King Donovan

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King Donovan
Kingdonovan.jpg
King Donovan as Jack in the trailer for Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Born(1918-01-25)January 25, 1918
Manhattan, New York City
New York, U.S.
DiedJune 30, 1987(1987-06-30) (aged 69)
Branford, New Haven County
Connecticut, U.S.
Years active1948-1984
Spouse(s)Imogene Coca (m. 1960-1987, his death)
 
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King Donovan
Kingdonovan.jpg
King Donovan as Jack in the trailer for Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Born(1918-01-25)January 25, 1918
Manhattan, New York City
New York, U.S.
DiedJune 30, 1987(1987-06-30) (aged 69)
Branford, New Haven County
Connecticut, U.S.
Years active1948-1984
Spouse(s)Imogene Coca (m. 1960-1987, his death)

King Donovan (January 25, 1918 – June 30, 1987) was an American film, stage, and television actor, as well as a film and television director.

Acting work[edit]

Film[edit]

His film acting work includes Jack in the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers; a role later reprised by Jeff Goldblum in the 1978 version, Solly in The Defiant Ones, Joe Capper in Cowboy, Mack McGee in the original Angels in the Outfield, Major Collins in The Perfect Furlough, and an uncredited but recognizable role in Singin' in the Rain as Rod (head of the Publicity Department).

Stage[edit]

In 1948, Donovan appeared on Broadway in The Vigil.

Television[edit]

Notable television roles include Jake Clampett (a deadbeat who mooches off the Clampetts) for two episodes of CBS's The Beverly Hillbillies, Blanche Morton's (Bea Benaderet's) brother Roger Baker on eight episodes of The Burns and Allen Show,[1] and Harvey Helm in a 17-episode stint on NBC's The Bob Cummings Show. Donovan also appeared in six episodes as Chris Norman of It's a Great Life, a sitcom with Frances Bavier, James Dunn and Michael O'Shea, which aired on NBC from 1954 to 1956. About this time, he also guest starred on Ray Bolger's ABC sitcom, Where's Raymond?[2] and the NBC sitcom, The People's Choice, with Jackie Cooper. He also guest starred on the David Janssen crime drama, Richard Diamond, Private Detective.

Donovan guest starred as Paddy Britt in the 1960 episode "The Boy from Pittsburgh" of the NBC western series, Riverboat, starring Darren McGavin and Burt Reynolds and set in the 1840s. Child actor Tom Nolan was cast in the title role as Tommy Jones, a stowaway on the vessel, the Enterprise. In the story line, series lead character Grey Holden (McGavin) transports a box of diamonds, unknowing that a pickpocket has taken the gems and switched the contents of the box. Mona Freeman appeared in this episode as Louise Rutherford, a beautiful widow, with other roles for the character actors Francis De Sales and Robert Emhardt.[3]

Directing work[edit]

In 1963 Donovan directed the film Promises! Promises!, which received attention as the first sound film to feature a mainstream film star (Jayne Mansfield) nude. Later the same year Donovan directed two episodes of Grindl, which starred his wife Imogene Coca and two more the next year.

Personal life[edit]

Donovan died of cancer on Tuesday, June 30, 1987, in the Connecticut Hospice in Branford, Conn. Donovan married comedienne Imogene Coca and remained married to her until his death.

Filmography[edit]

As an actor
TitleRoleDateNotes
Open SecretFawnes, Bigot Gang Member1948film debut
Man from TexasSam (mortgage officer)1948
The Pilgrimage PlaySalathiel1949
ShockproofJoe Wilson (uncredited)1949first time Donovan played a character with a first and last name
Alias Nick BealPeter Wolfe1949Donovan's highest billed role (7th) at the time
All the King's MenReporter (uncredited)1949Won the Academy Award for Best Picture
Side StreetDet. Gottschalk (uncredited)1950
One Way StreetGrieder1950
Cargo to CapetownSparky Jackson (uncredited)1950stars John Ireland, the star of Donovan's debut film
Mystery StreetReporter at Beach House (uncredited)1950
A Lady Without PassportSurgeon (uncredited)1950
Kiss Tomorrow GoodbyeDriver (uncredited)1950
Right CrossFifth Reporter (uncredited)1950
The Sun Sets at DawnReporter, National News Service1950
Storm WarningAmbulance Driver (uncredited)1951starred future president Ronald Reagan
The EnforcerSgt. Whitlow1951
The Great Missouri RaidWitness (uncredited)1951
Three Guys Named MikeWilly (uncredited)1951
The Redhead and the CowboyMunroe1951
The ScarfPiano Player1951
Little BighornPvt. James Corbo1951
The Prince Who Was a ThiefMerat (uncredited)1951
Take Care of My Little GirlCab Driver (uncredited)1951
His Kind of WomanReporter (uncredited)1951
Behave Yourself!Lingerie Shop Manager (uncredited)1951
Angels in the OutfieldMack McGee1951First Donovan film to be remade. First time Donovan appeared in a film trailer.
Come Fill the CupKip Zunches1951
The Unknown ManNews Photographer on Courthouse Steps (uncredited)1951
Something to Live ForStage Manager (uncredited)1952
Singin' in the RainRod (uncredited)1952Although his role is uncredited it is recognizable. Film voted best musical of the century and fifth best film of the century by AFI.
Glory AlleyTelephone Technician (uncredited)1952
Sally and Saint AnneHymie Callahan (uncredited)1952
The Merry WidowNitki (uncredited)1952
The Magnetic MonsterDr. Dan Forbes1953
The Beast from 20,000 FathomsDr. Ingersoll1953
Invasion of the Body SnatchersJack Belicec1956

Donovan filmed scenes for an undetermined role in the 1949 film I Was a Male War Bride, but his scenes were deleted.

As director
TitleDateNotes
Promises! Promises!1963First sound film to feature a mainstream film star (Jayne Mansfield) nude. Only film Donovan ever directed.
Grindl (4 episodes)1963–1964Series starred Donovan's wife, Imogene Coca.
That Girl (1 episode)1968

References[edit]

External links[edit]