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Wonder Woman Lynda Carter’s Biggest Battle Was Alcoholism

Lynda Carter Played Diana Prince on the hit 1970s Wonder Woman television series. Before she landed that iconic role she rose to fame after winning the Miss USA pageant in 1973. After studying acting in New York City she scored her first role in a little known TV show called Nakia. Shortly thereafter she started making guest appearances on higher-profile shows like Starsky and Hutch and Matt Helm.

Wonder Woman helped launch her multi-decade acting career and she has been in the public lens ever since. In addition to being an accomplished actor, she is also a talented singer. She released her first single in 1973 and since then has recorded 5 studio albums. Carter has also found success as a voice actress appearing in several high profile video games. Most recently she made a cameo appearance in Wonder Woman 1984.

Despite her many successes, she has also had to deal with her fair share of struggles. Even so, she has come out on the other side of her troubles a stronger woman.

Putting Down The Bottle

She recently told the Daily Mail that she is grateful for overcoming one particularly difficult battle – alcoholism.

In that interview, the 69-year-old revealed that she has been in recovery for 23 years now.

Carter further detailed that she didn’t even start drinking until she was in her mid-20s. Her experience with alcohol was a lot like a roller coaster ride. At first, she would drink heavily for several years straight then take several years off thinking that she had things under control. Eventually, though she would convince herself that she had the willpower to have just one drink without any repercussions. She could stop whenever she wanted, right? After all, she managed to white-knuckle it and steer clear of the booze for a couple of years. What’s the worse that could happen?

Every single time it was the same old story. The second that she tasted that first sip of booze, she would be off to the races again. Addiction has this cunning way of convincing someone that they are in control when they really aren’t. A false sense of confidence can spell disaster for someone struggling to put the bottle down.

No Single Reason

No sane person sets out to become an alcoholic. Typically the underlying reasons for someone’s alcoholism are numerous. There are genetic, environmental, social, and arguably even spiritual factors at play – depending on who you’re asking. Some people seem to always have a problem with alcohol and self-control while others experience a gradual worsening of their alcoholism over time as they increasingly become dependent both physically and mentally on alcohol’s effects.

Carter admits that there is a history of alcoholism in her family but her alcoholism was exacerbated by the fact that she had developed poor coping mechanisms for dealing with her problems.

When she first started drinking, she was in a very unhappy marriage with her first husband and former talent manager, Ron Samuels. It was a really trying time for Carter. She and her husband were constantly at odds with each other. After the honeymoon phase of their relationship wore off, it was nothing but misery. They were together from 1977 to 1982.

Fortunately, Carter has since found love once again. She married her current husband, attorney and businessman Robert Altman, in 1984.

They have two children together. Her son James Clifford Altman was born on January 14, 1988, and her daughter Jessica Altman was born on October 7, 1990.

Carter and her husband moved away from Hollywood more than three decades ago. She and her family currently live in Potomac, Maryland.

Carter is deeply devoted to her family. She was able to overcome her alcoholism by putting them first. Prioritizing what is important and learning healthier ways to cope with life’s struggles has given her the opportunity to heal.

Opposites Attract

Carter told the Daily Mail that she and Altman’s marriage is evenly balanced because they both have such different personalities. She described Altman as being smart, charming, and even-tempered while still having a great sense of humor. While around other people he has the tendency to be more self-contained and reserved. Lynda, however, was quick to point out that she is quite the opposite. Whenever she’s around a crowd of people she tends to be the one seeking attention.

The Wonder Woman Years

Carter is grateful for her time on Wonder Woman. The show ran from 1975 to 1979. When she landed the role, she was struggling to even pay her rent. In fact, she apparently only had $25 dollars in her bank account when she got the phone call with the good news. The opportunity was quite literally life-changing for her.

It’s a wonder that the show even got off the ground. Network executives didn’t think that there was even a market for a female heading a series like Wonder Woman at the time. Women had all the purchasing power back then because they did all the shopping but it was the men that dominated the TV screen.

Wonder Woman, however, proved to be a hit with both male and female audiences. Carter explained to Variety magazine back in 2016 why she thinks that Wonder Woman has continued to resonate with people after all these years. She explained that humanity is still fighting the same fight that we were 75 years ago when the heroine was first conceived.

“We still need more female role models,” she explained. She continued by pointing out that Wonder Woman is so much more than just a cartoon character. She’s a fighter for justice and truth. She represents that secret self that exists deep inside every woman and girl.

