Tate Buckley Donovan began making television appearances while still in his teens, most often cast as angst-ridden high schoolers in such made-for-TV films such as Not My Kid (1985) and Nutcracker: Money, Madness & Murder (1987). Donovan was born to a large family in Tenafly, New Jersey, the son of Eileen Frances (McAllister) and John Timothy Donovan, a surgeon. He is of Irish descent. Donovan moved to Los Angeles to be closer to the television industry while he attended college at USC, where he also met several fellow actors who became longtime friends, such as Grant Heslov and George Clooney, with whom he still parties with to this day (he also had a fairly substantial part in their smash film, Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005). Although not quite as active as his friend Clooney in the romantic arena, confirmed bachelor Donovan has been engaged to both film star Sandra Bullock and television icon Jennifer Aniston, and has dated a diverse group of women such as socialite Plum Sikes (2000), stage actress Whitney Allen (2001) and television actress Lauren Graham, whom he met when they both appeared in the play "Once in a Lifetime" at the Williamstown Theater Festival in 2002. After graduating from college, Donovan gained prominent notice for his portrayal of the charismatic yet self-centered co-pilot in the ensemble period drama Memphis Belle (1990). Prior to that, Donovan had appeared as the cocky elder camper in SpaceCamp (1986) and as a recovering drug addict in Clean and Sober (1988). His first leading role was in the charming but minor Love Potion No. 9 (1992), costarring Bullock, to whom he became engaged (their relationship ended in 1994). He then appeared in several independent features as sullen, withdrawn types before following up with a role in the Disney family comedy, Holy Matrimony (1994). He returned to Disney for perhaps his highest-profile effort to date, the animated Hercules (1997), for which he provided the voice for the adult version of the title character. His small-screen work has included a Cable ACE-nominated turn in the HBO series Vietnam War Story II (1988) (V). He joined the parade of film stars who turned to sitcoms, heading the cast of Partners (1995) opposite Jon Cryer. When that failed to catch on, he joined with his "Memphis Belle" co-stars Eric Stoltz and Reed Diamond to play three brothers in a memorable episode of NBC's Homicide: Life on the Street (1993) and had a recurring role as a client and potential love interest for Calista Flockhart's titular lawyer Ally McBeal (1997). Switching networks, he had a recurring role as a love interest opposite his then-girlfriend Jennifer Aniston in NBC's Friends (1994) and donned clerical garb to play the priest son of a large Irish Catholic family in the short-lived NBC drama Trinity (1998). More recently he has appeared as a guest star in several shows such as The Guardian (2001), as well as Mister Sterling (2003) and in the new show The O.C. (2003).
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