Kitty O’Neil Net Worth & Achievements

What is Kitty O’neil Net Worth?

Net Worth:$1 million
Source of Wealth:Stuntwoman and Auto-Racer
Date of Birth:March 24th, 1946
Country of Origin:United States
Last Updated:2024

Kitty O’neil Net Worth: Kitty O’Neil was an American stuntwoman and auto-racer with an estimated net worth of $1 million. Despite facing significant challenges, including losing her hearing at a young age, Kitty O’Neil’s indomitable spirit and extraordinary talent propelled her to great heights, both in her career and financial standing​​​​.

Her net worth was reflective of her successful career spanning stunt work and racing. O’Neil’s financial success was attributed to her groundbreaking work in the entertainment industry, including her remarkable achievements in land and water speed records, and her extensive work as a stuntwoman in various films and television series.

Early Life

Kitty O’Neil was born on March 24, 1946, in Corpus Christi, Texas. Her father, John O’Neil, was an officer in the United States Army Air Forces and an oil wildcatter who tragically died in an airplane crash during Kitty’s childhood. Her mother, Patsy Compton O’Neil, of Cherokee descent, played a pivotal role in her upbringing.

Kitty faced a major challenge early in life when she fell ill with several childhood diseases at the same time, leading to her losing her hearing before she turned two. Despite this, Kitty’s mother taught her to lip-read and speak, eventually becoming a speech therapist and co-founding a school for students with hearing impairments.

Kitty showed a talent for athletics, winning several Amateur Athletic Union diving championships but had to abandon her Olympic dreams due to a wrist injury and spinal meningitis. She later turned to other extreme sports such as water skiing, scuba diving, skydiving, and hang gliding​​​.


Kitty O’Neil’s career was multifaceted, spanning racing and stunt work. In the early 1970s, she began racing on water and land, participating in events like the Baja 500 and Mint 400. Her transition to stunt work came in the mid-1970s after receiving training from renowned stunt professionals.

She became the first woman to work with Stunts Unlimited and appeared in several film and television productions, making significant contributions to the industry. Kitty’s notable work included performances in “The Bionic Woman,” “Airport ’77,” and “The Blues Brothers.”

Her dedication to stunt work led to the creation of a Kitty O’Neil action figure by Mattel in 1978. Throughout her career, Kitty set 22 speed records on land and water, showcasing her exceptional talent and breaking barriers in male-dominated fields​​​.

Kitty O’neil net worth is estimated to be $1 million as of 2024.

Career Highlights

  • 1976: Set the women’s land-speed record at 512.71 mph.
  • 1977: Established the women’s record for speed on the water at 275 miles per hour.
  • 1970s: Became the first woman to join Stunts Unlimited, highlighting her pioneering role in stunt work.
  • 1979: Performed a stunt for “Wonder Woman,” setting a women’s high-fall record of 127 feet, later breaking her own record with a 180-foot fall from a helicopter​​.

Personal Life

Kitty O’Neil’s personal life was marked by her resilience and pioneering spirit. She was married twice, first to Ronald “Duffy” Hambleton, a bank executive turned stunt performer, with whom she had two children before their divorce.

Despite the end of her marriage, Kitty continued to make significant contributions to her field. Her life was a testament to overcoming adversity and achieving greatness against the odds. Kitty’s legacy as a groundbreaking stunt performer and the fastest woman in the world continues to inspire generations.

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Awards and Achievements

Kitty O’Neil was a trailblazer in the fields of stunt work and speed racing, recognized for her extraordinary contributions and record-setting performances. On December 6, 1976, she set a landmark in the Alvord Desert, Oregon, by establishing the women’s land-speed record.

Piloting the hydrogen peroxide-powered “SMI Motivator,” a three-wheeled rocket car, she reached an average speed of 512.710 mph, peaking at 621 mph. Remarkably, this feat was accomplished using only 60% of the available thrust, with O’Neil estimating that she could have exceeded 700 mph under full power.

Despite facing contractual limitations that restricted her to breaking only the women’s record and prevented further attempts to surpass her own records due to sponsor decisions, O’Neil’s achievements left a lasting impact. In addition to her speed records, she broke barriers for women in Hollywood as the first woman to join Stunts Unlimited, doubling for iconic roles such as Lindsay Wagner in “The Bionic Woman” and Lynda Carter in “Wonder Woman.”

Her life and accomplishments were celebrated in the biographical film “Silent Victory: The Kitty O’Neil Story,” further cementing her legacy as an inspirational figure in both stunt work and racing​​​.

