Sourced told the news outlet that he died peacefully in his home last week surrounded by family. His cause of death has not been revealed, but the family said that he was in the midst of battling an illness. It was not stated whether or not his death was related to the current coronavirus pandemic. He is survived by his wife, Sharon Kennedy, who starred on the 1984 TV series, Eh Brian! It’s a Whopper, and their two sons Jason Waggoner and Beau Waggoner.
Born on April 13, 1935, in Kansas City, Kansas, but raised in St. Louis Missouri, Waggoner was a door-to-door encyclopedia salesman before going on to become one of the biggest heartthrob actors throughout the ’60s and ’70s. In June 1973, he was the first man to be featured as the Playgirl magazine’s centerfold.
Here’s what you need to know about Lyle Waggoner:
1. Waggoner Was Married To Stacy Kennedy For Nearly 60 Years
While many marriages in Hollywood don’t last, Waggoner and Kennedy tied the knot in 1961 and stayed together until his death. They started the wildly successful Star Waggons Inc. company in 1979, which as stated on their website, offer “world-class service in providing custom location trailers exclusively to the ever-evolving entertainment industry. With over 800 in our fleet of trailers hand-built by proud professionals in our 10-acre facility, we lead the industry in providing our clients with a home away from home. Above all else, we are committed to your complete satisfaction.”
The couple split their time in their homes in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and in Westlake Village, California. In 2015, they sold their $2.1 million home in La Quinta.
2. Waggoner Starred On ‘The Carol Burnett Show’ For 7 Years
The actor portrayed multiple character roles on the beloved sitcom from 1967 to 1974. He appeared in 173 episodes and attended the 50th anniversary special of the series which was held at CBS Television City in 2019. While he was famous for being a heartthrob in Hollwyood, the sketch comedy series offered him the chance to play more silly and fun roles.
Later in life, Waggoner starred as the host of an ill-fated informercial, Let’s Talk With Lyle Waggoner, which promoted “Y-Bron,” a natural stimulate advertised to help men with impotency. However, the informercial’s producer, Michael Levey, and his two companies, Twin Star Productions, and Media Arts International were later sued by the FTC for falsifying the effects of “Y-Bron,” by the FTC.
3. Waggoner Was Considered To Play Batman In The TV Series, But Starred In Wonder Woman
While the iconic role went to actor Adam West, Waggoner was in the running to play Batman on the popular series. However, Waggoner went on to have a memorable role on a different superhero series, Wonder Woman. From 1975 to 1979, he played the role of Colonel Steve Trevor, and Steve Trevo Jr. alongside series star Lynda Carter.
In 2018, Waggoner said in an interview that he was a big fan of film remake starring Gal Gadot. “I thought they did a great job.” As for why he didn’t appear in the new Wonder Woman movie he joked, “I was too busy.”
4. Waggoner’s Sons Beau & Jason Now Run His Star Waggons Company
Waggoner and his wife’s now-grown children, Beau and Jason, serve as presidents of the company they founded. When they took over to run Star Waggons in 2013, Waggoner told LA Magazine, “I told them, “If you want me to hand it down to you, make you partners, then I want you to run it as if I had sold it. Because when I step away, I want to really step away.”
Of having the idea to start a luxury motorhome company in the first place Waggoner said, “When I was on the Wonder Woman show, (producers) gave me a very nice motorhome they had rented from some private owner in the Valley. I said, ‘Well, if I had a motorhome, would you rent it from me?’ I was always entrepreneurial-oriented, trying to find a business to get into. So I went out and bought a motorhome and rented it to the production company for the three years that I was on that show.”
5. Tributes To Waggoner Poured In On Social Media
Waggoner was a beloved member of the acting community, and he amassed so many fans throughout his decades in the industry. When news of his passing was released, he was remembered fondly on Twitter. Waggoner appeared TV shows and films before full retiring from the industry in 2005.
He appeared on Fantasy Island, Happy Days, Simon & Simon, Murder, She Wrote and It’s a Living, among many others.