Lyle Waggoner, ‘Carol Burnett Show’ & ‘Wonder Woman’ Star, Dies At 84
Actor Lyle Waggoner, best known for his roles in the TV Shows The Carol Burnett Show and Wonder Woman, has died. He was 84 years old. In a statement released by Waggoner’s family, the comedic actor died peacefully on March 17, “with his wife at his side.” The statement also revealed that Waggoner was suffering from cancer.
Waggoner was born in Kansas City, Kansas on April 13, 1935. After serving two years in the U.S. Army as a radio operator, Waggoner first pursued a different career, studying Mechanical Engineering at the General Motors Institute of Technology. After college, Waggoner worked as a traveling salesman, selling encyclopedias door-to-door. He got his first taste of acting around this time, starring as a bit player in a production of the musical Li’l Abner. Soon after, Waggoner decided to pursue acting, raising up the necessary funds to travel and live in California.
Waggoner first started to appear in Hollywood productions in 1966. His very first role was a one-off character in an episode of Gunsmoke. Waggoner also starred in a number of low-budget B-movies in 1966 and 1967, including Swamp Country, Catalina Caper, and Journey to the Center of Time. Quickly, however, Wagonner got his big break – becoming the announcer for The Carol Burnett Show.
Lyle Waggoner’s Star Waggons
Carol Burnett recalled the time when Waggoner came in to audition for her show in her 2010 book This Time Together. “[Was Waggoner] gorgeous? Yes. But so much more,” wrote Burnett. “He was incredibly funny. He had a sly, tongue-in-cheek delivery that told you he was putting himself on and not taking himself seriously,” she continued. As The Carol Burnett Show went on, Waggoner was put into more and more sketches, eventually becoming a regular cast member. He stayed on the show until 1974, and soon after became a regular on another television show – Wonder Woman. On the show, Waggoner played Steve Trevor, a World War II pilot who teams up with Wonder Woman to defeat the foes of America. After Season 2, where the show’s setting jumps from the ’40’s into the ’70’s, Waggoner stayed on, playing Trevor’s son, Steve Trevor Jr. After that show ended in 1979, Waggoner focused on running his movie-star trailer renting company, Star Waggons, deciding to act on the side. He appeared regularly in shows up until 2005.