||This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (March 2013)|
April 27, 1931|
New York City, U.S.
|Died||June 8, 2006
Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Jill Sherman Donner (1982-2006) (his death)|
Robert Donner (April 27, 1931 – June 8, 2006) was an American actor who made many appearances in television series and films in a career spanning more than 40 years.
Early life and career
Donner was raised in New Jersey and Texas, and after graduating from high school he spent 4 years in the U.S. Navy. He ended up in the Los Angeles area, working odd jobs and attending college courses in the evening, until his neighbor Clint Eastwood talked him into pursuing an acting career.
Donner's first role was an uncredited part in the 1959 John Wayne Western Rio Bravo; he also appeared in the sequels (which formed a loose trilogy), El Dorado and Rio Lobo. He also appeared in the films Chisum, The Undefeated, and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. Although never reaching star status, he is a very recognizable character actor. His television appearances have included Rawhide, Bonanza, Ironside, The Young Pioneers, The Incredible Hulk, Falcon Crest, The A-Team, Matlock, MacGyver, and others.
He is best remembered for his recurring roles as the ex-convict informant "T.J." on Adam-12 and as the oddball 'Exidor' on Mork & Mindy. Donner is well remembered for his role as the eccentric Yancy Tucker on The Waltons. Film credits include Cool Hand Luke, The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing, High Plains Drifter, Vanishing Point, Damnation Alley, The Undefeated and Under the Rainbow. He also was a celebrity guest on game shows like Match Game, Password Plus, Beat the Clock and Body Language.
He remained actively employed in television and film his entire life, completing his last feature film shortly before his death. Robert Donner married producer/writer Jill Sherman Donner in 1982. Donner died on June 8, 2006 of a cardiac arrhythmia, and is survived by his wife Jill and two brothers.
- Robert Donner at the Internet Movie Database
- Information from the New York Times
- Robert Donner at Find a Grave