The Women of Wonder Woman

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Image via DC Comics

In celebration of Wonder Woman’s 75th anniversary, we take a look back at the women who have portrayed the character on TV and in movies over the years.

Amazonian warrior princess. Daughter of Hippolyta, Queen of Themyscira. Female superhero. Feminist icon. Wonder Woman has been a part of pop culture history for the past 75 years. From her first appearance in comic books to her current role in the Justice League movies (including her own), Wonder Woman has blazed many a trail for other badass female characters. She is a founding member of the Justice League and, along with Batman and Superman, one-third of DC’s Trinity.

Created by William Moulton Marston, a psychologist and writer, Wonder Woman made her first appearance in 1941 in All Star Comics issue #8 followed by her first cover appearance on Sensation Comics #1 in January 1942. Marston was inspired by feminists of his time, including Margaret Stanger, founder of Planned Parenthood. He created the demigoddess with help from his wife, Elizabeth Holloway, and their partner, Olive Byrne, a former student of his as well as Stanger’s niece.
In an article that appeared in a 1943 issue of The American Scholar, Marston stated:

"Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength, and power. Not wanting to be girls, they don’t want to be tender, submissive, peace-loving as good women are. Women’s strong qualities have become despised because of their weakness. The obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman."

In honor of Wonder Woman’s 75th anniversary, let’s take a look at the women who have brought the character to life on screens both big and small.