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Daredevil Debbie Lawler

Updated on February 23, 2013

My Favorite Toy as a Child

Do you remember Daredevil Debbie?

When I was a young child, Daredevil Debbie was everywhere! She was on TV, in comic books and she was REAL! Daredevil Debbie was based on upon real life daredevil Debbie Lawler.

A female version of Evel Knievel, Debbie Lawler was a motorcycle stunt driver and jumper in the 1970s. In February of 1974, Daredevil Debbie broke Evel Knievel's indoor world record by jumping 16 Chevy pickups for a total of 101 feet.

"I thrive on knowing I may not make it. I feel I've accomplished something when I land safely." Do you remember this Flying Angel?

I received Daredevil Debbie for Christmas one year and also got Evel Knievel. I was a happy kid! Let me tell you how these two influenced me.

Image Credit: Wikipedia Commons

Toys Influence Children

I was a tomboy. I was the oldest of two children and spent a lot of time figuring out how things worked and how things didn't.

Daredevil Debbie was my favorite toy. I could make her jump all of my Tonka dump trucks in a single jump! Well, Debbie had a green bike... I had a green bike. So I wanted to be a daredevil too!

I was known as an "Emergency Room Child". I spent an awful lot of time there. Not only did I have severe food allergies, that we didn't find out about until I was 28 years old, but I had a tendency to break stuff.

ME, for instance.

It Started Out Great!

I started at the top of a very steep driveway which was nestled at the top of a very steep hill! I had created a ramp at the bottom of the hill and placed 13 (yes, I should have known then) red bricks spaced approximately 2 feet apart beyond the ramp.

With just the Ace of Spades in my spokes and the wind at my back, off I went! Thinking back, maybe I should have used the Joker.

How Did It End?

I ended up much the same as Debbie Lawler did in the picture above.

In March of 1974, Debbie cleared 15 Datsuns for 104 feet, but crashed on the landing and fractured three vertebrae.

I should have remembered to bring my Wonder Woman cape so that I could have remained airborne after leaving the bike. It seems Debbie Lawler forgot her cape too.

So I found out how that DIDN'T work. Meanwhile, the Emergency Room doctors waited for me to get there. Once again I was broken. I don't remember the exact injuries I received as battle scars but I do now know 13 is an unlucky number for me.

You can read more about the beautiful and daring Debbie Lawler here.

Evel Knievel's Mantra

"You are never a failure so long as you pick yourself up and keep trying."


Holley's Mantra

"IF you can pick yourself up, you are probably okay."

For You Daredevils

To me, this is the greatest daredevil ever.

Were You A Daredevil?

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    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I have the Debbie Lawler daredevil jumpset, in the box with price tag still on it

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 5 years ago from Seattle, WA

      I had a few daredevil moments...but nothing like you or Daredevil Debbie! *blessed

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 5 years ago

      I wasn't much of a daredevil, but sure admire Debbie Lawler.

    • profile image

      Angel_Lou 5 years ago

      Wanna know what? Your personal stories are magnificent! And you are one Hell of a Woman, I'm sure! :)

    • M Schaut profile image

      Margaret Schaut 5 years ago from Detroit

      I remember watching Evel Knievel with my Dad and brother, they LOVED him! They felt bad when Debbie Lawler got hurt, and I'm sure they felt it was no place for women in the first place. Thanks for bringing this back to mind...

    • squidoopets profile image

      Darcie French 5 years ago from Abbotsford, BC

      I was! Only I experimented with different things. Being an introvert, I've always been attracted to daring internal investigations :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      We used to put cards in our spokes but I never took after Daredevil Debbie like you....thought about doing a lot of stuff and rethought with the injury factored in. I did managed to crush my thumb twice though...once after putting it in a railroad jack where my Dad said not to put it and the other time by car door...never did either one again. I grew up watching Evil Knievel, had to watch the jump again with my heart in my throat! I wonder what his pain threshold was in those days. Daredevil Debbie took us all by surprise when she broke that record for sure. I took a more artistic route I guess though I always loved the outdoors.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 6 years ago

      I am absolutely not a daredevil. My son Nick on the other hand is a total one. I remember the argument we had where he insisted that I sign off on his skydiving at the age of sixteen - against his father's wishes I must add. He was going to find a way to fake an ID card so he could do it. Well, he got past that without the skydiving or the fake ID, but he is still a daredevil. I love to travel, but not move around fast.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I am no daredevil but im very proud to know one. Aunt debbie is as sweet as she is fun,and kind. I was happy to read this story. Im sure it touched very much.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Good luck Shelly, Debbie doesn't even have one herself.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I wish I could find this old toy.. any ideas?

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I met Debbie at her Phoenix home through a personal friend of hers. She is a very fun loving and sweet lady. We talked and she showed me many of her video's she had of her jumps, even the one that landed her in the hospital with 3 broken vertebrae. I wish I would have known her back in the day as we would have been good friends.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 6 years ago from Southampton, UK

      I haven't heard of her before, even though she came to Wembley Stadium, but that was 2 years before I moved to London and I was at university and not really watching a lot of news at the time. I wonder what she is doing now? Probably nursing some aches and pains from all of those breaks I guess.

    • profile image

      nikons210 7 years ago

      Daredevils are just people who enjoy life with their vehicle

      Motorcycle Clock

    • JenOfChicago LM profile image

      JenOfChicago LM 8 years ago

      I never had heard of Debbie before reading this, but I think she's awesome!

    • mysticmama lm profile image

      Bambi Watson 8 years ago

      Fun lens! Congratulations on graduating RocketMom!

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 8 years ago from Canada

      Thanks for the intro to Debbie.

      Well done & blessed.

