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Lesser Known But No Less Wonderful: The OTHER Wonder Women

Ask a room full of comic book fans who the quintessential Wonder Woman is, and you’ll spark a debate between those who prefer Lynda Carter’s 1970s TV adventures and those partial to the cinematic Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot. Cartoon enthusiasts might cite Super FriendsShannon Farnon, Constance Cawlfield, or B.J. Ward, or maybe Mary McDonald-Lewis from Ruby-Spears Superman episode “Superman and Wonder Woman vs. the Sorceress of Time.” Still others might say they prefer Susan Eisenberg, Gina Torres, Lucy Lawless, Keri Russell, Tamara Taylor, Rosario Dawson, Michelle Monaghan, Laura Bailey, or the many others who have voiced the Amazonian warrior princess in 21st-century animated and video-game efforts.


The above are not the only performers to take up the armor and lasso in recent decades, however. Here are 25 others who have also taken on the role, about whom you might not have known.


Ellie Wood Walker and Linda Harrison

Wonder Woman: Who’s Afraid of Diana Prince? (1967)

During the 1960s Batman television series’ run, producer and narrator William Dozier attempted to give the same treatment to Wonder Woman, but the resultant pilot failed to sell. The un-broadcast film, written by Stan Hart and Larry Siegel, stars Ellie Wood Walker as Diana Prince, an awkward young lady whose nagging mother makes sure her daughter has enough to eat before going out to save the world as Wonder Woman, and who offers such advice as “How do you expect to get a husband, flying around all the time?” The show would clearly have been played for laughs, given the narrator’s comment, “Wonder Woman—who knows she has the strength of Hercules, who knows she has the wisdom of Athena, and who thinks she has the beauty of Aphrodite!” The non-self-aware Diana has a secret alter-ego, you see: Linda Harrison (later of Planet of the Apes fame), whose gorgeous reflection she sees as she preens herself in a mirror. There’s not much to this film (which is not only sexist, but also insulting to Ellie Wood Walker), but you can view it here.



Jane Webb

The Brady Kids: “It’s All Greek to Me” (1972)

Every franchise has its low point. For The Brady Bunch, that point is arguably reached in Filmation’s animated spinoff, The Brady Kids, in which the six children, sans parents, hang out with a talking magical mynah bird, a dog, and two pandas, because of course they do. This episode features Diana Prince, voiced by Webb, working at the college which Jan and Marcia attend. The sisters view Wonder Woman as a real person, not a fictional character, and vapidly argue about whether brains or brawn matter more. The bird, Marlon, transports them to ancient Greece, where Wonder Woman helps them win a contest against a Greek athletic champion, Chuckonis—who, of course, is cheating. It’s a ridiculous episode of a ridiculous television series, but it’s Wonder Woman’s first time in animation (and without her looking foolish, as opposed to the titular Brady kids), which makes it a landmark in the character’s history. As long as your appreciation for nostalgia is stronger than your tendency for nausea, you can watch the episode online.



Cathy Lee Crosby

Wonder Woman (1974)

A year before Lynda Carter wowed the world into waiting for her and the power she possessed, Cathy Lee Crosby (future That’s Incredible! co-host and Hollywood Squares panelist) starred as Wonder Woman in an ABC-TV pilot film scripted by John D. F. Black and directed by Vincent McEveety. The film was loosely based on the comic’s Bronze Age depiction, with Diana’s secret identity not much of a secret, and without the traditional outfit and lasso. Working alongside Steve Trevor (Kaz Garas), the blonde-haired Wonder Woman brings to justice the villainous Abner Smith (Ricardo Montalban), who has pilfered classified U.S. government information. The movie isn’t awful, though it is kind of bonkers in terms of plot, and the TV series is the superior breed, with Carter and her catchy theme song a tough act to beat. The full pilot is available on DVD, though you can watch part of it at Dailymotion.



