Who was Warde Donovan?: Phillis Diller’s Second Husband

By | September 11, 2023
Who was Warde Donovan?: Phillis Diller's Ex-husband

Warde Donovan was born on February 25, 1916, in Los Angeles County, California, in the United States. He was an actor best remembered for his roles in The Web (1950), Get Smart (1965), and Did You Hear the One About the Traveling Saleslady? (1968). He previously married Margery Belle Todd and Phyllis Diller. It is mentioned that Warde Donovan was formerly in the US Navy during World War 2.

Tall, good-looking post-war musical persona Warde Donovan met his wife, Phyllis Diller, while they were both starring in a Chicago production of “Wonderful Town” in the summer of 1962. He divorced both his wives, with Phyllis Diller’s reason for their divorce being claims that Warde was bisexual.

Perry Diller, Peter Diller, Stephanie Diller, Sally Diller, and Sue Diller were Phyllis’s children from her previous relationship and Warde‘s stepchildren. He died in Los Angeles, California, USA, on April 16, 1988.

Warde Donovan was a Navy Seal turned actor

Warde Donovan was once in the US Navy but then became an actor. He is best known for Did You Hear the One About the Traveling Saleslady? (1968), a tale in which Agatha Knabenshu travels to a tiny Missouri town to market player pianos to the inhabitants. She loses her job when her terrible sales efforts nearly bring down the town. The lost saleswoman becomes friends with a similarly inept inventor and moves in with his family. When their presentation sparks a stampede, their attempt to market his robotic milking system goes awry.

Warde Donovan also contributed to the 1965 movie series Get Smart, where Maxwell Smart, a brilliant but inept spy for the CONTROL agency, fights the evil forces of the competing intelligence agency KAOS with the assistance of his capable colleague Agent 99. Warde Donovan acted in another movie series, a live drama based on tales by the members of the artistic Mystery Writers of America.

Warde Donovan did not have any biological children

Warde Donovan is the stepfather to six of his former wife Phyllis’s children, given birth to from her former marriage with Sherwood Anderson Diller, and outlived two of her grown children. It is, however, not mentioned if he has children of his own, but for now, this is what we know. Warde Donovan’s children are Peter Diller, Stephanie Diller, Perry Diller, Sue Diller, and Sally Diller. Not much information is known regarding their personal lives.

Warde’s Ex-wife: Phyllis Diller

Warde Donovan’s former wife, Phyllis Ada Diller, was an American stand-up comedian, actor, novelist, singer, and visual artist who lived from July 17, 1917, to August 20, 2012. She was well known for her unique stage presence, self-deprecating humour, crazy hair and costumes, and loud, cackling laugh.

Phyllis Ada Driver, the sole child of insurance agent Perry Marcus Driver and Frances Ada, was born in Lima, Ohio. The surname “Driver” had been altered from “Treiber” several generations prior; she was of German and Irish descent. She was raised as a Methodist but eventually abandoned religion.

Warde’s former wife, Phyllis Ada Diller, attended Lima’s Central High School, where she quickly realized she had a sense of humour. She considered herself a “quiet and dedicated” student and avoided becoming the class clown, but once school was out, she loved to make others laugh. Diller studied piano at the Sherwood Music Conservatory at Columbia College Chicago for three years.

After hearing her teachers and mentors play with much greater skill than she had anticipated being able to achieve, she changed her mind. She transferred to Bluffton College, where she studied literature, history, psychology, and philosophy.

She got two divorces after being married. She had six children with her first husband, Sherwood Anderson Diller, and, as was already said, she outlived two of her older children. Actor Warde Donovan was Diller’s second spouse, whom she wed on October 7, 1965.

Even though they reunited the day before the divorce was about to become official, she filed for divorce three months after discovering that he was bisexual and an alcoholic. 1975 saw her divorce him. She married Robert P. Hastings from 1985 until his passing on May 23, 1996. In a 2000 interview, she referred to him as the love of her life and said he loved her independence.

Joan Rivers, Roseanne Barr, and Ellen DeGeneres are just a few celebrities who cite Diller as inspiring. Diller was one of the first female comics to become well-known in the United States. She is regarded as a lesbian icon and has a sizable LGBT following. She was among the first public figures to openly support plastic surgery, for which the cosmetic surgery sector honoured her.

Beginning with 1961’s Splendor in the Grass, Diller worked on more than 40 movies. She made several cameo appearances and her own short-lived sitcom and variety program in numerous television series.

Warde Donovan’s former wife, Phyllis Diller, ‘s acting accomplishments include 11 seasons of The Bold and the Beautiful in addition to Night Gallery, The Muppet Show, The Love Boat, Cybill, and Boston Legal. In Mad Monster Party, she voiced the monster’s wife. In A Bug’s Life, she played the queen. In The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, she played Granny Neutron. In Family Guy, she played Thelma Griffin.

As she approached her 80th birthday in 1997, Diller started to experience several health issues. Her heart stopped while she was in the hospital in 1999. Despite having a pacemaker implanted, she experienced a terrible medication response and became paralyzed. She was able to regain her ability to walk after physical treatment. Diller stopped doing stand-up comedy when he got close to 90.

At 95, Warde Donovan’s former wife, Phyllis Ada Diller, died in her home in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles on August 20, 2012. Her ashes were sprinkled at sea after she was cremated.