Glance! Up in the sky! Is it Gal Gadot? Is it Lynda Carter? No, it’s Ellie Wooden Walker, the world’s to start with Marvel Lady!
Hop in an invisible airplane and journey with us to yesteryear as we examine Walker’s thrilling origin. Our story starts, not on the shores of Paradise Island, but on the banking companies of the Ohio River. Which is suitable! This remarkable amazon hails from the center of the universe, Maysville, Kentucky!
Ellie Wooden Walker was born Ellie Wood, the daughter of Clarence and Dot Wooden. Several don’t forget Dot Wood as the beloved Twilight Woman who charmed the Maysville local community with her storytelling on WFTM in the course of the 1950s.
From the age of 5, Walker grew up in Maysville. She’s greatest remembered for her beauty, talent and kindness.
“Ellie was my teenage idol,” confessed Maysville indigenous, Linda Woodmansee of Memphis Tennessee.
“I was more youthful and I desired to search like her and dance like her, etcetera. I was 1 of many who felt that way.”
Walker attended Maysville Significant School. She played clarinet in the MHS band and was topped promenade queen her Senior 12 months in 1953. This wouldn’t be the final time we’d see her in a tiara.
After graduating, Walker still left Maysville to go to Northwestern College in Chicago. She went on to leap tall goals in a solitary bound and landed a occupation in show small business as a June Taylor dancer.
In 1962, she married actor, Robert Walker Jr, who is greatest remembered for his position as Charles Evans in the authentic “Star Trek” series.
Along with her operate as a dancer, Walker acted in summer time inventory productions and would eventually land roles in films these kinds of as the thriller, “Targets” and the cult traditional, “Easy Rider.”
In the meantime, beneath stately Wayne Manor, “Batman” producer, William Dozier, made the decision it was time to convey yet another comic ebook hero to the tiny display screen. This appears to be like a career for…Ellie Wooden Walker! Maysville’s possess gained the coveted purpose of the world’s first Ponder Female!
Filming of the 5-moment Television pilot took location at Greenway Studios in 1967. Compared with the subtle camp of the thriving “Batman” sequence, the tone of the Ponder Female pilot was downright goofy. Penned by Mad Magazine writers, Stan Hart and Larry Siegel, this was a significantly cry from the Speculate Female we knew from the comics.
The tale opens on a dark and stormy evening in a standard middle-class house. A simple-clothed Diana Prince falls off the couch though making an attempt to fold a newspaper. Diana’s mother, played by character actress, Maudie Prickett, spends the full display nagging Diana to settle down and get married. With dialogue like, “How do you expect to get a spouse when you are flying all around all the time?,” this clearly was not the noble Queen of the Amazons.
All of a sudden, Diana fears that Steve Trevor may possibly be in threat and that the globe needs Speculate Female! Versus her mother’s needs, Diana adjustments into her legendary costume. Really, the costume Walker wears is pretty near to the one that Surprise Girl wears in the comics except that her star-spangled shorts are dishevelled boxers and her eagle-emblazoned bustier loosely hangs on her.
The oddest moment in the pilot may perhaps be when Question Lady spends an overall minute admiring herself in the mirror. Walker is hilarious as she waves and blows kisses to herself to the classic tune, “Oh, You Stunning Doll.” Surprisingly, the actress in the reflection is not Ellie Wooden Walker, but actress, Linda Harrison, (best recognised for participating in Nova in “Planet of the Apes”) in a extra eye-catching, sort-fitting costume. Ultimately, Question Girl is ready to tear herself absent from… herself as she operates to a window and actions out on a ledge. “Away, you eyesight of enchantment!,” she chants as she flies away fluttering and flapping like a deranged canary.
Inspite of Walker’s greatest exertion, no Tv network was intrigued in this absurd, yet, pretty humorous, edition of Marvel Lady. The pilot never ever aired and was soon neglected.
An animated model of Wonder Woman manufactured it to television as a founding member of “Superfriends,”in 1973, but it took two far more tries and pretty much a ten years prior to a live-motion Speculate Woman would obtain accomplishment on tv.
A 2nd pilot starring Cathy Lee Crosby aired on ABC in 1974. Once again, this was not the Ponder Lady that fans have been familiar with. Crosby seemed far more key agent than superhero. Dressed in a purple, white, and blue polyester jumpsuit, the blonde actress looked extra like Carol Brady at a 4th of July picnic than she did Ponder Lady.
Finally, just a year later, a pilot film that was properly titled “The New Unique Question Woman” premiered on ABC. With a honest character portrayal and storylines taken directly from the comics, this was the Wonder Lady that all the globe was waiting around for. It was an prompt hit with enthusiasts and critics. Even feminist icon Betty Friedan appreciated it. The series ran from 1975 to 1979, producing its star, Lynda Carter, a household title.
Today, the Ponder Girl character is far more well-liked than ever with a massive display blockbuster under her golden belt and a comedian book run surpassed only by Superman and Batman. As the wonderful amazon celebrates her 80th anniversary, 1 may well wonder what it is about this character that draws in decades of devoted fans.
Shannon Farnon, who several look at the formal voice of Question Lady, was variety ample to share her views on the character’s longevity and loyal fan base.
