Waggoner in a 1976 publicity photo for Wonder Woman
Lyle Wesley Waggoner
April 13, 1935
Kansas City, Kansas, U.S.
|Died||March 17, 2020 (aged 84)|
|Occupation||Actor, sculptor, model, presenter, salesman|
Sharon Kennedy (m. 1961)
Lyle Wesley Waggoner (//; April 13, 1935 – March 17, 2020) was an American actor, sculptor, presenter, travel trailer salesman, and model, known for his work on The Carol Burnett Show from 1967 to 1974, and for playing the role of Steve Trevor and Steve Trevor Jr. on Wonder Woman from 1975 to 1979.
Waggoner was born in Kansas City, Kansas, the son of Marie (Isern) and Myron Waggoner, and spent part of his childhood in Excelsior Springs, Missouri. In 1953, he graduated from Kirkwood High School in Kirkwood, Missouri, and then studied briefly at Washington University in St. Louis. He then joined the United States Army, serving two years in West Germany as a radio operator.
Following his military discharge, Waggoner studied mechanical engineering in the junior executive program at the General Motors Institute of Technology. He then sold encyclopedias door to door. He made his acting debut as a muscle man in a Kansas City production of Li'l Abner, after which he created a sales promotion organization that enabled him to make enough money to finance a trip to Los Angeles to start an acting career.
By the mid-1960s, Waggoner was appearing regularly in television and films, including an episode of Gunsmoke. He was a finalist for the title role in the TV series version of Batman, but lost the role to Adam West.
In 1967, he appeared in Catalina Caper (with Tommy Kirk, a former child actor trying to restart his career as a young adult), a film which would eventually be lampooned by Mystery Science Theater 3000. He also had a minor guest-starring role in the season-three episode "Deadliest of the Species" of the TV series Lost in Space.
Also in 1967, Waggoner began a seven-year stint on The Carol Burnett Show, a comedy sketch and variety show, on which he appeared as an announcer and performer. In 1973, Waggoner became Playgirl's first male semi-nude centerfold. Waggoner left The Carol Burnett Show in 1974 in the hopes of advancing his career as a lead actor. His spot on the show was filled by frequent guest star Tim Conway (and his role as announcer by Ernie Anderson). He later appeared on some of the show's reunion specials.
In 1976, Waggoner was appointed "mayor" of Encino, California, by the local chamber of commerce. The "mayor" is not an actual government official; the post is an honorary "goodwill ambassador" position. In addition to Waggoner, other holders of the title have included; Steve Allen, Mike Connors, Fred Travalena, Ronnie Schell, and Cesare Danova.
A year after leaving Carol Burnett, Waggoner landed the role of Steve Trevor for the pilot and first season of the television series Wonder Woman starring Lynda Carter. Initially set during World War II, when the subsequent two seasons advanced the timeline to the 1970s, Waggoner played Steve Trevor, Jr.
Waggoner also appeared in several TV movies and minor motion pictures during the 1970s and 1980s, often cast for “hunk” appeal. He made guest appearances on numerous television series including Charlie's Angels, The San Pedro Beach Bums, Happy Days, Mork & Mindy, The Golden Girls, Ellen, and most recently The War at Home. Waggoner also played at least three roles on The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, and Murder, She Wrote throughout their respective runs.
In 1979, Waggoner founded Star Waggons, a company that leased customized location trailers for use by the entertainment industry. In 1990, Waggoner co-produced and appeared in a consumer-product show called Consumer America with co-host Shawn Bruner. The series featured novel national products from self-help to home goods and lasted for about two seasons.
In 1993, Waggoner was the host of an infomercial, “Let's Talk With Lyle Waggoner”, which advertised “Y-Bron”, supposedly a natural product that would cure male impotence. Scottsdale, Arizona based Twin Star was later fined $1.5 million for unsubstantiated claims about Y-Bron.
Waggoner was married to Sharon Kennedy, an actress, financial consultant, and realtor. They married in 1961 and had two sons, Jason and Beau. He resided near Jackson, Wyoming, where he was a sculptor. His works can be seen at West Lives On Gallery of Fine Art in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and are usually humorous renditions of lovely ladies, some of which are cast at Eagle Bronze in Lander, Wyoming. He also had homes in Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico; Oxnard, California, and Westlake Village, California.
