Lynda Carter’s legendary career in film, television, and stage has spanned decades, and now she’s preparing to return to TV in a major way as the president of the United States in the upcoming season of Supergirl. The role sees Carter back in the world of superpowered heroines that first made her famous; Carter portrayed Wonder Woman in the classic TV series from 1975 to 1979.
Not only did she play Wonder Woman on TV, but Carter is also a wonder woman herself. Here are some particularly wonderful facts about the actress and former Miss World America that you may not have known.
1. She’s not afraid to do her own stunts
Obviously, there’s a lot of stunt work involved in filming a superhero series, but that’s not something that ever scared Carter on the set of Wonder Woman. Given that female superheroes were rare in the ’70s, Warner Bros. only had male stunt doubles to work with Carter. She found the idea of a man doubling for her preposterous, as PBS reports, and instead performed many of her own stunts, including hanging onto a helicopter as it flew. Following that stunt, the executives opted to hire a female stunt double.
2. Her first love was music, and it’s still a passion of hers
Though she’s best known as an actress, Lynda Carter is also an accomplished jazz singer with three studio albums under her belt: Portrait (1978), At Last (2009), and Crazy Little Things (2011). During her childhood in Phoenix, Arizona, Carter sang in two bands. In high school, she formed a group called Just Us, and then joined up with two of her cousins to create a group called The Relatives. After she enrolled in Arizona State University, Carter dropped out for a while to pursue a career in music, but soon returned to the school.
3. She was supposed to be in Apocalypse Now, and she still kind of is if you know where to look
Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now is one of the most acclaimed war movies ever made, and Carter originally had a part in it. Carter was cast as the Playboy Playmate “Miss May” in the film, but after production was delayed by a storm, her contract with Wonder Woman forced her to give up the role and actress Colleen Camp took her place. However, viewers still get a glimpse of Carter in the Redux version of the film that Coppola released in 2001. A Playboy centerfold shot for the movie while Carter was still on set appears in the lengthened version of the movie, and the photograph accounts for the actress’ only nude scene aside from the one she did in her very first movie, 1976’s Bobbie Jo and the Outlaw.
4. She’s a video game composer
As if film, TV, stage, and music weren’t enough on their own, Carter also is involved in video games. Carter voiced a number of characters in four different The Elder Scrolls games throughout the years. In 2015, she took her involvement in gaming to the next level by not only voicing the character of Magnolia in Fallout 4, but also composing an original soundtrack for the game.
5. Her childhood nickname was Olive Oyl
Unfortunately, Carter’s childhood nickname wasn’t meant as a compliment. She told TimeOut that kids in her high school would refer to her as the lanky Popeye character because she was tall and had large feet. Of course, those bullies are probably regretting that now.