Google Doodle celebrates daredevil stunt person Kitty O’Neil’s birth anniversary
Today, on March 24, Google commemorateS the 77th birth anniversary of Kitty O'Neil, an American stuntwoman and record-breaking racer, with a beautifully designed Doodle. O'Neil was an exceptional woman who broke barriers and shattered stereotypes, leaving a lasting impact on the world of motorsports as well as Hollywood.
O’Neil was born on this day in 1946 to a Cherokee Native American mother and Irish father in Corpus Christi, Texas. She was just a few months old when she contracted multiple diseases which led to an intense fever that ultimately left her deaf. She learned various communication modes and adapted for different audiences throughout her life, ultimately preferring speaking and lip reading mostly.
O’Neil refused to see her deafness as a roadblock, often referring to it as an asset. She later found a love for diving, but a wrist injury and illness ended her chances of competing. However, she remained committed to fulfilling her dream of becoming a professional athlete.
She began experimenting with high-speed sports like water skiing and motorcycle racing. A true action-lover, she also performed dangerous acts such as falling from daunting heights while set on fire and jumping from helicopters. In the late 70s, she made it onto the big screen as a stunt double for films and TV series including The Bionic Woman (1976), Wonder Woman (1977-1979), and The Blues Brothers (1980). She was the first woman to join Stunts Unlimited, an organisation for Hollywood’s top stunt performers.
In 1976, O’Neil was crowned “the fastest woman alive” after she zoomed across the Alvord Desert at 512.76 miles per hour!
A biopic about O’Neil’s life, titled Silent Victory: The Kitty O’Neil Story, was released in 1979 and recaps the impressive Alvord Desert feat.
Google Doodle honouring Kitty O'Neil is a fitting tribute to her legacy. It features an illustration of O'Neil performing a stunt. The doodle captures her fearless spirit and passion for adventure, inspiring people around the world to pursue their dreams and never give up in the face of challenges.
Kitty O'Neil was a trailblazer and a role model for generations to come, proving that nothing is impossible with determination and hard work. Google Doodle serves as a reminder of her incredible achievements and the impact she had on the world. It's a celebration of her life, legacy, and the countless lives she has inspired.