Alma Moreno

Fantastika vs. Wonderwoman (1976)

Perhaps the most overlooked filmed appearance of Wonder Woman is the Tagalog-language film Fantastika vs. Wonderwoman (note the single-word spelling), written by Wilfred Schneider and directed by Johnny Pangilinan, and co-starring Pinky Montilla as Fantastika. The Amazonian warrior is portrayed by Alma Moreno, a Filipina sex-symbol, actor and, later in life, prominent political figure. The movie does not appear to be commercially available, though a brief snippet of low video quality—which contains Moreno’s transformation into Wonderwoman—has been uploaded to YouTube.



Kat Sawyer

Hart to Hart: “Murder Is a Drag” (1981)

Anyone who grew up in the 1980s will remember Sidney Sheldon’s ABC television series Hart to Hart, starring Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers, with Lionel Standeris as their gravelly voiced butler. Wagner and Powers play wealthy, glamorous jetsetters Jonathan and Jennifer Hart, who often solve crimes as amateur detectives. During this season-two episode, Jonathan poses as a hitman to prevent the death of the actual killer’s intended victim. While investigating the attempted murder, the Harts attend a costume party; one partygoer, dressed as Wonder Woman, sneaks away to a bedroom to have sex with a man (not her husband) who is dressed like Adam West’s Batman, only to have their tryst interrupted by Standeris in drag. It’s silly and obvious, yet oddly enjoyable—in other words, it’s Hart to Hart, and it’s viewable here.



Lisa Ruddy

You Can’t Do That on Television: “Heroes” (1982)

Hugely popular in the early 1980s was You Can’t Do That on Television, a Canadian sketch-comedy series aimed at teenagers, most notable for launching the careers of Big Bang Theory producer Bill Prady and singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette, and for putting basic-cable network Nickelodeon (and slime) on the map. Each episode had a pop-culture theme, with the cast (primarily teens themselves) acting out humorous skits—sort of a Saturday Night Live for adolescents, or a spiritual predecessor to The Amanda Show. During its third season, You Can’t Do That… aired an episode with a superhero motif, one sketch of which featured series regular Lisa Ruddy as Wonder Woman. The Amazonian finds a Canadian mounted police officer tied to train tracks, but as an oncoming train speeds toward them, instead of saving him, she babbles about why a person would tie someone else to the tracks in the first place. It’s a funny piece of children’s television history, and it’s available online.


Sarah Michelle Gellar

Jack Black: Spider-Man (2002)

A parody of Spider-Man aired on the MTV Movie Awards in 2002, featuring Jack Black as the radioactive spider in Tobey Maguire’s inaugural film about Marvel Comics’ wall-crawler, and as Spider-Man himself after Maguire is bitten. Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s Sarah Michelle Gellar co-stars as Spider-Man love interest Mary Jane “MJ” Watson, who frets over who should help her host the awards. Upon seeing Black’s pudgy Spider-Man in action, MJ kisses him and realizes she’s found her co-host. His web shooters fail him, so MJ, in a crossing over of comic book publishing properties, reveals that she is actually Wonder Woman, and whisks him away to the MTV special in her invisible jet. It’s chuckle-worthy and can be viewed on YouTube.



Alex Borstein

Robot Chicken (2005–2015)

Emmy Award-winning stop-motion sketch comedy series Robot Chicken, created by Seth Green and Matthew Senreich for Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim programming block, features comedic sketches involving classic action figures. MADtv and Family Guy cast member Alex Borstein has voiced Wonder Woman in eight installments of the show: “The Real World: Metropolis,” “Reverse Villains,” “Bring a Sidekick to Work Day,” “I’m Made of Chocolate,” “You Can’t Fly,” “That Is It,” “Aquaman Appreciation Party,” and “Super Fowl-Up.” As Wonder Woman parodies go, these are among the funniest (and raunchiest), and a best-of video has been uploaded to the Internet.