Kitty O’Neil Net Worth

Kitty O’Neil net worth is estimated to be $1 million, at the time of her passing. Her wealth was accumulated through her diverse career in the entertainment industry and motorsports.

O’Neil’s earnings came from her roles as a stunt double in various films and television series, where she performed daring stunts that showcased her exceptional skills. Additionally, her achievements in setting land and water speed records contributed to her financial success.

O’Neil’s career in racing, where she participated in notable competitions like the Baja 500 and Mint 400, also added to her income. Despite facing challenges, including losing her hearing at a young age, O’Neil’s determination and skill propelled her to achieve extraordinary feats​​​​​.

Kitty O’neil net worth is estimated to be about $1 million, this is inclusive of her wealth in real estate.


Throughout her lifetime, Kitty O’Neil was deeply committed to philanthropy, dedicating time and resources to causes close to her heart. She was particularly supportive of the Special Olympics, reflecting her passion for empowering athletes with disabilities. O’Neil’s charitable work extended beyond this, as she engaged in various initiatives aimed at giving back to the community and supporting those in need.

Through her pioneering work and the representation of her story in media, she has undoubtedly contributed to raising awareness and encouraging support for various causes, especially those advocating for individuals with disabilities and promoting the inclusion and recognition of women in sports and stunt work.

Notable Kitty O’Neil’s Quotes

What I’m looking for is a Blessing NOT in disguise!- Kitty O’Neil

If you don’t push yourself, you’ll never know what you’re capable of.- Kitty O’Neil

There’s no such thing as can’t – only won’t.- Kitty O’Neil

Life Lessons to Learn From Kitty O’Neil’s Success

1. Embrace Challenges as Opportunities

Kitty O’Neil’s life teaches us the value of seeing challenges not as obstacles but as opportunities to prove ourselves. Born deaf, she didn’t let this limit her ambitions. Instead, she turned it into an asset, focusing on her abilities rather than her disability. This mindset can transform how we approach our problems, encouraging us to find innovative solutions and achieve greatness.

2. Determination is Key to Breaking Barriers

Kitty’s career is a testament to the power of determination. She broke numerous records and became a trailblazer for women in stunt work and racing, fields dominated by men. Her achievements remind us that with enough determination, we can shatter ceilings and achieve our dreams, no matter how lofty they may seem.

3. Fearlessness in Pursuit of Passion

Kitty lived her life on the edge, literally setting the world on fire with her stunt work and racing achievements. Her fearlessness was not about the absence of fear but about the mastery over it. By pursuing her passions relentlessly, Kitty teaches us to face our fears head-on and not let them dictate the boundaries of our potential.

Frequently Asked Questions – Kitty O’Neil Net Worth

How did Kitty O’Neil make her money?

Kitty O’Neil’s primary sources of income were her successful career as a professional stuntwoman and her achievements in motorsports. Her work in Hollywood, performing stunts in movies and TV shows, along with her record-breaking endeavors in land and water racing, significantly contributed to her income​​​.

What records did Kitty O’Neil achieve?

Kitty O’Neil set several records in her lifetime, including the women’s land-speed record in 1976, with a speed of 512.71 mph, and the women’s water-speed record in 1977, achieving a speed of 275 mph. These accomplishments cemented her status as one of the most talented and fearless individuals in her field​​​.

Was Kitty O’Neil married?

Kitty O’Neil was married to Ronald “Duffy” Hambleton, a banker turned stunt performer. They later divorced, and there were rumors of her being married again and divorced, with several relationships outside her marriage, but the names of those boyfriends are unknown.

What impact did Kitty O’Neil have on the industry?

Kitty O’Neil left a lasting impact on the stunt work and racing industries through her groundbreaking achievements and her status as a trailblazer in a male-dominated field. Her bravery, tenacity, and exceptional skills continue to inspire others to this day, encouraging aspiring stuntwomen and racers to pursue their dreams​​

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Final Thoughts

Kitty O’Neil’s net worth of $1 million at the time of her passing, is a testament to her groundbreaking career as a stuntwoman and racer. Her financial success was not only a reflection of her daring feats and records in speed racing but also her significant contributions to the entertainment industry through her work in numerous films and television shows.

O’Neil’s legacy is marked by her resilience in overcoming personal challenges, including profound deafness, to become one of the most revered figures in her field. Her life story continues to inspire many, showcasing that with determination and skill, remarkable achievements are within reach.

As of 2024, Kitty O’neil net worth is estimated to be $1 million

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