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From the Archives: Stuntwoman Kitty O'Neil takes a plunge off the Valley Hilton

From the Archives: Stuntwoman Kitty O'Neil takes a plunge off the Valley Hilton
Feb. 12, 1979: Stuntwoman Kitty O'Neil takes a 127-foot plunge from atop the Valley Hilton in Sherman Oaks into an inflatable air bag while filming a scene for the "Wonder Woman" TV show. ((R.L. Oliver / Los Angeles Times))

During filming for an episode of the television show "Wonder Woman," stuntwoman Kitty O'Neil took a record plunge at the Valley Hilton in Sherman Oaks.

An extended caption in the Feb. 13, 1979, Los Angeles Times reported:

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It wasn't a plane. It wasn't a bird. It wasn't even Wonder Woman. It was a stunt. On Monday, stuntwoman Kitty O'Neil plunged 127 feet from atop the Valley Hilton in Sherman Oaks into an inflatable air bag at the pool deck as the scene was being filmed for an upcoming two-hour special episode of the "Wonder Woman" series.

A Warner Bros. spokesman said O'Neil, who is deaf, established a new high-fall record and broke her own previous mark of 120 feet. Before the leap, O'Neil practiced by making two 10-story jumps.

After the leap, she rode to the airport for a return flight to Bonneville, Utah, where she's attempting to set a world land-speed record in her jet-powered car.

On Dec. 6, 1976, O'Neil set the land-speed record for female drivers after clocking 512.710 mph on a measured course at Alford Desert in southeastern Oregon.

In 1979, the biographical movie "Silent Victory: The Kitty O'Neil Story," appeared on CBS. Actress Stockard Channing starred as O'Neil.

These three photos appeared in the Feb. 13, 1979, Los Angeles Times.

Feb. 12, 1979: Stuntwoman Kitty O'Neil established a new high-fall record when she plunged 127 feet from atop the Valley Hilton in Sherman Oaks.
Feb. 12, 1979: Stuntwoman Kitty O'Neil established a new high-fall record when she plunged 127 feet from atop the Valley Hilton in Sherman Oaks. ((R.L. Oliver / Los Angeles Times))
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