Michelle Laurent

Wonder Woman: Balance of Power (2006)

Laurent appears as Wonder Woman in this short film from writer Ron Santiano and director Ed Merta. The budget appears to have been low, the acting quality is not exactly award-winning, and the soundtrack is rather distracting, but as fan films go, it’s not terrible. Laurent looks like Wonder Woman and does what she can with the material she’s been handed. The actor has also appeared in a number of other highly visible fan-made productions, including Star Trek: Hidden Frontier and Star Trek: Odyssey. A re-edited version of Balance of Power is available on YouTube, posted in multiple parts.



Jennifer Wenger

Jimmy Kimmel Live! (2006–2007)
This Wonder Woman reference model assumed the role as a costumed greeter on Hollywood Boulevard’s Walk of Fame in 2006, before appearing in Morgan Spurlock’s film Confessions of a Superhero. Since then, Wenger has been featured as Wonder Woman on multiple episodes of the late-night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the online sketch comedy show Funsplosian, and the cosplay-oriented convention-coverage program Sharp News. In 2013, while filming an episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Wenger made national headlines when she was attacked by a transient on Hollywood Boulevard while wearing her Wonder Woman costume, alongside Superman impersonator Christopher Dennis. Thankfully, neither was seriously injured. News coverage of the incident is archived on YouTube.



Valerie Perez

Superhero Speed Dating, The Girlfriend, and Super Hero Shrink (2006–Present)

For many fans, Valerie Perez (star of the action-adventure series Paula Peril) is the quintessential Wonder Woman cosplayer, not only because she so looks the part, but because she uses her cosplaying skills for more than selling prints. A lifelong Wonder Woman aficionado, Valerie has acted the role in the above-noted fan films and devotes an admirable amount of time to cheering up sick children by visiting them in costume. She has appeared as Wonder Woman for numerous hospitals, charities, and community events, including City of Hope Pediatrics, Shriners Hospitals for Children, We Can, the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, Bradley Angle House Women’s Shelters, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the U.S. Army, and the cities of Laguna Niguel, Lake Forest, Rancho Cucamonga, and Redlands. In fact, she has accepted event invitations worldwide, from Sydney, Australia, to Paris, France (at the Eiffel Tower, no less), and has appeared as Wonder Woman in videos for Nerdist.com, Stan Lee’s World of Heroes, and more. Stay tuned for her tribute to Wonder Woman, which she plans to release online on May 24, by following her Facebook page and her official website.


Shy Pilgreen

Loveless in Los Angeles (2007)

This independent film was written and directed by Archie Gips, the producer and co-director of The Ambassadors of Hollywood, a documentary that profiled the lives of Hollywood Boulevard’s costumed character performers. So it’s fitting that an actor briefly portrays Wonder Woman in Gips’ Loveless in Los Angeles, about a womanizing TV producer who vows to cease his bed-hopping ways and become a better man after running into Kelly, the only women he has ever loved, from back in his college days. Pilgreen’s Wonder Woman scenes are brief, and there’s little reason to recommend this clunker of a romantic comedy, as you’ll likely agree after watching the trailer.



Kit Quinn

Cosplayer (2009–Present)

Countless genre fans have created their own costumes, but some—notably Valerie Perez, as well as Riki “Riddle” Lecotey, Becka Winterfell, Taffeta Darling, Marie-Claude Bourbonnais, Linda “Vampy” Le, Adrianne Curry, and Yaya Han—stand out among the rest. In particular, Kit Quinn (a co-star of the web series Sweethearts of the Galaxy) has made quite a name for herself as a prominent cosplayer, and among her more memorable costuming efforts is Wonder Woman, a character she has frequently portrayed since debuting her self-made costume circa 2009. “Wonder Woman is a costume that is always welcome at all sorts of events,” Kit explained during an interview for this article. “She’s recognizable and everyone loves her!” Kit has portrayed the Amazonian princess at a number of charity fundraisers and children’s events throughout the years, and is currently creating a 1940s Wonder Woman costume that she plans to unveil at a future convention. You can see more of Kit’s work at her Facebook page.



