60 Photos of Lynda Carter Like You've Never Seen Her Before

By Sarah Norman | August 15, 2023

Carter, one of three children, has a brother, Vincent, and a sister, Pamela

Bursting onto television screens in 1975, Lynda Carter is best known today for her work on Wonder Woman, a television adaptation of DC's first female superhero comic book series. She quickly became a favorite with fans who enjoyed her earnest portrayal of the iconic character, putting her own twist on Wonder Woman's evolution through her work on the series. When the show ended in 1979, Carter moved on to make a name for herself in music, film and television, becoming famous for her elaborately produced, star-studded musical variety shows. 

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Born on July 24, 1951 in Phoenix, Arizona, Lynda Jean Cordova Carter showed an innate talent for music and dancing from a very young age. Carter came from a diverse cultural background and, along with her siblings, was exposed to both Latin and European music growing up. Her mother, Juanita Cordova, was of Spanish, French and Mexican heritage, while her father, Colby Carter, had a Scots, Irish and English background. At the age of five, Carter was chosen to perform on Lew King's Talent Show, a nationally syndicated program. It was the start of a long and very successful career. 

In 2022, Carter noted that she started performing at a young age, even if it was just for her family:

I actually started, like many of us do, making up shows and things and making my poor family sit there through the four acts of a play or musical. I sang in everything I possibly could. Like, 'I’ll do it!' Then I joined a band at 14 and was singing in bands until I was 17. 

Carter's first variety show drew in huge audiences and was a massive ratings success

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Her impressive performance in Wonder Woman and her reputation as a talented singer and dancer led to immediate offers for Carter to star in her own musical variety shows. They were conceived as one-off television specials, allowing Carter to have a greater hand in writing, directing and producing her own shows, a rarity for women in 70s Hollywood. Carter's first show was called Lynda Carter's Special. Airing in January 1980, just one month before Carter's appearance on The Muppet Show, it featured country superstar Kenny Rogers and Australian pop sensation Leo Sayer as special guests.