Lynda Carter was a superhero on screen throughout the late 1970s. But in the years that followed, after an unhappy marriage and an ongoing battle with alcoholism, she became the one who needed saving.
Then, in 1982, while in the process of finalizing her divorce from actor Ron Samuels, she met her future husband and superhero, Robert Altman.
They stayed married and welcomed two children, Jessica and James, while also going through Lynda’s alcohol addiction and Altman’s legal troubles through the 1990s. But they prevailed and never lost hope in each other.
Sadly, in 2021, Altman died from a rare blood cancer called myelofibrosis, leaving Lynda without a clue on how to carry on and live her life without the person she’d been in love with for almost 40 years.
In 2021, talking with People after his death, she shared how she was struggling to find her own identity without Altman.
“The next part of my life is I want to learn who I am,” she said. “It’s totally frightening. I don’t know who I am without Robert.”
“It still gets me,” she added. “I just can’t believe I’ve lost him.”
Their relationship was a “real romance” in her words, and eight months after his death, she even wrote a song inspired by their love.
“I was really trying to define love and loss,” she said of her song, “Human and Divine”, “and make sure it was about the human-ness of love.”
She also shared how much of a support he was for her, saying, “We’d been through ups and downs and ins and outs, and I’d never in my life felt the love and the support and the thrill of having a guy like this.”
Carter had previously been open about her alcoholism and how it affected not only her, but the people in her life. But as she was battling with her addiction, Altman was dealing with accusations of fraud in a bank scandal. So, she needed to step up to be his rock just as he’d done for her.
In 2013, Carter talked with Oprah about how she and Altman had pushed through their struggling times together.
“You think that you’re keeping [the drinking] from everyone,” she said. “But the people that are around you, they know.”
Even though Altman was found not guilty in his trial, it still had an effect on them, mentally and financially.
“It cost us everything we had,” she explained. “We had to rebuild. Things like that can push you apart, but we got closer.”
Since they were able to get through his legal troubles, she took the initiative to seek treatment and went into recovery for the sake of not only her own health, but for the health of their relationship.
“So he helped me, I helped him. He is my knight in shining armor.”
Carter had talked about how Altman was the one to get her to quit drinking, telling The Insider in 2008 that he had asked her, “Can’t you just stop this for the children and for me?”
She ultimately decided to quit and has been sober for over 20 years.
Since Altman’s death, she has dedicated her time to her cancer research foundation dedicated to her husband, the Robert & Lynda Carter Altman Family Foundation Research Fund, and has learned so much about cancer research and hopes to help other families in need.
“I’m excited to be a part of this team and to know that I may play a small part in helping other families facing this same diagnosis,” Carter said, per WebMD. “It’s thrilling seeing the progress these scientists are making, from genomic research into a universe of trillions of codes that might actually become a drug therapy someday.”