Heidi-Marie Ferren

Bored to Death: “Super Ray Is Mortal!” (2010)

From 2009 to 2011, Jason Schwartzman starred in HBO’s comedy series Bored to Death, playing Brooklyn-based writer and private detective Jonathan Ames. The show ran for three seasons and co-starred Ted Danson and Zach Galifianakis. In this episode, Jonathan and his friend Ray track down a crazed stalker who threatens Ray at Brooklyn Comic Con. At the convention, Danson’s character, George Christopher, chats up a beautiful woman in a Wonder Woman costume, played by Heidi-Marie Ferren, an actor, model, and public speaker also known as “Miss USO” for her efforts to support U.S. military troops. It’s a non-speaking role, but Ferren certainly looks the part. You can watch it here for a fee.



Adrianne Palicki 

Wonder Woman (2011)

This unaired pilot, produced for NBC by Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment, was highly publicized and is more high-profile than other projects on this list. The script was penned by David E. Kelley, the creator of Picket Fences, Chicago Hope, The Practice, Ally McBeal, Boston Public, and Boston Legal. Wonder Woman is played by Adrianne Palicki, known for her work on Friday Night Lights, Legion, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, John Wick, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., though the writers make several unfortunate changes to the title character’s background, persona, and costume. Diana is demoted from an Amazonian princess to merely a costumed vigilante who runs a corporation, Themyscira Industries, which uses the concept of Wonder Woman as a crime-fighting marketing gimmick. The film is not well-regarded, and NBC declined to bring it to series, but at least you can watch it at Dailymotion.



Jacqueline Goehner

If [Blank] Were Real: “If Superheroes Were Real” (2011)

From 2009 to 2016, YouTube channel Smosh presented a series of skits in which comedic hosts Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla depicted how films, video games, cartoons, and other forms of media might be in the real world. The sixth episode amusingly examines how uninteresting superheroes would be if handled realistically. Goehner appears in three sequences of the episode: first addressing the press after thwarting a crime, then while on a dinner date with Marvel’s Cyclops, and finally saving the two hosts from an armed intruder. The common gag in all three scenes is that Wonder Woman is frustrated that everyone—villains, journalists, victims, even fellow heroes—cannot stop staring at her cleavage. As with many Smosh productions, it’s a low-brow but nonetheless humorous video, which you can watch here.



Rachel Ramras and Tara Strong

MAD (2012–2013)

Following the cancellation of the long-running comedy series MAD TV in 2009, a follow-up show aired from 2010 to 2013 on Cartoon Network, simply called MAD. As with MAD magazine and the first TV series, MAD satirized films, television shows, celebrities, and so forth, this time via computer-generated imagery, stop-motion, claymation, and other forms of animation. Wonder Woman appears in three episodes, portrayed first by Rachel Ramras (in “Al Pacino and the Chipmunks/That’s What Super Friends Are For),” then by prolific voice-actor Tara Strong (in “Star Blecch Into Dumbness/Stark Tank” and “Total Recall Me Maybe/The Asgardigans”) of Rugrats, The Powerpuff Girls, The Fairly OddParents, and Teen Titans fame. These and all episodes of MAD are currently available to stream at Amazon Prime.



Leslie Bibb

Movie 43 (2013)

This Peter Farrelly-directed movie, written by Jeremy Sosenko and Rocky Russo, opened to horrible reception and earned three awards at the 34th Golden Raspberry Awards, including Worst Picture, so it’s kind of unfortunate that it features Wonder Woman. The film presents fourteen separate storylines performed by an ensemble cast of big-name Hollywood stars, such as Halle Berry, Kristen Bell, Richard Gere, Terrence Howard, Hugh Jackman, Kate Bosworth, Anna Faris, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Emma Stone, Jason Sudeikis, Uma Thurman, Kate Winslet, and more. One storyline features ER‘s Leslie Bibb as Wonder Woman, alongside Batman (Sudeikis) and Robin (Justin Long), as they investigate a bomb threat at a Gotham City speed-dating establishment. Batman and Wonder Woman are ex-lovers, and the plot is as lame as the jokes, but if you’re feeling particularly masochistic, check out the trailer.



