Original 'Wonder Woman' deaf stunt double Kitty O'Neil passes away at 72, Gal Gadot pays tribute
O'Neil, who had also worked in films like 'The Blues Brothers' and 'Smokey and the Bandit II,' had lost her hearing when she was a tender 5-month-old baby
The original 1975 'Wonder Woman' series' legendary stunt woman, Kitty O'Neil is no more. The brave lady passed away earlier this month on November 2 in South Dakota at the age of 72, as per multiple reports. O'Neil played the stunt double for Lynda Carter's Wonder Woman and our new age Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot, shared a heartwarming tribute in honor of the late stunt artist, who passed away from pneumonia at the Eureka Community Hospital in South Dakota.
O'Neil, who had also worked in films like 'The Blues Brothers' and 'Smokey and the Bandit II,' had lost her hearing when she was a tender 5-month-old baby - after contracting measles and smallpox. Speaking about her remarkable work in the industry, Gadot took to Instagram to pay homage to the departed actress.
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"So sad hearing about the passing of Kitty O'Neil, a legacy to the Wonder Woman family," Gadot wrote in the caption alongside a photo of O'Neil in Wonder Woman's attire, amid a stunt. "At 5 months of age, she lost her hearing due to contracting multiple childhood illnesses. This made her want to achieve more as she went on to pursue sports as well as she learned the piano and cello. Not only was she a brave stunt woman on the original WW series, she broke records on and off set as well."
Gadot continued, saying: "On set she set a high fall record of 127ft by jumping off a hotel Terrace onto an airbag. She’s named the 'fastest woman in the world' for driving a three wheeled rocket car going 512 mph on land which still stands today. She also set records on boats and jet skis. You were remarkable, strong, brave, and resilient. Rest In Peace Kitty! 🙅🏻♀ #WomenOfWonder"
In a 1977 interview with People magazine, O'Neil spoke about her struggles, and how she overcame her troubles related to hearing. "My mother pushed me to read lips but she didn't push me in sports — I did that myself,” she said. “Because I was deaf, I had a very positive mental attitude. You have to show people you can do anything." Rest in peace, Kitty.