Lyle Waggoner, the actor best-known for portraying Major Steve Trevor and Steve Trevor Jr. on the live-action Wonder Woman TV series from the mid- to late 1970s, has passed away at the age of 84. Per The Hollywood Reporter, which received confirmation from his son, Waggoner died today in Westlake, California.
A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Waggoner originally tried out for the role of Batman in the mid-60s but lost the job to Adam West. Luckily, Lyle wasn't too bitter about the whole affair and even revisited the competitive audition in 2003's Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt.
In the end, though, Waggoner still got to enter the world of comic book-inspired pop culture when he starred opposite Lynda Carter's Diana Prince in Wonder Woman, which ran for three seasons and 59 episodes between 1975 and 1979.
Carter paid tribute to Waggoner via Instagram:
Wonder Woman was originally set in the 1940s, but that proved to be too expensive, so the setting was moved to the '70s. As a result, Waggoner's character became Steve Trevor Jr., the son of the man seen in the '40s iteration of the series. Trevor led the Inter-Agency Defense Command, which worked with Diana to fight crime and save the world.
"He was a real gung-ho kind of guy," Waggoner said of his character during a 2011 interview with SciFiAndTVTalk. "Steve tried his best, but he always seemed to get himself into hot water. Of course, he pretty much had to because it was Wonder Woman's job to rescue him. If there was a scene where he got the drop on the bad guys, sure enough, someone would end up slapping the gun out of his hand and turning the tables on him."
The actor went on to admit that he thought the time change was a big mistake.
“I thought the show’s World War II venue was interesting and a lot of fun as well as more in keeping with the comic book,” he said. “The Powers That Be wanted to make the show into something more serious like Police Woman, but it was a comic strip, so trying to turn Wonder Woman into a real dramatic piece was pretty much unrealistic."
Waggoner's other genre television projects included Lost in Space, Charlie's Angels, Fantasy Island, and Mork & Mindy.
“I received a great deal of media attention from Wonder Woman as well as other things that are fringe benefits for an actor and what, again, I feel actors should be thankful for and not irritated by,” Waggoner continued during the above-mentioned interview. “I can go anywhere in the U.S., and sometimes the world, and people walking down the street will stop me and say, ‘Hey, Lyle, how are you?’ That, for me, is such a marvelous advantage and a situation that people in most other industries rarely find themselves in ... With Wonder Woman, I was appealing to a much younger audience, and that was exciting.”
He is survived by his wife, Sharon Kennedy, and two sons, Beau and Jason.