity rotates and she’s Batgirl, fighting crime alongside the guys. In fact, sometimes, a lot of the time saving their bacon in the nick of time.
Last week for gishwhes, I cosplayed as Batgirl. She was the only one who could get me into a costume in public. I’m so glad I was able to do that before she passed away.
She began in ballet, and shared the screen in two films with Elvis Presley. After television and movies, she had other very successful careers, one as a real estate broker and another in the prepaid phone card business among other ventures. She spent time attending conventions and wrote a memoir, From Ballet to the Batcave and Beyond. Most recently before her illness, she was the voice of Olivia’s grandmother on the animated children’s series of the same name.
She was a hero of mine. Her hair was dark and short like mine. She played with the boys like I did. She was kind and smart and thoughtful and she was the perfect role model to look up to.
I am so sad to see her passing.
I’d like to share some links and videos that I remember from my childhood. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
Rest in peace, Yvonne.
You will truly be missed and remembered.
Her PSA for Equal Pay, 1974
The Secret Origins of Batgirl
[All pictures are not mine. I will add copyright info to my new Photo Credits Page when time permits]