“Wonder Girl is the archetype of the robust, clever, able lady, not subservient to the male power but equivalent,” Farnon describes. “She brings the knowledge of the gods to conquer complications without having guns and bloodshed. So, adult men, females, and children relate to the goodness and sense of justice for all that she exemplifies, Lovers are devoted to the best. Lots of have introduced their girls up with that perception of wholeness, which was sorely missing before she was designed and published in 1941.”
Farnon was the voice of Wonder Girl on “Superfriends” from 1973 to 1983. She has portrayed the character lengthier than any other actress.
Meanwhile, at the Corridor of Justice, justice has finally been served to the neglected 1967 Marvel Lady pilot. There is been a resurgence of fascination in the pilot more than the several years many thanks to viewings at comic reserve conventions, podcast reviews, and DVD reward extras. Quite a few in Maysville are common with it many thanks to Ron Bailey’s “You May possibly Be From Maysville” fb webpage. Most contemplate the foolish pilot a train wreck, but a lot of fans are won around by the absurdity of it all and Walker’s comic spin on the character.
“It’s hilarious!,” statements Walker’s sister, Dorothy Braudy of Los Angeles, Calif. “Ellie constantly preferred clowning all-around. Even now does!”
Even so, a lot of hardcore Speculate Woman lovers really do not uncover it amusing at all and take into consideration the pilot an insult to all the things that is superb about Ponder Lady. Christie Marston, granddaughter of Question Female creator, William Moulton Marston, agrees.
“I did not even try to remember that it existed until finally I commenced helping with the museum,” admits Marston, who is also curator of the Speculate Lady Family Museum in Bethel, Connecticut. “ I truly assumed it was a spoof until finally I did some investigate.”
Nevertheless, its recognition keeps escalating. Even The Hollywood Reporter not long ago reviewed the ‘67 pilot stating, “It’s so poor, it is virtually a do the job of artwork!”
Adore it or hate it, the small 5-moment pilot that was prolonged neglected around 50 a long time back has achieved cult position. Almost certainly noticed a lot more than any other un-aired Television pilot in background, The 1967 Question Female pilot has earned its position in the heritage publications and has attained Ellie Wood Walker the title of initially person to at any time participate in Surprise Female!
But, what about Walker? In which is our girl of the hour with her superpower? Regardless of what became of Maysville’s hometown superhero?
Worry not, very good citizens! Ellie Wood Walker is alive and nicely and living a amazing lifestyle in Taos, New Mexico. She’s the mother of three — Michelle, David, and Charlie. She nevertheless performs the clarinet. She also performs the drums and she’s nonetheless dancing!
Walker also has excellent memories of the Ponder Girl pilot and rising up in Maysville which she detailed in this exclusive interview for The Ledger Impartial.
Q. How did the job of Marvel Woman occur about? Was there an audition process or did Greenway Productions already have you in mind for the section?
A. At the time, I believed it was an audition, but we finished up filming promptly. My stage-father-in-law, David Selznick, promoted me, possessing seen me in an off-Broadway show. He was a enthusiast and mate of William Dozier, the producer of “Wonder Girl.”
Q. Had been you familiar with the Speculate Lady character in advance of getting cast in the pilot?
A. I never ever read through the comics, but, of course, I knew that creature did exist and that she was absolutely aspect of the society.
Q. Did you discover it odd that you ended up forged as a klutzy, “plain Jane” version of Speculate Lady, when you, you, ended up so effectively known for your natural beauty and grace?
A. (Laughing) No, I did not uncover it odd since I AM a klutz and a clown.
Q. Are you informed of the resurgence of level of popularity and interest in the Wonder Lady pilot more than the past numerous a long time thanks to screenings at comic book conventions, etc?
A. That’s humorous! No, I did not know that.
Q. Do you have any preferred recollections of increasing up in Maysville?
A. My fondest recollections of Maysville… Taking part in in the Maysville High Faculty Band with the terrific John K. Farris and dancing in the Brown Dance Studio Testimonials. And living on the Ohio River in advance of the flood wall.
Q. Do you have any suggestions for youngsters in Maysville with desires of going into present small business?
A. Don’t! (laughing). No, I’m kidding. Certainly, I would unquestionably urge little ones to express on their own and go soon after their desires. And they really don’t have to go to Hollywood. They never have to leave Maysville! With today’s technological innovation, you can do anything… make nearly anything. Be imaginative! There are so lots of things you can do. Crack totally free from the dogma! Sure, go into present company! I am so grateful to have grown up in Maysville when I did. There ended up so many innovative shops! Playing in the Maysville Large Faculty band less than Johnny Farris intended so considerably to me. Everyone performing jointly to make it transpire. It was a wonderful time. So, break totally free from the dogma! Go immediately after your aspiration. And with the way matters are heading in the entire world nowadays, I would like for just about every kid to go to mattress well-fed, in a secure home… often praying for peace.
Wise text, without a doubt! It would seem behind all the klutziness and mirror-gazing beats the coronary heart of a accurate Wonder Woman… and her name is Ellie Wood Walker! The 1967 pilot is available for viewing on Youtube and has also been shared on Ron Bailey’s You May possibly Be From Maysville facebook site. DC comics will be releasing a Wonder Girl 80th Anniversary 100 Site Spectacular in October.