ENTERTAINMENT
19/08/2015 06:30 BST | Updated 19/08/2015 06:59 BST

Yvonne Craig Dead: ‘Batgirl' Actress Dies, Aged 78

Yvonne Craig, who played the original Batgirl in the 1960s ‘Batman’ TV series, has died at the age of 78.

The actress had been battling breast cancer, which had spread to her liver, for the past two years.

She died on Monday at her home in the Pacific Palisades, surrounded by her immediate family.

yvonne craig

Yvonne Craig (1937-2015)

In a statement her family said: "In the end, her mind still wanted to fight but her body had given up.”

She joined the ‘Batman’ cast for the third and final series in 1967, playing librarian Barbara Gordon, aka Batgirl.

Although she found success on screen, Yvonne was a trained dancer, beginning her career at The Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo.

Her dancing helped her in performing her own stunts on ‘Batman’, alongside Adam West’s titular character.

yvonne craig

Yvonne played Batgirl alongside Adam West (Batman) and Burt Ward (Robin)

As well as playing Batgirl, she starred opposite Elvis Presley in ‘It Happened At The World's Fair’ and ‘Kissin' Cousins’.

She also scored a role in the third series of ‘Star Trek’, playing Martha, the green Orion Slave Girl who wanted to kill Captain Kirk.

Speaking about her most famous role, she told CNN: "I hear from women that I was their role mode. When I was a little girl, I realised that girls could kick butt just like guys."

In 2000, she released her autobiography, ‘From Ballet To The Batcave and Beyond’, and more recently provided voices for the Nickelodeon cartoon series Olivia.

yvonne craig

In the statement on Yvonne's official website, her family said: "Yvonne excelled in ballet, a film career, a business life, as well as in philanthropic and charity work over the years.

"She had been able to do this with joy and much laughter and she wouldn't have changed a thing. Well, maybe one thing and that would have been not to get cancer.

"She had been in chemo almost continuously for the past two plus years since being diagnosed and that had weakened her immune system as well as her body.

"This didn't dampen her sense of humour or her spirit, she intended to fight and win this battle. In the end, her mind still wanted to fight but her body had given up."

She is survived by her husband, Kenneth Aldrich, sister Meridel Carson and nephews Christopher and Todd Carson.

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