Librarian Barbara Gordon (and her alter ego Batgirl) was portrayed by Yvonne Craig in the third season of the Batman television series (1967–1968), where she appeared in all 26 episodes. Her Batgirl costume incorporated a long red wig to hide her real avocado-style, black hair.
In a promotional short, librarian Barbara Gordon encounters millionaire Bruce Wayne and his "youthful ward" Dick Grayson at the Gotham City Public Library. As Gordon and Wayne become acquainted, Killer Moth and his henchmen (in full costume) discuss a plan of attack. One henchman suggests taking Bruce Wayne hostage, but Killer Moth shows reluctance, due to Wayne's alleged friendship with Batman. Moth directs the group to kidnap Wayne's business acquaintance instead, who also happens to be a billionaire. When Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson realize the presence of their adversaries, they quickly leave the library to change into Batman and Robin.
Meanwhile, Gordon is locked in the library's office by Killer Moth's henchmen, however, it is revealed there is a secret chamber within the office where she changes into Batgirl. When Batman and Robin arrive to apprehend Moth and his gang, all parties are shocked at the arrival of a Batgirl. Batman, Robin, and Batgirl defeat the villains with relative ease and Batgirl vanishes without revealing her secret identity. Batgirl's costume in the episode closely resembles that later seen in the series, though the design of her mask changes. The short also featured a unique version of the Batman theme, ending with the lyric "Batgirl!" rather than the usual "Batman!" (and accompanied by an appropriately modified Batman logo).
The promotional short was able to renew the series for a third season and add Batgirl to its regular cast. Batgirl's official debut was in the episode "Enter Batgirl, Exit Penguin." The Penguin kidnaps Commissioner Gordon's daughter Barbara, binds her to a chair and gags her, and hides her in the next-door apartment which is being redecorated. The dynamic duo make it their mission to rescue her. The Penguin plans to marry her, thinking that becoming Commissioner Gordon's son-in-law would make him immune from arrest. He ungags her and forces her to agree to this by threatening to have Gordon killed. Pretending to be locked behind a secured door, Barbara makes her transformation into Batgirl and assists Batman and Robin in defeating the Penguin as they have been gassed and hung over a vat of acid. During the episode, Alfred Pennyworth discovers her secret identity - but he vows never to reveal it. He claims she left a few minutes ago when the fight has finished, by whch time Barbara has changed back.
During the third season, Batgirl aided Batman and Robin in solving several mysteries and even saved them from near death by herself on several occasions. Unfortunately, Batgirl's addition to the cast was not enough to save the series from cancellation. Although the promotional short has been mistakenly thought of as a pilot for Batgirl's own spin-off, it is highly unlikely ABC would have agreed to give her own series since Batman had been in danger of cancellation since the end of its first season. According to the book DC Comics: Sixty Years of the World's Favorite Comic Book Heroes, Batgirl's addition to the cast "was a sign of desperation. Ratings were down and there was hope that a new character might give the show a shot in the arm."
Yvonne Craig once again appeared as Batgirl in a 1972 television commercial supporting women's rights (specifically, equal pay).
The 2003 made-for-TV film Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt included scenes recreating the filming of the 1960s TV series. Erin Carufel plays Yvonne Craig/Batgirl in that film.