'The Greatest Stuntwoman Who Ever Lived' Dies at 83

Jeannie Epper was behind the feats of the iconic 'Wonder Woman' show, and many more
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 7, 2024 3:00 AM CDT
'The Greatest Stuntwoman Who Ever Lived' Dead at 83
The 1976 Wonder Woman costume worn by Lynda Carter is displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art during the Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy exhibition, Monday, May 5, 2008.   (AP Photo/Stephen Chernin)

Jeannie Epper, a groundbreaking performer who did stunts for many of the most important women of film and television action of the 1970s and '80s, including star Lynda Carter on TV's Wonder Woman, has died. She was 83. Epper died of natural causes Sunday at her home in Simi Valley, California, family spokesperson Amanda Micheli told the AP. Considered one of the greatest at her craft—Entertainment Weekly in 2007 called her "the greatest stuntwoman who ever lived"—Epper came from a family dynasty of stunt performers that included both her parents, John and Frances Epper. Her 70-year career as a stuntwoman and stunt coordinator began when she was 9.

Her siblings, Tony, Margo, Gary, Andy, and Stephanie all also worked in stunts. Steven Spielberg called them "The Flying Wallendas of Film," according to the Hollywood Reporter, which first reported Epper's death. Her children Eurlyne, Richard, and Kurtis, and her grandson Christopher followed her into the stunt business. She found it difficult to get much stunt work as a woman early on but saw a major surge in opportunity as women got more action-oriented roles in the late 1970s. Her breakthrough role—and the one she would always be most associated with—was on Wonder Woman. Epper crashed through windows, kicked down doors and deflected bullets while doubling Carter on the series that ran for three seasons on ABC from 1976 to 1979. (More of her famous stunts are chronicled here.)

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