Throughout history, women have been achieving amazing feats that are unthinkable to the average person. There have been several women who have performed amazing challenges of physical strength and fortitude. These women have done some gutsy things that many people would only dream about pulling off. From stunt doubles to acrobats, women like this are a source of inspiration for all of us, showing us that truly anything is possible if you believe in yourself and stay dedicated to honing your skills and talent. They have broken barriers in their professions, and have given the most brave male performers and daredevils a run for their money. Even just watching or reading about some of the crazy stunts these women have pulled off may just make the hair on your neck stand up and send chills down your spine? Are you ready for a dose of adrenaline from learning about these brave and inspiring heroines? Check out these most fearless female daredevils, stunt women and performers throughout history.
Helen Gibson: Hollywood’s First Stuntwoman
Helen Gibson was born Rose Wenger and joined entertainment at age 18 in 1910. In this Wild West show, she would pick up a handkerchief while riding a horse. During this time, she also started working in silent films and rodeos in Los Angeles. Before Helen, men would dress as women for female stunt doubles, and then Helen broke ground as the first ever female stunt worker.
Lillian La France: Motorcycle Stunt Rider
Angles Micek, fed up with her strict Catholic upbringing, joined a traveling carnival in the 1910’s. She became Lillian La France, and began racing motorcycles in the Wall of Death motordrome show in 1924. She was known as “The Girl Who Flirts with Death,” and was the most popular motorcycle stunt racers in the 1920’s and 1930’s.
Rosa Richter: Human Cannonball
At the tender age of 14, Rosa Richter performed a death defying act in London in April 1877. In a spring powered device called the Great Farini, Rosa was launched into the air nearly 70 feet. She became known as “Zazel” and later joined P.T. Barnum’s circus, and performed many other feats like aerial acrobatics and the tightrope.
Debbie Lawler: Queen of Motorcycle Jumpers
In 1974, Debbie Lawler broke the longstanding record set by Evel Knievel, at just the age of 21. She jumped an astonishing 16 Chevy pickup trucks on her motorcycle. She became known as many titles, including the motorcycle madam, the tigress on a cycle, the flying angel and the queen of motorcycle jumpers. Later the same year, she was immortalized as a toy in the Debbie Lawler Daredevil Jumpset. It was created to inspire young girls to daredevil work, and is now a collectors item.
Kitty O’Neil: Racer and Stuntwoman
Kitty O’Neil was a well known motorcycle racer and stuntwoman in the 1970’s and is known for her success despite her disability. Through an illness as a baby, she lost her hearing but that did not stop her. She was a Hollywood stuntwoman on TV shows like Wonder Woman and The Bionic Woman. She set a record for the world’s fastest woman in 1976, when she topped speeds up to 600 miles per hour in the Alvord Desert of Oregon.
Shirly Muldowney: Drag Racer
Shirley Muldowney was one of the best female racers during the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. She became the first woman to race the Top Gas category in 1968. Even when she endured and survived a horrific crash in 1984, hitting a wall at over 250 miles per hour, she continued to excel in her sport. She went on to recover from the crash and won her 18th National Hot Rod Association race in 1989.