Lynda Carter Biography

PHOTO: Lynda Carter

Beauty queen, actress, singer, cosmetics consultant and Amazonian Superhero are all career strings to Lynda Carter’s bow.

She was born in Phoenix, Arizona in July 1951, to a family of Irish/Hispanic descent. Named Linda Jean Cordoba Carter, she later changed to the more exotic 'Lynda'. Although she appeared on Lew King's talent show aged five, it wasn't until her teenage years that she began pursuing a career in show business, initially as a singer.

Playing in her local pizzeria, she fronted a series of high school bands before joining The Garfin Gathering, at the age of 17. The band had its first professional engagement as an opening act at the Sahara Lounge in Las Vegas, which lasted three months. As Lynda was underage, throughout the season she could not enter through the casino – she had to slip in through the hotel's kitchen.

When little became of singing, Lynda decided to enter a beauty contest. With her statuesque good looks and beautiful blue eyes, she easily won Miss Phoenix, then Miss Arizona and ultimately Miss World-USA.

By 1974, she had moved to Hollywood and studied acting. An unsuccessful audition for TV producer, Larry Gordon, led to him recommending Lynda to his friend, Douglas Kramer, who was looking for a beautiful actress with the chutzpah of a Mary Tyler Moore, but with outstanding athletic ability. The role was DC Comics' 'Wonder Woman'.

Lynda beat over 2,000 actresses to the role she would become synonymous with. The pilot aired in November 1975 to tremendous rating success. Despite initial network concerns that Lynda might be "too sexy" in her revealing superhero costume, the show went on to run until 1979. Increasingly camp, later episodes had titles like 'Disco Devil' and 'Stolen Faces'.

During this period, Carter was married to her first husband Ron Samuels, who was her former talent agent. They wed in 1977 and divorced in 1982 with no children. She also released her first album 'Portrait' in 1978.

Little thereafter would not match the lasso-wielding heroine, but Lynda did have some success with TV specials and a detective series with Loni Anderson called 'Partners in Crime' in 1984. The same year, she married her second husband, Washington DC attorney Robert Altmann. Their son James was born in 1988 and their daughter Jessica followed in 1990.

After a sabbatical looking after her family, Lynda returned as a Principal of a High School for Young Superheroes, in Disney film 'Sky High' in 2005 before playing Pauline in a remake of 'The Dukes of Hazzard' the same year. Carter also appeared in 'Law and Order: Special Victims Unit' and 'Law and Order' that year.

Between September and November 2005, she played Mama Morton in London West End's version of 'Chicago'. Her rendition of 'When You're Good To Mama' was included on the 'Chicago Tenth Anniversary Edition CD box set. After this, she appeared in the TV film 'Slayer' in 2006.

In May 2007, she went on a one-woman cabaret show around the US called 'An Evening with Lynda Carter'. She then returned to the DC Comics TV world with a role in an episode of 'Smallville' before starring in 'Tattered Angel' that year.

Carter took time away from acting to spend time on her second album 'At Last', which was released in June 2009. It reached the top ten of the US Jazz Billboard chart.

She then voiced several characters in the computer game 'The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim' in 2011 before releasing her third album 'Crazy Little Things' in June that year. Carter described it as "a delightful mix of standards, country and pop songs".

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