Thursday, February 22, 2024

Kitty O’Neill:  Google Doodle is celebrating American stuntwoman, Kitty O’Neill’s 77th birthday 

Google Doodle is celebrating American stuntwoman, Kitty O’Neill’s 77th birthday

Kitty O'Neill:  Google Doodle is celebrating American stuntwoman, Kitty O'Neill's 77th birthday 
Credit: Wikipedia.com

O’Neal was born in Corpus Christi, Texas to a Cherokee Indian father and an Air Force father. Kathy lost her father in a plane crash when she was a child, but while working in her garden before her father died, she enjoyed riding the lawn mower and this sparked her love of speed. It is. When Cathy was a few months old, she contracted measles, mumps, and chickenpox at the same time. This resulted in a dangerously high fever that left her deaf. Because she was deaf, her mother refused to teach her sign language and instead taught her to read throat and lips. Her mother, Patsy, became a speech therapist and founded an audiology school in Wichita Falls, Texas.

Kitty learned to play the piano and cello from an early age, but his sport was his first priority. During her high school years, she became a talented swimmer and diver and she won many medals. She eventually moved to California to train for the 1964 US Olympic diving team. But a broken wrist thwarted the plan, and spinal meningitis threatened her with paralysis.
O’Neill has been an adventurer since childhood. As a teenager, she competed in the 10m platform and 3m springboard and she lost her chance at the Olympics in 1964 when she broke her wrist and contracted spinal meningitis.
This sparked her interest in extreme sports such as water skiing,, skydiving and paragliding and helped her transition into stunts and racing.

Kitty O’Neill’s Stunt Races

In the 1970s, O’Neal began racing races such as the Baja 500 in Mexico and the Mint 400 in Las Vegas.
Kitty, who gave up scuba diving, continued to love water, scuba diving, and water skiing. But Kitty also ventured into the skies, experimenting with skydiving and paragliding. Also looked for wild thrills, racing bikes, karts, and finally rocket cars. In 1976, she broke the women’s speed record with a three-wheeled rocket vehicle called the SMI Motivator. It had an average speed of over 500 mph and a top speed of 618 mph. At the competition, she met action artists such as Hal Needham and Dar Robinson. She decided to become a stuntwoman herself, and in 1976 won a role for the American agency Stunts Unlimited, becoming the first woman to do so.

O’Neal worked as a stuntwoman in films and TV series such as The Bionic Woman (1976), Wonder Woman (1977–1979), and The Blues Brothers (1980). Her career inspired Mattel to create an action figure for her in 1978, Sherman Oaks, California. She then broke the record by falling from a helicopter from a height of 55 m.

O’Neill’s most notable achievement came in 1976 when she broke the women’s land speed record by reaching 512.7 mph in a rocket car called the “SMI Motivator”. In fact, the car was able to reach a top speed of over 700 mph. However, the sponsors wanted Needham to break the record for promoting the next edition to prevent O’Neal from moving any faster. Negative publicity for this decision prevented O’Neill from attempting to drive, although Needham did not drive the car and no figures were sold. Silent Triumph: The Story of O’Neill the Cat, a biography of O’Neill, was published in 1979.
O’Neill broke her own record by jumping 80 meters from a helicopter. In a 1976 land speed test, it was calculated that a brave woman would have traveled more than 700 km using only 60% of her available thrust. O’Neill holds the world land speed record, but it is contractually binding on her. His friend and colleague Hal Needham were invited to set the overall record. His sponsor, the animated action toy company, seems to have felt that the entire record should be set by just one person.

O’Neill tried but couldn’t legally challenge the limit in the end. In 1979 Grease star Stockard Channing played Kitty in the biopic Silent Victory. Kitty confesses that her own deafness did not get in the way of her own abilities, and she says it actually helped her focus. Her success in Hollywood proves it. Kitty met and lived with stuntman Ronald “Duffy” Hambleton in the 1970s and pursued a film career. O’Neill is best known for her role in The Bionic Woman, but her most famous film is her latest twist on the Wonder Woman show. She also appeared in Airport 1975, Airport ’77, Foul and Damien: The Omen 2, The Blues Brothers, Smokey and the Robber 2 before retiring from acting in the early 1980s. She left an interesting job because she felt that too many of his friends in the industry were dying.

Throughout her life, Kitty has gone through a series of relationships that lead to Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Eureka, South Dakota. Kitty had no children and she was married twice, both divorced. She died of pneumonia in Eureka, South Dakota, in 2018. It was considered somewhat ironic that after Kitty had contracted cancer twice in her twenties and was constantly at risk, she died of infection.

Kitty O’Neill:  Google Doodle is celebrating American stuntwoman, Kitty O’Neill’s 77th birthday 

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Kitty O’Neill:  Google Doodle is celebrating American stuntwoman, Kitty O’Neill’s 77th birthday 

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