Lyle Waggoner

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Lyle Waggoner
Lyle Waggoner Wonder Woman.jpg
Waggoner in a 1976 publicity photo for Wonder Woman
Lyle Wesley Waggoner

(1935-04-13)April 13, 1935
DiedMarch 17, 2020(2020-03-17) (aged 84)
  • Actor
  • sculptor
  • model
  • presenter
  • salesman
Years active1956–2005
Sharon Kennedy
(m. 1961)

Lyle Wesley Waggoner[1] (/ˈwæɡnər/; April 13, 1935 – March 17, 2020)[2] 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.[2] In his later career he founded a company, Star Waggons, which rented luxury trailers to studios.

Early life[edit]

Waggoner was born in Kansas City, Kansas on April 13, 1935, the son of Marie (Isern) and Myron Waggoner, and spent part of his childhood in Excelsior Springs, Missouri.[1][3] On an episode of The Carol Burnett Show, Waggoner stated he had three sisters and one brother. 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.[4]

Following his military discharge, Waggoner studied mechanical engineering in the junior executive program at the General Motors Institute of Technology. He then sold encyclopedias as a door to door salesman.[5] 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 pursue his acting career.[4]


By the mid-1960s, Waggoner was appearing regularly in television and films, including an episode of Gunsmoke (“The Wishbone” in 1966). He was a finalist for the title role in the TV series version of Batman, but lost the role to Adam West.[5]

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.[6]

Left: Waggoner and other cast members from The Carol Burnett Show in 1967 (clockwise from the bottom): Burnett, Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence, and Lyle Waggoner (on the right, the 1977 cast, with Tim Conway)

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.[2] In 1973, Waggoner posed semi-nude for a Playgirl 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 as Encino is not an independent town but rather part of the city of Los Angeles; 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.[7]

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.[5] Initially set during World War II, when the subsequent two seasons advanced the timeline to the 1970s, Waggoner played Steve Trevor, Jr.[5]

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, while working on Wonder Woman, Waggoner discovered that the motorhome he was using during the production was rented by the studio from a nearby resident. Waggoner soon bought a fleet of motor homes at $50,000 apiece, renting them out to Hollywood productions for $400-$500 per week. Soon after he founded Star Waggons, a company that leased customized location trailers for use by the entertainment industry. He also started Zio Studio Services, the rental arm of Star Waggons. On September 1, 2021, Star Waggons and Zio Studio Services were sold to Hudson Pacific Properties for $222 million. Waggoner's sons, Jason and Beau, will continue to run these businesses for Hudson Pacific Properties.[8][9][10][11] Waggoner retired from full-time acting to run Star Waggons, but made occasional appearances, often parodying his earlier image (The Naked Truth, That '70s Show, and Return to the Batcave).

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.[12] Scottsdale, Arizona based Twin Star was later fined $1.5 million for unsubstantiated claims about Y-Bron.[13][14][15][16]

Personal life[edit]

Waggoner was married to Sharon Kennedy, an actress, financial consultant, and realtor.[1] They married in 1961 and had two sons.[11] He resided near Jackson, Wyoming, where he was a sculptor.[17] His works can be seen at galleries in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and Lander, Wyoming.


Waggoner died in his home in the Los Angeles area at the age of 84 on March 17, 2020, from cancer.[18][19][20][2][5][6]



Year Title Role Notes
1966 Swamp Country Deputy Mel
1967 Catalina Caper Angelo Alternate title: Never Steal Anything Wet
1967 Journey to the Center of Time Alien (as Lyle Waggner)
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 Gypsy Angels Preacher
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


Year Title Role Notes
1966 Gunsmoke Aikens Episode: "Wishbone"
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)


Year Title Role Notes
1956 Li'l Abner Muscle Man [1][4]
1970–1971 Boeing, Boeing Bernard [1][21]
1973 Teahouse of the August Moon Performer [1]
1973 Born Yesterday Paul Verrall [1][22]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Lyle Waggoner Biography (1935-)".
  2. ^ a b c d Sandra Brennan (2015). "Lyle Waggoner". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2013-11-30.
  3. ^ "The Graduate Magazine of the University of Kansas". Mar 23, 1934. Retrieved Mar 23, 2020 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ a b c "Profile: Lyle Waggoner". Lawrence Journal-World. June 17, 1978. p. 11.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Lyle Waggoner, foil on 'The Carol Burnett Show,' dies at 84". March 17, 2020. Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  6. ^ a b
  7. ^ Watson, Carol (December 19, 1991). "Everyone Is Mayor (Sort of)". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, CA.
  8. ^ "Star Waggons, Zio Studio Services Sold to Hudson Pacific for $222M". The Hollywood Reporter. September 2021.
  9. ^ Wells, Jane (February 16, 2016). "Actor ditches acting to build luxury movie trailers". CNBC.
  10. ^ Green, Catherine (May 30, 2013). "Getting the Star Treatment with Lyle Waggoner". Los Angeles.
  11. ^ a b "About Us". Retrieved May 27, 2017.
  12. ^ Hines, William; Randal, Judith (December 1, 1988). "Experts Warn of Self-Treatment for Impotence". Los Angeles Times.
  13. ^ "Infomercial Host To Refund Consumers of Weight, Baldness, and Impotence Treatments" (Press release). Federal Trade Commission. June 29, 1993.
  14. ^ Middleton, Kent R.; Lee, William E.; Stewart, Daxton R. (July 6, 2017). The Law of Public Communication. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-3516-9234-2.
  15. ^ R, Judith; al; Hines, William (November 8, 1988). "On TV, Chit-Chatting About Impotence". The Washington Post.
  16. ^ Kanner, Bruce (October 21, 1991). "30 Mintutes: Selling with Infomercials". New York. pp. 24–25.
  17. ^ Wiebe, Jamie (May 22, 2015). "Actor Lyle Waggoner Selling Golf-Friendly Home in La Quinta". Realtor.
  18. ^ "Lyle Waggoner: 'Carol Burnett Show' Star Dead at 84". TMZ. March 17, 2020. Retrieved March 17, 2020
  19. ^ "Lyle Waggoner, Star of 'Carol Burnett Show,' Dead at 84". March 17, 2020. Retrieved March 17, 2020.
  20. ^ Day, Nate (March 18, 2020). "Lyle Waggoner, 'The Carol Burnett Show' star, dead at 84". Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  21. ^
  22. ^

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