When Yvonne Craig died, her passing got relatively little coverage because folks seemed to know her as Batgirl from the third season of Batman and the green Orion slave girl Marta in the Star Trek episode "Whom Gods Before."  She actually had a long career in show business, and she shared that history, plus a bit more, in her autobiography From Ballet to the Batcave and Beyond.

This book takes a very conversational tone, as Yvonne shares her stories about growing up, working in show business, and the good and bad Hollywood people she's met and worked with along the way.  As the title suggests, the early chapters are about Yvonne's experience with ballet, as she was a professional ballerina and traveled the country as part of a dance troupe.  (Ironically, a recurring theme in her movie and television career is how difficult dance scenes were to do.)  Eventually she got "discovered" and began working in television and film, from pilots that didn't get picked up to a star or extra in movies and roles in series like The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and her two most famous "geek" roles.  She also shares non-salacious details about her love life (including dating Elvis) and talks about the assorted show business folks she really loved -- and, in some cases, really hated, whether they were egomaniacs, unprofessional, or lecherous.
From Ballet to the Batcave and Beyond is a nice, light read.  People who only know Yvonne Craig from her two famous roles will be impressed and surprised to learn how much work she did -- and how arduous the quest for roles could be (as well as what it was like in the days of live television).  It takes a long while to get to the chapter on Batman, but that's the longest, most detailed chapter in the book.  And while some are covered in great detail -- her acting career, the pets she's had -- other areas (like her departure from acting, the husband who was the love of her life, her leaving acting and becoming a real estate agent) are touched on very briefly.  From Ballet to the Batcave and Beyond can be superficial, but it's also a nice look at an actress who was more than most people knew.

Overall grade: B-
Reviewed by James Lynch

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