Lyle Waggoner isn’t a name that would easily ring a bell to most movie audiences today, but he was at a point in his career, the “the Brad Pitt” of television. Waggoner had female audiences drooling at their TV screens in the 60s and 70s. Waggoner was known for his tall, classically handsome, muscular build and charm.
Over four decades before Chris Pine played Steve Trevor, Waggoner had done so in the mid to late 70s Wonder Woman TV movie and series. Lyle Waggoner died from cancer on March 17, 2020, at the age of 84. Here are 8 things you didn’t know about Wonder Woman‘s Lyle Waggoner.
1. The TV Shows You Remember Lyle Waggoner From
Before playing Steve Trevor and Steve Trevor Jr. in ABC/CBS, superhero TV series Wonder Woman, Lyle Waggoner became popular in The Carol Burnett Show. Waggoner remained with the CBS comedy sketch show for seven seasons from 1967 to 1974. Waggoner was known for his role as an announcer and performer.
The next year after leaving the show, Waggoner landed the role of Steve Trevor. He played Major Steve Trevor in the 1975 TV movie The New Original Wonder Woman and the first Wonder Woman series (1976–1979). Waggoner also played Colonel Steve Trevor Jr., Major Steve Trevor’s son, in The New Adventures of Wonder Woman (1977–1979). Waggoner appeared in all 59 episodes of the series.
2. Lyle Waggoner’s Life Before Becoming An Actor
Lyle Waggoner served in the United States Army after briefly studying at Washington University in St. Louis. Waggoner was posted to and served as a radio operator in West Germany for two years. After his discharge from the Army, he returned to school to study Mechanical Engineering at the General Motors Institute of Technology. To survive, Waggoner became an encyclopedia salesman, selling door-to-door for commission. After raising enough money, Waggoner moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting.
3. How Lyle Waggoner Got Started In Acting
Before eventually moving to Los Angeles, Lyle Waggoner got his first acting experience in a Kansas City production. Having the body built for the role, Waggoner was cast to play a Muscle Man in the 1956 musical Li ‘l Abner. Although Waggoner made his acting debut in theater, he only returned to theater in 1970 after achieving relative fame from The Carol Burnett Show. Waggoner played Bernard in the play Boeing, Boeing from 1970 to 1971.
4. Other TV Shows Lyle Waggoner Was In
Lyle Waggoner made his television debut as Aikens in the “Wishbone” episode of Gunsmoke in 1966. He appeared as Jim in a 1976 episode of Maude, David Lane in Time Express (1979), Jack Barrows in Charlie’s Angels (1980), and ended his television career as Jack in the Fox sitcom The War at Home (2005). Waggoner made several appearances as himself in several TV productions. He appeared in The Golden Girls (1990), Cybill (1995), That ’70s Show (1999), and as also a narrator in the made-for-television biographical action-comedy Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt (2003)
5. Lyle Waggoner Married A Career Co-Worker
Lyle Waggoner was married to actress Sharon Kennedy. The couple tied the knot on September 17, 1960, and stayed married for almost six decades until Waggoner’s death on March 17, 2020. Television audiences from the early 80s may remember Sharon Kennedy from her 5-episode appearance in 1984 Eh Brian! It’s a Whopper, where she played Trudy. Waggoner’s marriage to Kennedy produced two children, Jason and Beau.
6. Other Movies Lyle Waggoner Was In
Lyle Waggoner’s film debut was in 1966, 10 years after his theater debut. Waggoner played Deputy Mel in Swamp Country. His next movie was the comedy musical mystery film Catalina Caper (Never Steal Anything Wet). Waggoner’s last film was the 1991 Dead Women in Lingerie. Waggoner took a step back from acting to focus on his business. He only appeared in a few works on television, mostly as himself.
7. Lyle Waggoner Founded A Company That Serviced Film Studios
Lyle Waggoner founded and incorporated Star Waggons as a company that provides and rents customized motorhomes and trailers to film studios. The business idea first came to Waggoner while on the Wonder Woman TV series set. Waggoner noticed the studio rented the motorhome he was using from a resident nearby.
After finding out the cost and logistics of starting a trailer leasing business, Waggoner paid for a fleet of motorhomes, each costing the actor $50,000. Waggoner created Zio Studio Services as a rental arm under his new company. Zio Studio Services primarily focused on leasing these motorhomes, allowing the larger company, Star Waggons, to focus on diversifying. After his death, the company and its arm were sold, in September 2021, to Hudson Pacific Properties for $222 million. However, Lyle Waggoner‘s sons continue to oversee the company’s affairs under its new management.
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