In 1994, Donovan suffered a heroin overdose in Room 64 of the Hotel Cortez, after sharing a needle with Sally. Elizabeth, attracted by his "jawline for days", saved him by infecting him with her blood virus, and took him as her afflicted companion. He has lived there as her lover for 20 years in the lap of luxury, only marred by the presence of his overbearing mother, Iris.
Personality and Appearance
Donovan was a handsome young man with dark hair and magnetic blue eyes. Cunning and full of anger at his circumstances, he is prone to outbursts of rage. Donovan showed no remorse for killing victims to feed, and was only shown to care about Elizabeth. Like his lover, he is often seen in expensive designer clothing, an outward manifestation of the life of decadence he indulges in. He displays very little care for his mother Iris, but he has a close bond with Elizabeth, with whom he is deeply in love.
Donovan joins Elizabeth for a date to an outdoor cinema showing of Nosferatu, where they seduce a young couple and bring them back to the hotel for a feast of sex and blood. His sleep the next day is interrupted by a realtor giving a tour to new hotel owner Will Drake. He has as much distaste for the sun as any day-sleeper, but not as much as the traditional vampire. Like every other resident save Elizabeth, he is unaware of the sale and as worried about eviction. However, when his mother tries to discuss her worries with him, Donovan rejects her and says that it is time to let go.
While Elizabeth wants to go out to hunt at a soirée, Donovan opts to stay at home watching television, already creating some tension between the two. At the fashion show organized by Will Drake at the Hotel Cortez, Donovan does not willingly accept the flirtation between Elizabeth and one of the models; when he finds the same guy rummaging in their penthouse, he attacks him but is stopped by Elizabeth. Later, when Donovan finds them in bed together and discovers that the woman has turned Tristan, the two break off their relationship. 
Donovan returned to the Hotel, and had a heated argument with his mother, ending with Donovan suggesting his mother commit suicide. On the outskirts, after feeding on a drug addict, Donovan is kidnapped by a woman who bleeds him for information on Elizabeth. The woman turns out to be Ramona, who was also turned by Elizabeth. The two decide to work together to take revenge on their creator. At the hotel, Donovan is scolded by Liz Taylor for the behavior towards his mother and Donovan, in a desperate attempt to save his mother, offers her his blood.
Donovan arrives late at night at Ramona's house along with his mother, saying to his new ally that Iris, recently infected with the blood virus, would play a key role in their plan to cause Elizabeth's downfall.
Donovan comes to the Cortez with his ally, intending to kill the vampire toddlers. When they are in the elevator, however, Ramona notes uncertainty on Donovan's face and tells him that she will take care of them all by herself. The man then goes to the penthouse where he is seen sniffing Elizabeth's panties before giving a lesson on the supernatural laws to the recently deceased Agnetha and Vendela, reflecting that losing Elizabeth has also lost his raison d'être .
In 2010, Donovan tries to seduce John Lowe at the Blue Parrot Lounge and lead him to a party upstairs, with the aim of presenting him to Elizabeth and James March, probably to divert March's attention from Elizabeth and enjoy his lover without interference from another man .
At the penthouse, Donovan and Elizabeth have a passionate encounter between the sheets and decide to commit: they can do whatever they want with whoever they prefer, but Elizabeth will love only him and vice versa, and only if Donovan will prove to be worthy of the Countess's love. Later, rambling through the corridors of the hotel, Donovan stumbles into the room where Iris has just killed the costumers who were filming a sex tape and mother and son have a reconciliation, in which Iris warns the young man on the imminent wrath of Elizabeth against Ramona. Donovan, smiling slyly, breaks into the bathroom and abducts the last survivor of the crew, with the intention of using him as a gift for Ramona and lures her to the Cortez, where he stuns her with a taser and imprisons her in the dungeons. Iris and Donovan at this point have another verbal clash about man's weaknesses .
A jealous Donovan breaks into Valentino's motel room and after a discussion in which the actor threatens him with a sword, Donovan shoots him in the forehead. Later he organizes a romantic dinner with Elizabeth at the penthouse where he reveals to her what he did. When the Countess returns to the penthouse after crying on her beloved maker, Donovan is dancing and says that he is willing to die for his feelings for her. Before the two lovers could kiss, Liz and Iris burst in shooting wildly .
Elizabeth and Donovan are both shot, but Donovan jumps in the way and hugs Elizabeth to prevent her from being shot any further, taking several more shots in the process. Elizabeth gets away and Iris prevents Liz from shooting the mortally wounded Donovan any further. Donovan requests to be taken outside of the Hotel Cortez in order to keep from becoming a ghost as he doesn't want to be trapped with Elizabeth's lovers for eternity. Donovan then asks Iris if he is safe and thanks his mother for helping him before dying by his mother's side. Liz later cremates Donovan and gives the ashes to Iris in a Campfire Gold coffee can .
Donovan communicates through the medium Billie Dean Howard with his mother, telling her that he loves her and that now is in a happy place, where it is always a Saturday morning and the air smells of pancakes with blueberries.
- To Elizabeth: "It's not the getting ready, it's the clean up."
- To Will Drake: "So where are weirdoes like us supposed to live, huh?"
- To Elizabeth: "I was a junkie because I wanted to escape from my mother. You made it so I never can."
- To Tristan: "I've made a rule to stay away from junkies, but I'm gonna make an exception with you."
- Donovan (to Elizabeth): "I can't believe you turned him. He's a stupid trashy model."
Elizabeth: "And you were a pathetic addict dying on a filthy floor. I didn't want to hurt you. I still don't. There's no reason this has to end badly."
Donovan: "End? Are you throwing me out? I love you!"
Elizabeth: "And I love you. But you will learn-- it isn't our precious virus that makes you. It isn't who you kill or who you screw. It's the heartbreaks. The bigger, the better."
- To Iris: "Every choice you made was a disaster. Dad… that insane vegetarian cult."
- To Iris: "I had so much fiber in my diet I shit my pants at school."
- To Vendela and Agnetha: "Eternity can be tedious without something enjoyable to break up the day."
- Rudolph Valentino (to Donovan): "You should be honored to die by its blade."
Donovan: "Bitch, please."
- To Rudolph Valentino: "She's gonna mourn over that pretty face. You're not so pretty now, are you? I have better cheekbones, anyway. Cheekbones for days."
- To Iris, before his death: "Thank you mom."
- This is the second American Horror Story character played by Matt Bomer. The first was Andy in Freak Show.
- Both characters played by Matt Bomer died in the seasons in which they appeared.
- Donovan is the third character to have passed on to a blissful afterlife, alongside Adelaide Langdon and Elsa Mars.
- His story and appearance may be an allusion to the Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious, deceased in 1978.
- ↑ Episode: Checking In
- ↑ Episode: Chutes and Ladders
- ↑ Episode: Mommy
- ↑ Episode: Room Service
- ↑ Episode: Room 33
- ↑ Episode: The Ten Commandments Killer
- ↑ Episode: She Wants Revenge
- ↑ Episode: She Gets Revenge
- ↑ Episode: Battle Royale
- ↑ Episode: Be Our Guest