Today we are talking with Constance Cawlfield, who voiced Wonder Woman for a run on the Super Friends.
What prompted you to become an Actress?
I was a very shy little girl and my mother was a very smart women who decided to help me help myself. She was a member of a local theater group and there was a tiny part available in their next production. She asked if I could do it. They said yes and though I was nervous and scared, I still decided to do it. From then on, I loved being in plays. I am still basically shy and to this day I have to push my shyness to perform in a production.
What was your first paid role? Were there any lessons you learned from that job that you think every Actor should know?
I modeled and performed in plays in Chicago from my teens on until I moved to Los Angeles. I was seventeen when I landed a series of commercials shown locally for two years. It was for a popular Chicago company at AFTRA wages. I had to join the union because there were too many commercials to remain out of the union.
That was the beginning. It was not until later that I moved to Los Angeles and started acting in film and TV and national commercials.
The lessons I learned were to not take rejection personally which is difficult for an actor because you are being judged not only for your acting ability on the audition but who you are when you walk into the room. There is another lesson for the actor to know… that every audition is entirely different from the last one. The ability to handle surprise and recover from mistakes is a very important part in landing the role.
What kind of roles did you have before Super Friends? Did you work in theatre, television, etc.?
Besides many regional and national commercials, I did theater co-starring with Bill Bixby, Pat O’Brien, Donald O’Conner, Burt Reynolds
In Los Angeles….
For film, I was featured in The Rose, Murder in Peyton Place, The Hazing, and Black Eye.
In television, I co-starred and had recurring roles in Knots Landing, Hill Street Blues, The Young and the Restless and of course……….Super Friends.
I was a regular panel member on The Cable Series, Women’s Page and I did over two hundred national and regional on-camera and voice-over commercials.
For theater I starred in 15 professional plays including co-starring roles with George Maharis, Bpb Denver, Peter Marshall, and Virginia Mayo.
I created a theatre company called Colorado Stage Company in 1999 which I still have.
How did you get involved with the Super Friends?
I heard about the audition for the voice of Wonder Woman from a friend. At the time of the audition I had cold that affected my voice. I went to the audition anyway, did my best, and I heard later that after the tapes went to the network in New York that they liked the little “crinkle” in my voice. So, out of about three hundred people, I was the one that got the part. Ironically at that same time, I got the lead role opposite Peter Marshall in a professional play out of town. The stage production did not have personal mics for the actors as they do now. In order to be heard in a five hundred seat theater, actors had to project their voice. It was that fact that allowed me to keep that “crinkle” for the duration of my voice in Wonder Woman.
What was the inspiration behind the voice of your Wonder Woman?
Wonder Woman in my mind was strong yet feminine. And I wanted to make that apparent in my voice. So those were the thoughts going through my head when I would record.
What was a typical recording session like?
As I said, I was doing a play out of town at exactly the same time, two shows a night and six days a week (we had Mondays off). So, every Monday, I would fly into Burbank, rent a car, and drive to the Hanna Barbera studios. Then I would pick up the script from the engineer, go into the small recording booth, look at the story board, and begin to record. I never heard the other actors in these segments.Sometimes there was just one take and at other times there were many. When the session was over, I would jump in the car, go back the airport and back to the play.
Did you ever meet William Hanna or Joseph Barbera?
Yes I did and I was given an original Wonder Woman cell from the series that was signed by both William Hanna and Joseph Barbera that thanked me for my work.
Do you have any memorable experiences during your run on Super Friends?
The first recording session was very exciting because it was the only time that all of the Super Friends met and were directed by Gordon Hunt (father of Helen Hunt). It was the first time that I met Casey Kasem , Adam West, and Danny Dark.
That was the only time that we were all together recording an adventure.
Is there anything you’d like to add?
At the time, I did not realize the lasting popularity and impact that the series of Super Friends would have on future generations. I am surprised and elated.