    • profile image

      Sojourn 8 years ago

      I loved Evel Knievel as a kid. Watched every jump. I remember my brothers and sister and I waiting and waiting for the next one. Legendary, heady stuff for us kids. Now, I never tried to actually imitate a jump or I'd have been...well....much like you! LOL :) Great job!

    • profile image

      happynutritionist 8 years ago

      Have never heard of this, but like the lens, 5 stars and lensrolled:-) claudia

    • capriliz lm profile image

      capriliz lm 8 years ago

      Great lens. Love your story!

    • luvmyludwig lm profile image

      luvmyludwig lm 8 years ago

      great job! I featured it on mine :)

    • Rich-H profile image

      Rich 8 years ago from Surrey, United Kingdom

      Daredevil Debbie? I don't remember her, and I'm sure she wasn't based in Dallas ;) Fun lens, Holley :)

    • MsSnow4 profile image

      Carol Goss 8 years ago

      Wow!! i don't recall that one at all. Looked like you had some great fun with her. Nice lens :)

    • Adelie profile image

      Adelie 8 years ago

      Thank you Holley and Wow! you are DAREDEVIL HOLLEY!!!

    • momto4 lm profile image

      momto4 lm 8 years ago

      Interesting lens! I have never heard of Daredevil Debbie either, but she sounds fascinating!

    • profile image

      KaraLynnRussell 8 years ago


      I love how you brought in the personal aspect to tie in with the toy assignment. Definitely kept me interested.

    • profile image

      kimmanleyort 8 years ago

      Just love the way you wrote this lens. It was a great story.

    • SherryHolderHunt profile image

      SherryHolderHunt 8 years ago

      Great lens! Was I a Daredevil...does riding your bicycle off of a two story building under-construction into a gravel pit count? 5*s and faved

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Never loved daredevil stunts myself, but loved this lens, Holley! My son had an Evel Knievel stunt cycle and action figure, which he loved :)

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 8 years ago from Australia

      A very entertaining lens. I had never heard of Daredevil Debbie either.

    • profile image

      myraggededge 8 years ago

      Really good lens - I used to do stuff too. Had a contest with some neighbouring kids to see who could jump off the highest stair in their house. Hurt my arm but their granny rubbed it better. Later discovered it was broken - ouch.

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 8 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Very cool toy!

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 8 years ago

      Gosh, I heard of Debbie does Dallas -- was that this Debbie per chance? Missed out on that doll -- she sounds like a LOT of fun! Yep, I too was that ER child -- as were a few of my siblings. Something in the genes for 'getting into trouble' as kids. ;)

    • BarbRad profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 8 years ago from Templeton, CA

      Nope. I rarely took risks. I was the quiet child reading a book about other people taking the risks and having adventures. I played with dolls and sometimes caterpillars and snails -- whatever was handy. My adventures were all in books or in my imagination.

    • JenniferAkers LM profile image

      JenniferAkers LM 8 years ago

      I had never heard of Daredevil Debbie, though I remember being fascinated by Evil Knievel. Great lens!

    • seashell2 profile image

      seashell2 8 years ago

      Great lens Holley, I remember my brother loved Evil Kneivel but never heard of Daredevil Debbie! Thanks for sharing this, you go girl!

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 8 years ago from United States

      Really neat lens! I have never heard of Daredevil Debbie, but the way you wrote your story is hilarious! Thanks for sharing it.

    • Brookelorren LM profile image

      Brookelorren LM 8 years ago

      I've never heard of her before, but you did a good job explaining it. Interesting lens!

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 8 years ago from USA

      Thanks for sharing this great daredevil story!

    • clouda9 lm profile image

      clouda9 lm 8 years ago

      What a fun lens! I knew you had spunk...and you still do! 5*'s and off to write my girly lens ;)

    • profile image

      GrowWear 8 years ago

      Wow! Totally missed Daredevil Debbie Lawler. Did not know about her. Learned of two daredevils in one afternoon -- Debbie. And you. :)

    • Mihaela Vrban profile image

      Mihaela Vrban 8 years ago from Croatia

      Didn't your mommy teach you not to play with bikes? :) Wonderful lens Holley!

    • Stazjia profile image

      Carol Fisher 8 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

      Like you, I was a tomboy, playing with my brother's toys and climbing trees. I broke my wrist by the time I was 5 falling out of a tree, dislocated a shoulder another time, and ended up with concussion when a nervous horse I was riding bolted after some idiot in a car hit his horn just behind us. I did stay on for 3 miles, though, in spite of losing my stirrups early on.

      Great lens showing girls can be as brave and daring as boys.

    • RhondaAlbom profile image

      Rhonda Albom 8 years ago from New Zealand

      I don't remember the doll, but I loved your story. My kids would love this doll if she were still around. Nice to see a strong adventure seeking female toy!

    • drifter0658 lm profile image

      drifter0658 lm 8 years ago

      Daredevils like Evel Knievel, Daredevil Debbie, and Hazard Holley make me swoon. When is your life size action figure coming out? I want one.

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 8 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      well, who knew? Holley the daredevil! what a fun lens! 5*

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Cool Debbie doll! I liked the Evel jump video. I remember seeing that on TV when I was little. Oh my gosh he almost didn't make it. What a fun lens! :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Great lens, Holley! I was a bit of a tomboy myself. I wasn't a true daredevil but I did learn that while racing your bike it is never a good idea to slam on the brakes in loose gravel. The result can be a concussion and a spanking for racing down that street in the first place.

    • profile image

      bdkz 8 years ago

      I remember this toy! They should bring this back!

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 8 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Great Toy Memories. I never had a Debbie; just Barbie's. But I had a blue Datsun and a bike but I never combined the two. I had a few spills on my bike but no driving accidents. Well, do parked cars really count, lol!