Jeffrey Donovan Fact: The 'Burn Notice' star can bring a grown man to his knees. For real.


After learning at the end of this past week’s episode of Burn Notice that the next installment of the hit(-in-the-face) USA drama won’t air until July 9, I sighed sadly into my empty yogurt cup. How would I get through two weeks without a serving of Miami mayhem? Then I realized: Oh, right, I’m just going to keep re-reading this previously unpublished anecdote that the affable Jeffrey Donovan — a.k.a. wiseass-badass blacklisted spy Michael Westen — spilled during our interview for EW's Must List issue. Donovan is a black belt in karate who also has studied aikido and Brazilian jujitsu. “If someone grabbed me, I’d probably be able to choke them out in about eight seconds,” he noted.

Turns out, dude can back that fact up. Three years ago he was at a bar with his agent and found himself in a precarious situation while conversing with a female patron. We’ll let him take it from here: “I’m very shy in real life; I can’t really hit on girls. She was getting that, so she was being a little too flirtatious with me. And this guy walks over and he goes, 'That’s my sister!' and got very angry at me. I said, 'I’m not doing anything,' and then he made a move like he was going to hit me and I just — it’s a typical kind of defense, you just grab their larynx and squeeze, and it cuts off all air and they drop to their knees. It didn’t hurt him, it just cut his air off and was a big surprise, and then I walked away. The guy was drunk and he came over and apologized.”

Okay, then, it's settled. If my sister ever hits on Donovan in front of me, I'm looking running the other way. I have a hands-off policy when it comes to my larynx. And this story does make me wonder: Might JD even be able to hang with… Chuck Norris? (I know, it's almost like someone cut off the air to my brain.) In any case, given that the raw power of the Texas Ranger spawned those clever Chuck Norris Facts (sample: There is no theory of evolution. Just a list of creatures Chuck Norris has allowed to live), perhaps we could start something similar to build up Donovan. All right, PopWatchers, I gave you a true story about Jeffrey Donovan — now who's got a Jeffrey Donovan "fact" to share? The more creative, the better. 

While you're brainstorming, enjoy Donovan's Must List video.

Comments (30 total) Add your comment
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  • Codey

    Chuck Norris has dropped to #2 after Kiefer Sutherland (as Jack Bauer) then JD

  • Kyle

    Typical scrawny little guy who’s insecure and has to come up with these stories about what a badass he is.

  • alexandra

    whatever, kyle. jealous much? donovan is awesome – and he is a really nice guy. had the pleasure of meeting him once and he is a class act all the way.

    • kathy

      JD is epically hot. All men SHOULD be jealous.

  • Bostonian

    I heard Donovan taught Jonathan Papelbon how to pitch, Tiger Woods how to golf and Chuck Norris karate. All three men have posters of Donovan on their walls for inspiration. The black belt was also named by Jeffrey Donovan after he achieved every other level of success in martial arts and simply got bored with himself.

  • Mike

    they were going to call JD jefery donovan, but he doesnt like whiskey, so they named after some homeless guy named jack

  • JenR

    Jeffrey Donovan doesn’t break boards with his hands; he breaks them with Bruce Campbell’s chin.

    • Kattbelly


  • Jasmine

    Jeffery Donovan heard of this man Chuck Norris and of all his marvelous tales of strength. He wanted to find out if such a man really existed. He sought Chuck out and learned that every tale was indeed true. So Jeffery kicked his ass for getting uppity.

  • Sara

    Heh. I’m a fan of that particular throat-squeezing move, but if you do it too hard, I’ve heard you can crush the larynx and they die.
    An obnoxious kid stole a $10 from my hand in high school and refused to give it back, so I grabbed him by the throat. An administrator walked by and was like “wtf?” so I calmly explained that I’d let him go when he gave me my $10 back. The administrator said “Well, give her the $10.”

  • Steph

    The Burn Notice crew hates working with Jeffrey Donovan for two reasons -1. He never sweats. EVER.
    2. He also possesses the rare ability to dodge every rain drop in Miami and never get wet. Even during hurricane season.

    • BNF

      “1. He never sweats. EVER.” Love that!

  • Mavis

    When Jeffrey Donovan wants to BBQ a steak, all he has to do is look at the BBQ and it automatically ignites.

  • rebecca

    Jeffrey Donovan CAN KICK KIEFER’S butt any day!!But i would love to see him & Carlos Bernard fight on screen because Carlos does JUDO and it would be fun to see them work together on BN!

  • DaimyoKev

    When Jeffery Donovan walks on burning coals, his feet never get burned. Fire is too afraid of JD to try to burn him.

  • Wade

    Jeffrey Donovan taught Macgyver everything he knows.

  • elana, Hayes

    Jeffrey is a super hero on the show, love his suits they are sharp! & always a neat Man. “Burn Notice” is a hit list show.

  • Mina

    Hey Mavis- he doesn’t have to wait for the BBQ- he can just LOOK AT THE STEAK and it’s done to perfection!

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