Lyle Waggoner

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Lyle Waggoner
Born Lyle Wesley Waggoner
(1935-04-13) April 13, 1935 (age 81)
Kansas City, Kansas, U.S.
Residence Jackson, Wyoming, U.S. (2005–present)
Occupation Actor, sculptor
Years active 1966–2005
Spouse(s) Sharon Kennedy (m. 1961)
Children 2

Lyle Wesley Waggoner[1] (born April 13, 1935) is an American actor[2] and former model, known for his work on The Carol Burnett Show[2] from 1967 to 1974 and for playing the role of Steve Trevor on Wonder Woman from 1975 to 1979.[2]

Early life[edit]

Waggoner was born in Kansas City, Kansas, the son of Marie and Myron Waggoner, and spent part of his childhood in Excelsior Springs, Missouri.[1] In 1954 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, and served two years in West Germany as a radio operator.[3]

After his 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 L'il Abner, after which he created a sales promotion organization that enabled him to make enough money to finance a trip to Los Angeles and start an acting career.[4]

Acting career[edit]

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 3 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 announcer and performer. Waggoner left the 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 has appeared on some of the show's reunion TV 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 include Steve Allen, Mike Connors, Fred Travalena, Ronnie Schell and Cesare Danova.[5]

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 has also 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 has also played at least three different roles on The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, and Murder, She Wrote throughout their respective runs.

Later career[edit]

In 1979, Waggoner founded Star Waggons, a company that leases customized 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 show featured novel national products from self-help to home goods and lasted about two seasons.

Waggoner retired from full-time acting to run Star Waggons, but he makes occasional appearances, often parodying his earlier image (The Naked Truth, That 70s Show, and Return to the Batcave). In 1993, Waggoner was also the host of an infomercial, “Let’s Talk With Lyle Waggoner”, which advertised “Y-bron”, supposedly a natural product that would cure male impotence.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Waggoner is married to Sharon Kennedy, an actress, financial consultant, and realtor. They married in 1961 and have two sons, Jason and Beau. He currently resides near Jackson, Wyoming, where he is a sculptor. His works can be seen at Galleries West 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 has homes in Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico, and Westlake Village, California.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Lyle Waggoner". Filmreference.com. 
  2. ^ a b c "Lyle Waggoner". The New York Times. 
  3. ^ "Profile: Lyle Waggoner". Lawrence Journal-World. Lawrence, KS. June 17, 1978. p. 11. 
  4. ^ "Profile: Lyle Waggoner". Lawrence Journal-World. Lawrence, KS. June 17, 1978. p. 11. 
  5. ^ Watson, Carol (December 19, 1991). "Everyone Is Mayor (Sort of)". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, CA. 
  6. ^ Hines, William; Randal, Judith (December 1, 1988). "Experts Warn of Self-Treatment for Impotence". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, CA. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Kaz Garas
Actors to portray Steve Trevor
1975–1979
Succeeded by
Chris Pine