He was born the youngest of seven children in an Irish-Catholic family.
He has been appearing on television since his teens. He attended the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where he met his now long-time friends Grant Heslov and George Clooney.
Donovan was formerly engaged to Sandra Bullock (1994) and to Jennifer Aniston. He also dated British socialite, Plum Sykes (in 2000), actress Whitney Allen (2001), and Lauren Graham of the television series Gilmore Girls. However, he married Corinne Kingsbury in a Catholic ceremony on a Malibu, California beach in 2005.
He had a regular gig with an Irish traditional band called The Descendents, with whom he released an album titled "Wake Amusements."
He played 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 in series such as "The Guardian" (2001) and "Mister Sterling" (2003). He has also been the constant voice of Hercules, titular character of the movie with the same name, the animated TV show, and in the video game Kingdom Hearts II (Sean Astin did the voice of Hercules in the first Kingdom Hearts).
- Kingdom Hearts II (2006) (video game) (voice)
- Good Night, and Good Luck (2005)
- The Pacifier (2005)
- Exposed (2003/I)
- Mister Sterling (2003) TV Series
- West of Here (2002)
- Get Well Soon (2001)
- Swordfish (2001) (uncredited)
- House of Mouse (2001) TV Series (voice)
- Jesus & Hutch (2000)
- Office Party, The (2000)
- G-Men from Hell (2000)
- Drop Back Ten (2000)
- 4 a.m.: Open All Night (1999)
- Hercules: Zero to Hero (1999) (voice)
- Thin Pink Line, The (1998)
- Waiting for Woody (1998)
- October 22 (1998)
- Trinity (1998) TV Series
- Hercules(1998) TV Series (voice)
- Friends (1998)
- Tempting Fate (1998) (TV)
- Disney Sing-Along-Songs: Zero to Hero (1997)
- Hercules (1997/II) (VG) (voice)
- Only Thrill, The (1997)
- Hercules (1997) (voice)
- Murder at 1600 (1997)
- America's Dream (1996) (TV)
- Partners (1995) TV Series
- Holy Matrimony (1994)
- Ethan Frome (1993)
- Love Potion No. 9 (1992)
- Equinox (1992)
- Inside Monkey Zetterland (1992)
- Little Noises (1991)
- Memphis Belle (1990)
- Rising Son (1990/I) (TV)
- Dead Bang (1989)
- Dangerous Curves (1988)
- Vietnam War Story II (1988)
- Clean and Sober (1988)
- Nutcracker: Money, Madness & Murder (1987) (mini) TV Series
- SpaceCamp (1986)
- Case of Deadly Force, A (1986) (TV)
- North Beach and Rawhide (1985) (TV)
- Into Thin Air (1985) (TV)
- Not My Kid (1985) (TV)
- No Small Affair (1984)
- Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network (BCAN) Tate Donovan is the spokesperson for BCAN. His father, a urologist, died from bladder cancer and his mother has bladder cancer.