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2 October 2005
Exclusive By John Millar

WONDER Woman Lynda Carter yesterday warned A-list wannabes they are too old to don her golden power bangles. Jennifer Aniston, Sandra Bullock, Catherine Zeta Jones and Mariah Carey have all been tipped to bring the TV superheroine to the movie screen.

But Lynda - who became a household name starring as Wonder Woman in the 1970s series - yesterday told the big budget film's producers to give the role to an unknown.

The star claims the celebrity babes are too well known to play the heroine.

Lynda said: "It ought to be somebody who is not famous.

"She should be about 20 and fresh and I hope that she gets that you can't play a superhero - you have to play the human being.

"The costume and the special effects take care of all that other stuff."

The Wonder Woman film is to be directed by Joss Whedon, creator of TV hits Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel.

Skimpy There have been rumours Lynda - who is currently starring in hit comedy Sky High as head teacher at a school for superheroes - might have a cameo role.

She said: "I would like to be a part of it if it's right, if it fits in the script.

"But I wouldn't want to be in it just for the sake of it."

Even though she's now 54, former Miss World Lynda is still a stunner - and could probably still fit into her skimpy Wonder Woman outfit, which she still owns.

She said: "I try to work out. I try to do what is healthy for my heart and my skin.

"And I don't drink." Lynda is teetotal after developing an alcohol problem 20 years ago. At the time, her husband - businessman and former lawyer Robert Altman - was tried for fraud in the Bank of Credit and Commerce International scandal.

Altman was acquitted but the very public trial took its toll on Lynda.

Later, she said: "I had been so in control of everything in my life. Willpower and tenacity had all worked for me.

"It didn't work for this. I always ended up, sooner or later, out of control.

"I drank to dull the pain. But if it worried me, I'd stop."

But like all alcoholics, one day she realised she couldn't stop.

She said: "I was out of control. I was really afraid of what people would think of me.

"There is so much shame and denial involved. I thought, 'How could anyone love anyone like me?' I hated myself."

Lynda checked herself into The Ashley Clinic rehab centre in Maryland and has not drank for 10 years.

Her career is now in as good shape as her health.

The original Wonder Woman series has just been released on DVD and she has just starred in the hit movie version of The Dukes Of Hazzard. And Sky High sees her starring alongside Kurt Russell and John Travolta's wife Kelly Preston.

Lynda plays Principal Powers, who is actually a comet and travels faster than the speed of light.

And she had strong opinions on how her character should be played.

She told the Sunday Mail: "I really like to play against what is expected, so I didn't want to act like a typical principal.

"In the original script she was your basic, conservatively-dressed principal but I thought she should be sharply dressed and larger than life.

"These super-kids are not easy to deal with, so the producer Andrew Gunn really liked the idea of having her be this intimidating force of nature the kids can't help but respond to.

Humbling Lynda is also appearing in London's West End in the hit musical Chicago.

She plays prison matron Mama Morton, the role portrayed by Queen Latifah in the Oscar-winning movie.

But no matter what roles Lynda tackles, she will always be Wonder Woman to fans.

She said: "I just live my life and this all happened. It's very cool and humbling.

"I'm thrilled Wonder Woman endures because every actor wants a role that doesn't just fade away but has some positive effect and causes people to smile or have good memories.

"It still surprises me when younger people recognise me."

# SKY HIGH is released on October 14

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