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Helen Slater

Helen Slater

Helen Slater portrayed Kara Zor-El/Linda Lee/Supergirl in Supergirl, voiced Talia al Ghul in Batman: The Demon's Quest and portrayed Eliza Danvers in the Arrowverse. Her likeness was briefly recreated using CGI to represent her version of Supergirl in The Flash.

Significant roles[]

  • Kara Zor-El/Linda Lee/Supergirl in Supergirl (1984)
  • Sandy Kessler in Ruthless People (1986)
  • Christy Wills in The Secret of My Succe$$ (1987)
  • Bonnie Rayburn in City Slickers (1991)
  • Becky Gelke in Seinfeld (1992)
  • Talia al Ghul (voice) in Batman: The Animated Series (1992-1994)
  • Lisa Fredericks in 12:01 (1993)
  • Mary in No Way Back (1995)
  • Lara-El in Smallville (2007-2010)
  • Dr. Magda Stephanopoulos in Greek (2009)
  • Jennifer Brooks in Gigantic (2010-2011)
  • Erin in Private Practice (2011)
  • Eliza Danvers in Supergirl (2015-present)


  • "Honestly, I was a huge fan of the movie, and I think the first two movies were already out when I got cast as Supergirl, but I didn't know the mythology of the comic books, and that was not part of my upbringing or childhood."
  • "I met him at the studios when I was shooting, and I didn't really confer with him, but it was very fun meeting him, a highlight for me."
  • "I had attended performing arts classes in high scool, and we had to take [extra] dance classes. I never did sports per se, but I had done dance classes and that fitted Jeannot's idea of what he wanted in [a female lead]."
  • "I don't know if I was impressing the casting director, but I really went for it."
  • "You know, when you're 19 - I turned 19 when we started shooting - you're so puffed up that you're not thinking about that as much. For me what was intimidating was Peter O'Toole, [the fact] that he was in the movie, but I felt very protected by the Salkinds (the producers), by the people they had hired to train me, the friends I made during the 3 - 4 month training period, so I felt I was almost in a bubble and wasn't really exposed to anything, not [even] any kind of publicity. I was very protected and in that way I really felt safe. Looking back at it I realize how daunting it was, what a daunting experrience [it must have been]."
  • "Oh, that was such a great experience for me, that whole spectrum. Peter I still think of as this incredible mentor. I don't know if you [know] this, but he would have me do Shakespeare for him, and kind of helped me get rid of some of my American habits, which I still do to this day. He said to me; 'I want you to imagine holding a daffodil between your thumb and your forefinger' while I was doing a speech from Romeo and Juliet, and very much gave me this incredible light into doing Shakespeare, which I hadn't started performing. I've had great teachers since Supergirl [too], about getting more insight into how to work with text.
  • "And then with Faye, for me it was her professionalism... I was very aware of how an extraordinary beautiful woman she is. She was very mindful of the way she was lit, because there was that kind of self-protection on her part that I think was good. I think she was very helpful [to me]."
  • "[I received] extensive training once I got to England, it was 3 or 4 months of training with Alf Joint (the stunt coordinator and trainer), who passed away 3 or 4 eyars ago. He trained Christopher as well. It was the trampoline and running, swimming, weightlifting, sit-ups... So it was alot of training, I think I gained several pounds!"
  • "That was such great fun and one of the highlights of the movie for me. It was done with wires back then, [the technique of achieving it] looks really archaic now. I don't know how they do it today, but when I did in the 80s they had a long-nose construction crane, and then they attached two piano wires to a track that went across a frame, and then two guys had a rope on a makeshift wheel, and when they pulled the wire I would go up, and two other guys had another wheel [and when they pulled their wire] I would go across the frame, so that's how they made me fly. There was another way they made me fly, and that was this arm that came out of a green screen, and they had made a body cast of my whole body. I would say that [the body cast] was the most challenging, but nothing too dire [laughs]."
  • "I've had some real interesting talks about why the film didn't work and what the problem was, and I think it was more to do with the story of Supergirl, [in that] that it wasn't developed and it was a girl as opposed to a guy. Perhaps they didn't know back then how to make that storyline [work]. It would be interesting to see how they would have made it today."
  • "I have so many fond memries. Jeannot Szwarc, the director, was so much fun to work with, and Peter and Faye and all of those people [too], but my fondest memory, because it was such a coming of age [project] for me, was working in England and at Pinewood Studios, and being plucked out of obscurity and put into this experience. I felt it was a dream come true."
  • "The blonde that I was in Supergirl was a bottle job, I was really bleached blonde, and I still highlight my hair!"
  • "They offered me that part [Lara in Smallville] and I had so much fun doing it, they are just wonderful peple over there. They tip their hat alot to the movies that were made, by bringing in actors or voices, so for people who love the Supergirl comics or Superman comic books, it was fun to be that surprise in that I was playing Superman's biological mother."
  • "Yes... They did blow me up in a trillion pieces, but as someone was saying to me, that means nothing if you're in science fiction show [laughs hearty]."
  • "We had the most interesting talks. I went to Metropolis in Illinois, to a Superman convention, or was it a festival? When I was there there was a bunch of comic books artists and I went to a dinner, and Jake Black was there, and we started talking about the mythology of which I'm a huge fan, and about what is going on for young girls of today, and what a Supergirl story might look like. I had a great time working on that [idea], but... it might not be totally dead, it may come back, you never know."
  • "I was very moved when I met Laura Vandervoort, who plays Supergirl on Smallville, because she was my age when I played Supergirl, and that was a little bit of a shock. She might have been one or two years older, but I almost felt like seeing myself 25 years ago, and walking on the set I had that really odd feeling watching her. She was so poised and lovely, and I had a kind of... not eerie [feeling], but I was thinking 'wow, that was me 20-something years ago'. That whole young ingénue thing, it just had a certain energy to it, and I remmeber I thought about being aware of the difference [between then and now] and how pure that age is. It's beautiful and unusual because it is not who I am now, I've grown and got married, had a child and travelled and read books, so it felt like a Star Trek episode where you go back in time in your life, and see yourself."
  • "I think you are right though, [about the] film history context. I think it can be seen as an interesting foray, like, the first female super hero foray into film, so you might be right about that. I can't think of what was before Supergirl, so in terms of tracking movie and cinema and how films figure [female heroes] out, from a film historian point of view, it is interesting to clock it and look at it, and fast-forward 25 years and see how far it has come, not just the technical side but the female characters that they have brought [into] movies the last couple of years. I think it would be interesting for people who study film or mythology or even art or psychology to see how [female heroes] have progressed in our culture."
  • "I’m in the pilot [of tv series Supergirl] and I have a contract as a guest star, which means they can use me as much as they want."
  • "I have been in the Superman universe partially, I just can't get out of it."
  • "It was such a joy to do the pilot. My fingers are crossed that it goes well because they have a great cast. The girl playing Supergirl, Melissa Benoist, is fantastic. When I met her, we did the reading and she was fabulous. She did not need any advice at all. She’s sparkling and funny and delightful. She’s going to be awesome."

Characters portrayed by Helen Slater[]