Hollywood character actor who appeared in many westerns. Husband of Imogene Coca
King Donovan, an actor and comedian whose career on the stage and in films and television spanned 50 years, died of cancer Tuesday, June 30, 1987, in the Connecticut Hospice in Branford, Conn. He was 69 years old and lived in Manhattan with his wife, the actress and comedienne Imogene Coca.
Mr. Donovan was born Jan. 25, 1918, in Manhattan, the son of vaudevillians who traveled throughout the United States. As a teen-ager, he first acted at the old Butler Davenport Theater, an innovative institution referred to as a ''free theater,'' comparable to Off Broadway today.
During the 1940's, he toured in repertory with the Jitney Players, appeared for the U.S.O. in ''The Male Animal'' and appeared for two years with the Hendrickson Shakespearean Company.
He first appeared on Broadway in 1948 in ''The Vigil,'' and during the early 1950's played several roles in film and television, including a police sergeant in the 1951 film ''The Enforcer'' and a press agent in ''Singin' in the Rain.''
In the late 50's, he appeared in two television series, first as Harvey Helm on the Bob Cummings Show and then as Gracie Allen's brother on ''The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show.''
Mr. Donovan amused audiences in 1958 as a bedraggled professor of journalism in the Broadway production of ''The Girls in 509.'' He also portrayed a detective that year in the film ''The Defiant Ones'' and an Army captain in ''The Perfect Furlough.'' Was in TV's 'Daisies'
During the 1960's, he played Herb Thornton, the next-door neighbor of Joan and James Nash in the television series ''Please Don't Eat the Daisies.''
He and his wife performed in more than 30 shows together, including a national tour of the musical ''Once Upon a Mattress.'' His last Broadway performance was in a production of ''Morning's at Seven'' a revival of Paul Osborn's play about an unorthodox American family.
Just before he became ill, Mr. Donovan performed in ''On the Twentieth Century,'' which toured the country for nine months before closing in April.
He is survived by Miss Coca; sons, Mark and Josh Donovan; and daughter, Debbie.
Private funeral services were held Wednesday in Branford, Conn.
Donovan married comedienne Imogene Coca on October 17, 1960.
1908–2001 (m. 1960)
Sponsored by Ancestry