Rileah Vanderbilt

Wonder Woman (2013)

Many independent fan films have been made throughout the years, and a large portion of them give new meaning to the term “amateurish.” Every now and then, however, one comes along that hits every note just right. Vanderbilt’s Wonder Woman short, directed by Sam Balcomb for Rainfall Films, is such a film. Despite clocking in at only two and a half minutes, it perfectly encapsulates the feel and look of the character and her world, and could easily have been expended as a television pilot. Venderbilt certainly looks the part and has the character’s attitude down, and she’s great with action scenes, to boot. The entire shoot took two only days on the actors’ end, yet it’s one of the best live-action depictions of Wonder Woman to date. It’s no wonder (ahem) that this short film is so highly regarded among superhero fans, and you can see why here.



Kimberly Kane and Alison Tyler

Man of Steel XXX, Wonder Woman XXX, and Batman v. Superman XXX (2013–2015)

It was inevitable that the adult film industry would hunger to get its hands on Wonder Woman. Axel Braun has made a career of creating authentic superhero porn parodies that blow away the competition and bring lower-budget offerings to their knees with each film’s climax. Given the generally low quality of porn films, one might expect Braun’s penetration into Wonder Woman’s back yard to have little thrust, but reviewers say these films do more than just pay lip service—they offer satisfying bang for the buck, both visually and aurally, with each actor praised for her performance. The hero’s cameo in Man of Steel XXX amounts to a quickie, but her role is meatier in Wonder Woman XXX and Batman v. Superman XXX. If you’re into porn and/or superhero satire, Braun’s films might be right up your alley, so be sure to stay abreast of his work.



Lilly Singh

Epic Rap Battles of History: “Wonder Woman vs Stevie Wonder” (2016)

If you’ve never watched Epic Rap Battles of History, you’re missing out on something hilarious—even if you can’t stand rap music. The hugely popular web series, created by Peter Shukoff and Lloyd Ahlquist, has aired seventy episodes since 2010, each pairing up two or more historical or pop-cultural individuals (many real, some fictional) in a rap battle in which each combatant insults the other via humorous, rhyming boasts and bragging. Among the recent face-offs has been comedian Lilly Singh as Wonder Woman against rapper T-Pain as Stevie Wonder. While this is admittedly not one of the best episodes, it’s still quite funny, with such clever lines as “You a bald has-been, I’m in my Amazon prime,” “I’m like Geena Davis in a Justice League of my own,” and “You’re Ms. Independent or at least you try, but your first story is you running off with a guy.” Watch it here, then stick around to watch the rest of the run, as it gets a lot funnier.


Tessa Munro

Gotham Adjacent: Wonder Woman Has Huge Parking Tickets (2016)

Finally, Gotham Adjacent is an amusing web series about Floral Hills, a low-rent town located next to Gotham City, “where the only thing remotely super or powerful is the smell of urine.” Two bailiffs, Ruby (James Lujan) and Joe (P.J. Marino), spend their lunch breaks outside the local court building, discussing superheroes. In this episode, the two ponder whether or not Wonder Woman’s breasts are real after the superheroine appears in court to answer a traffic ticket for her invisible jet (which leads to an amusing exchange about how a meter maid would be able to see the jet to issue a ticket). To their embarrassment, Wonder Woman appears in civilian clothing and informs them that yes, they’re real, and that her hearing is also spectacular. The humor is Clerks-esque, so if Kevin Smith’s approach is what you enjoy, check it out here.



Whether you’re a fan of Lynda Carter, Gal Gadot, or both, or whether you’re into animated superhero adventures or prefer your warriors to be live actors, the better-known exploits of Wonder Woman are just the tip of the Amazonian iceberg. Below the surface are more obscure iterations, and even those discussed here are not all you’ll find if you search long enough. In her satin tights, fighting for her rights, she makes a hawk a dove, stops a war with love, and makes a liar tell the truth. She stops a bullet cold, makes the Axis fold, and changes both minds and the world. And no matter who wears the costume, she’s still a wonder—Wonder Woman.

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