|1966||Swamp Country||Deputy Mel|
|1967||Catalina Caper||Angelo||Alternate title: Never Steal Anything Wet|
|1967||Journey to the Center of Time||Alien|
|1973||Love Me Deadly||Alex Martin|
|1978||Zero to Sixty||Gay Bar Bartender|
|1984||Surf II||Chief Boyardie|
|1989||Murder Weapon||Dr. Randolph|
|1989||Danger USA||Ben||Alternate title: Mind Trap|
|1990||The Girl I Want||Coach|
|1990||Dream a Little Evil||Death||Direct-to-video film|
|1991||Wizards of the Demon Sword||Lord Khoura|
|1991||Dead Women in Lingerie||Daddy|
|1967||Lost in Space||Mechanical Man||Episode: "Deadliest of the Species"|
|1967–1974||The Carol Burnett Show||Various Characters||Main cast (182 episodes)|
|1969||The Governor & J.J.||Garrett Spaulding||Episode: "Romeo and J.J."|
|1972||Once Upon a Mattress||Sir Studley||TV movie|
|1973||Marcus Welby, M.D.||Eric Lundgren||Episode: "The Day After Forever"|
|1973||The Barbara Eden Show||Barry Michaels||Television pilot|
|1973||Letters from Three Lovers||Sam||TV movie|
|1975||The New Original Wonder Woman||Major Steve Trevor||TV movie|
|1976||Maude||Jim||Episode: "The Case of the Broken Punch Bowl"|
|1976–1979||Wonder Woman / The New Adventures of Wonder Woman||Major Steve Trevor (1976–77)
Colonel Steve Trevor Jr. (1977–79)
|Main cast (59 episodes)|
|1977||The Love Boat II||Roger||TV movie|
|1977||The San Pedro Beach Bums||Jason||Episode: "Love Boat Bums: The Bums Take a Cruise"|
|1978||Flying High||Gavin||Episode: "Fun Flight"|
|1979||The Love Boat||Lance Wilson||Episode: "Second Time Around"|
|1979||Supertrain||Peter Sebastian||Episode: "A Very Formal Heist"|
|1979||Time Express||David Lane||Episode: "The Copy-Writer/The Figure Skater"|
|1979||The Love Boat||Jay Cavanaugh||Episode: "The Scoop"|
|1980||The Gossip Columnist||Terry Anderson||TV movie|
|1980||The Great American Traffic Jam||Wilbur Stokes||TV movie|
|1980||Happy Days||Bobby Burns||Episode: "Dreams Can Come True"|
|1980||Fantasy Island||Monty||Episode: "Gigolo"|
|1980||Charlie's Angels||Jack Barrows||Episode: "Island Angels"|
|1981||Bulba||Hampton Fraser||Television pilot|
|1981||Mork & Mindy||Xerko||Episode: "There's a New Mork in Town"|
|1981||Fantasy Island||Gilberto DeVincenzo||Episode: "The Perfect Husband"|
|1982||The Ugily Family||Kenny Bing||Television pilot|
|1982||The Love Boat||Dr. Tucker Martin||Episode: "A Dress to Remember"|
|1982||Romance Theatre||Jeremy||Episodes: "The Simple Truth" (Parts 1–5)|
|1983||Fantasy Island||Al||Episode: "No Friends Like Old Friends"|
|1983||Gun Shy||The Masked Stranger||Episode: "What Do You Mean 'We' Amigo?"|
|1984||Happy Days||Frederick Hamilton||Episode: "Like Mother, Like Daughter"|
|1984||Murder, She Wrote||Marty Strindberg||Episode: "Hooray for Homicide"|
|1985||The Great American Strip-off||Himself - Host|
|1986||Hardcastle and McCormick||Dex Falcon||Episode: "If You Could See What I See"|
|1986||Simon & Simon||Don Manning||Episode: "The Last Big Break"|
|1986||The New Mike Hammer||Leo Raffle||Episode: "Requiem for Billy"|
|1987||It's a Living||Marlon Brando / Hector Rodriquez||Episode: "Her Back to the Future"|
|1990||The Golden Girls||Himself||Episode: "Mrs. George Devereaux"|
|1991||Murder, She Wrote||Vic DeMarco||Episode: "Where Have You Gone, Billy Boy?"|
|1993||Murder, She Wrote||Ben Wright||Episode: "The Big Kill"|
|1993||Daddy Dearest||Hank||Episode: "Thanks, But No Thanks"|
|1995||Burke's Law||Reece Robertson||Episode: "Who Killed Mr. Game Show?"|
|1995||Cybill||Himself||Episode: "The Cheese Stands Alone"|
|1996||Ellen||Vic||Episode: "Not So Great Expectations"|
|1997||Pauly||Master of Ceremonies||Episode: "Life's a Drag"|
|1998||Alright Already||Himself||Episode: "Again with the Satellite Dish"|
|1998||The Naked Truth||Himself||Episode: "Hooked on Heroine"|
|1999||Love Boat: The Next Wave||Tom Brooks||Episode: "Three Stages of Love"|
|1999||That '70s Show||Himself||Episode: "Red's Last Day"|
|2003||Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt||Himself - Narrator||TV movie|
|2003||Living Straight||Robert Cord||TV movie|
|2005||The War at Home||Jack||Episode: "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do", (final appearance)|