According to a statement in a 1944 movie magazine, Donlevy did not smoke or play cards. The only smoking he did was "for the movies".
It's widely believed that Ray Milland accidentally cut Donlevy's shoulder during the filming of Beau Geste (1939) when he missed Donlevy's protective padding with his bayonet. This legend was recently repeated on American Movie Classics (AMC) during an airing of the film. In actuality, Ray stabbed him in the lower left ribcage. The wound was deep enough to not only make him bleed but resulted in a scar that Donlevy bore for the rest of his life.
Sassy-talking, rugged-looking, square-shouldered supporting actor said, however, always to have gone through this necessary morning ritual before arriving on the movie set: 1) insert dentures; 2) don hairpiece; 3) strap on corset; 4) lace up "elevator" shoes.
Step-father of Bela Lugosi Jr..
When he was working on I Wanted Wings (1941) with Ray Milland they filmed on an actual military base and he played Capt. Mercer. He got so uncomfortable with soldiers thinking he was a real captain and saluting him that he wore a sign around his neck that said, "Actor".