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Donald R. Wilde, 88, Of Briarcliff Manor, Playwright, Advertising Executive

Donald R. Wilde
Donald R. Wilde Photo Credit: Contributed.

BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. – Donald R. Wilde, 88, a longtime Briarcliff Manor resident, died Monday, April 20.

Wilde was born in Lowell, Mass., and served in the U.S. Navy during World War II.

He later attended Denison University on the G.I. Bill, where he majored in theater arts.

During his career, he produced many plays including “What Are We Going to Do About Jenny?” Phyllis Diller starred in the leading role when the play opened in Chicago in 1977.

At times, as many as five of Wilde’s plays have run simultaneously throughout the world.

He was also a creative executive at four major New York City advertising agencies for over 25 years. He supervised television, print, and radio ads for a number of major companies such as Chrysler, General Foods, Johnson & Johnson, and Procter & Gamble.

Wilde turned down Farrah Fawcett five times for a Cover Girl ad. In response to a question about that decision, he answered with a shrug, “How’d I know she’d go through the roof?”

He was involved in community activities, including serving as a Briarcliff Manor village trustee, president of the board of trustees for the Briarcliff Manor Public Library, and president of the Briarcliff chapter of the Rotary Club.

He also taught English as a second language to refugees through the International Rescue Committee at New York University.

Survivors include his wife, Marjorie Lee; one son, Michael; one daughter, Julie; and two grandchildren.

Funeral services will be 2-4 p.m. Saturday, May 9, at the Waterbury & Kelly Funeral Home , 1300 Pleasantville Road, Briarcliff Manor.

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