Kitty O’Neil, a deaf stuntwoman whose credits include the 1970s series Wonder Woman and The Bionic Woman, has died of pneumonia at age 72. Her life story was told in a 1979 TV movie called Silent Victory: The Kitty O’Neil Story starring Stockard Channing – with O’Neil herself handling stunts.

O’Neil died Nov. 2 in Eureka, S.D., her home since 1993. Friend Ky Michaelson told The New York Times that the cause of death.

Her work on the two iconic ’70s superhero series pictured above included standing in for Bionic Woman star Lindsay Wagner and Wonder Woman star Lynda Carter, bringing O’Neil considerable fame in a profession that typically keeps its practitioners out of the spotlight. Her popularity and poignant, powerful personal story led to the TV biopic.

In a 1977 TV special called Superstunt (pictured in the black & white photos above), O’Neil demonstrated a car crash and explosion.

In addition to performing stunts, O’Neil was a leading figure in speed racing, and in 1976 set the land speed record for women by driving a rocket-powered car through Oregon’s Alvord Desert. Her 512 mph record still stands. Other of O’Neil’s nearly two-dozen speed records include boating and water ski runs.

In addition to performing stunts, O’Neil was a leading figure in speed racing, and in 1976 set the land speed record for women by driving a rocket-powered car through Oregon’s Alvord Desert. Her 512 mph record still stands. Other of O’Neil’s nearly two-dozen speed records include boating and water ski runs.

A fever from measles, mumps and small pox caused the Corpus Christi-born O’Neil to lose her hearing at around four months old, prompting O’Neil’s mother Patsy O’Neil to found a school for the hearing-impaired. Kitty, according to the Times, learned to lip-read rather than use sign language.

Among O’Neil’s other TV and film stunt credits include The Blues Brothers, Smokey and the Bandit II, Foul Play, Damien: Omen II, Airport 1975 and Airport ’77.

O’Neil leaves no immediate survivors.