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Lyle Wesley Waggoner was born in Kansas City, Kansas, on April 13, 1935, and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. Before becoming an actor he peddled encyclopedias door to door.
Before gaining fame on television, Waggoner appeared in several low-grade sci-fi and beach party movies, including Women of the Prehistoric Planet (1966), Swamp Country (1966), Journey to the Center of Time (1967), and Catalina Caper (1967). He was one of the finalists for the role of Batman in the television series, but lost out to Adam West.
In 1967, Carol Burnett hired Waggoner to be the announcer for her new comedy sketch series, The Carol Burnett Show. Quickly recognizing Waggoner's comic abilities, she began casting him in sketches, and he soon became a regular part of the ensemble. Although he enjoyed fame and his face was familiar to millions of fans, Waggoner did not really enjoy his role as second banana to everyone else on the show and during off times began appearing in summer stock and dinner theater hoping to advance his career. He gained extra notoriety in June 1973, when he agreed to be the first ever centerfold for Playgirl magazine; although he was nude in the shoot, no frontal shots of him appeared in the magazine.
Waggoner left The Carol Burnett Show in 1974 and spent several months making guest appearances in The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, and other series before being cast as Major Steve Trevor in The New Adventures of Wonder Woman in 1975. Although he was a central character in the series, Waggoner once again found himself being overshadowed, this time by Linda Carter, and after Wonder Woman left the air in 1979 he decided to retire as a full-time actor and enter the business world as the founder of Star Waggons, which furnishes film/TV companies with rental trailers.
Lyle Waggoner currently lives in Jackson, Wyoming, with his wife of 50 years, Sharon Kennedy, with whom he has two sons -- Jason and Beau. Although he has made occassional appearances in movies and on television since 1979, he has focused primarily on Star Waggons and other business ventures.
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This page was last updated on 04/12/2017.