“There’s a moral fiber and a goodness about her that all women have” Carter concluded.

Carter’s Later Projects

Although she isn’t necessarily the most prolific performer, Carter has stayed steadily busy since Wonder Woman wrapped up in 1979. She has continued to explore her acting as well as her musical career. She’s given live performances in Las Vegas in addition to guest-starring on numerous television shows such as Law & Order, Smallville, and Two and a Half Men.

From 1994 to 1995 she played the role of Elizabeth Shields on the short-lived adventure series Hawkeye.

She then appeared in The Dukes of Hazard reboot film in 2005 and portrayed Mama Morton in the production of the musical Chicago in London’s historic West End theater district. Carter was also the spokesmodel for both Maybelline in the 80s and for Lens Express in the 90s. In 2016, she played U.S. President Olivia Marsdin in 5 episodes of CBS’ Supergirl.

In addition to acting, modeling, and singing, Carter is also an accomplished voice actress. Her husband Robert Altman is the CEO of ZeniMax Media, the parent company for Bethesda Game Studios. In 2002 she voiced several characters in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. She went on to voice numerous characters for several other Bethesda games including Elder Scrolls: Oblivion and Skyrim, Fallout 4, and Rage 2.

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And don’t go anywhere just yet. We still have a bunch of facts to share with you about Lynda Carter from her years on Wonder Woman. You wouldn’t want to miss any of that, would you?

She Performed Many Of Her Own Stunts

Carter has always been fairly fearless. Even though she had her own stunt double she often performed her own stunts when given the opportunity. While shouting the helicopter stunt on the season 2 episode ‘Anschluss 77’, it became very apparent that her double looked nothing like her in that particular shot. Instead of running with it anyway, she decided to go ahead and do it herself.

Really, she did it for her fans. Not only did she not want to waste time finding another body double but she also wanted to make sure that the shot reflected the standards of quality that knew that the viewing audience expected. So she held on to that helicopter and let it lift her up 50 feet into the air. Honestly, that was probably a lot of fun.

She Came Up With The Wonder Woman Twirl

Carter told Entertainment Weekly back in 2005 that her signature spinning move was her idea. She cited her background in dancing as a contributing factor to her coming up with the idea. The producers were all sitting around arguing about how she should make her transformation and she decided to speak up. She volunteered to do a spin or pirouette, and just like that the Wonder Woman Spin was born.

Se Had Previously Auditioned For Wonder Woman

It would seem that Carter was always destined to be Wonder Woman. She had previously auditioned for the part of the hero for a 1974 TV film but the role was given to Cathy Lee Crosby instead. We don’t think she had any hard feelings though because just a year later she was called back to star in the weekly series.

Carter Preferred The 70s Version Of Wonder Woman

The first season of Wonder Woman was set in the 1940s, which meant that its production was much more expensive. After the show jumped networks after season one, the production team decided to bring Wonder Woman into the modern age to save on money – and since Wonder Woman ages slower than mere mortals, the time jump didn’t raise too many questions. Carter later admitted that she preferred the 70s version because she thought that she performed better in the modern setting.

She Cared Deeply About The Crew Member

As a symbol of courage and compassion, Wonder Woman inspired the nation. Obviously, Carter proved that she was courageous when performing her own stunts but she also showed that she compassionate by the way that she treated her co-workers.

There was this one time when the son of Carter’s body double Jeanie Eppers was made fun of by his classmates after telling them that his mom played Wonder Woman on TV. After hearing of this, Carter decided to invite his entire class out to the set for a field trip to see Epper in action.

Lynda Carter is certainly an inspiration. Not only is she a feminist icon for her role as Wonder Woman but she is also a role model for those in recovery from alcoholism and addiction. 23 years is a long time to not have a sip of alcohol. That takes a lot of will-power, perseverance, and hard work.

Sure, she has never stopped acting, but in recent years she has devoted a huge chunk of her time and attention to pursuing her first true love: music. Given the current world climate with all of the unrest and uncertainty, taking the time time to focus on creating music just might be the most therapeutic thing that someone can do.

We wish Lynda Carter well in her continued journey of recovery and we hope to see more of her in the future, be it in films and television or by means of her music.

Which Wonder Woman do you prefer? Lynda Carter in the 1970s television series or Gal Gadot in the new Wonder Woman films? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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