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Kitty O’Neil, Stuntwoman and Pace Racer, Is Lifeless at 72

In a single stunt, as a double for Lindsay Wagner, she flipped a dune buggy on the tv collection “The Bionic Woman”; in one other, she leapt 127 toes from a lodge balcony onto an inflated airbag as Lynda Carter’s stunt double on “Wonder Woman.”

Ms. O’Neil died on Friday at 72 in Eureka, S.D., the place she had lived since 1993. The trigger was pneumonia, mentioned Ky Michaelson, a detailed pal who constructed rocket-powered automobiles, together with some for Ms. O’Neil.

“She seemed never to have fear,” Mr. Michaelson mentioned in a phone interview. “I’d never say to her, ‘Kitty, are you scared?’ Not Kitty. But I’ve been in a car with her many times, and she scared the heck out of me. She was a pretty reckless driver.”

In 1978, Ms. O’Neil wrecked a rocket-fueled Corvette humorous automotive whereas attempting to set a quarter-mile velocity report on a dry lake within the Mojave Desert, in El Mirage, Calif. She had pushed the automotive previous 350 m.p.h. when it flipped, flying 200 yards within the air and touchdown on its nostril. She had minor shoulder accidents. Later, she informed reporters that she had tried to deploy a parachute, then thought, “Oh, Christ, it’s going to crash.”

Ms. O’Neil within the Alvord Desert in Oregon in 1976 beside the rocket-powered SMI Motivator, the automobile during which she shattered the land-speed report for ladies.Credit scoreKy Michaelson

However, she added, “I had a lot of fun.”

Kitty Linn O’Neil was born on March 24, 1946, in Corpus Christi, Tex. She was just a few months previous when a excessive fever brought on by measles, mumps and smallpox destroyed nerves and led to her deafness. Her mom, Patsy (Compton) O’Neil, opened a faculty for the hearing-impaired after educating Kitty to lip-read somewhat than use signal language. Her father, John, was an oil wildcatter who died when Kitty was younger.

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Updated: November 7, 2018 — 9:53 pm

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