Lindsay Wagner

Lindsay Wagner

Infobox actor

name = Lindsay Wagner
caption =
birthname = Lindsay Jean Wagner
birthdate = Birth date and age|1949|6|22|df=y
birthplace = Los Angeles, California, USA
spouse = Lawrence Mortorff (1990-1993)
Henry Kingi (1981-1984)
Michael Brandon (1976-1979) Allan Rider (1971-1973)
emmyawards = Outstanding Lead Acctress - Drama Series
1977 "The Bionic Woman"

Lindsay Jean Wagner (born June 22, 1949) is an Emmy Award winning American actress, best known for her role as Jaime Sommers in the 1970s TV series "The Bionic Woman".


Wagner was born in Los Angeles, California. When she was seven years old, her parents divorced and her mother moved with her to the northeast Los Angeles neighborhood of Eagle Rock, near Pasadena. Wagner might have been able to begin her acting career as a teenager when she was offered a lead role in a TV series at age 13 Fact|date=May 2008, but was advised by family friend James Best to wait until she was older.

Another move with her mother and stepfather (Ted Ball) brought her to Portland, Oregon, where she attended David Douglas High School and appeared in a number of school plays. She studied at the University of Oregon, overcoming dyslexia to become a successful student Fact|date=May 2008.


Wagner worked as a model in Los Angeles, and gained some television experience by appearing as a hostess in "Playboy After Dark". However, it was not until she contacted a friend at Universal Studios and was cast in a small part in "Marcus Welby, M.D." that her acting career took off. Her appearances helped her win roles in the films "Two People" and "The Paper Chase". Wagner played a total of four different roles on the "Marcus Welby, M.D." series between 1971-75, as well as a recurring guest role in "The Rockford Files".

In 1975, Wagner then played Jaime Sommers, a former tennis pro who was the childhood sweetheart of "Six Million Dollar Man", Steve Austin (played by Lee Majors). In a two-part episode entitled "The Bionic Woman", Jaime was critically injured in a skydiving accident and, at Steve's request, she was equipped with bionic limbs similar to his own (with the exception of his bionic eye, as Jaime was equipped with a bionic ear instead). Unfortunately, Jaime's body rejected her new bionics and she later died.

This was intended to be Wagner's last role under her Universal contract, but public response to the character was so overwhelming that Jaime was "brought back to life" with her own spin-off series, "The Bionic Woman" (it was discovered that Jaime hadn't really died but had been put into cryogenic suspension until she could be cured). Like Steve, Jaime became an agent for the U.S. Government agency, the O.S.I., though, suffering from amnesia, she could not remember her love for Steve. However, the two would team up for several crossover episodes throughout the series' run. The role earned Wagner an Emmy Award for "Best Actress in a Dramatic Role" in 1977.

Following the cancellation of "The Bionic Woman" in 1978, Wagner continued to act, predominantly in television mini-series and made-for-TV movies. These included the highly rated 1980 mini-series "Scruples", as well as three made-for-TV Bionic reunion movies with Lee Majors between 1987 and 1994. Also in the 1980s, Wagner starred in two more weekly television series; "Jessie" (1984) and "A Peaceable Kingdom" (1989), though both of these were short-lived.

Wagner continued to act in the 1990s and 2000s, though in less prominent roles. Her most recent projects have included the 2005 telemovie, "Thicker than Water", with Melissa Gilbert, "Buckaroo: The Movie" (2005), and, "Four Extraordinary Women" (2006).

In 1987, Wagner wrote a series of books with Robert M. Klein about using acupressure to achieve results akin to a surgical facelift.

Wagner was the spokesperson for Ford Motor Company.

Wagner also appears in infomercials for Select Comfort's Sleep Number bed.

More recently, Wagner has given seminars and workshops for her self-help therapy, "Quiet the Mind & Open the Heart", which promotes spirituality and meditation.

Personal life

Wagner has been married four times. From 1971–73, she was married to music publisher Allan Rider. From late 1976–79, she was married to the actor Michael Brandon. In 1981, she married stuntman Henry Kingi whom she met on the set of "The Bionic Woman". Wagner had two sons with Kingi; Dorian (b. 1982) and Alex (b. 1986). Wagner married TV producer Lawrence Mortorff in 1990, but they divorced a couple of years later.

Wagner is related to "Dallas" star Linda Gray, as Gray's ex-husband is Ed Thrasher, one of Wagner's uncles. She and Gray also played romantic rivals in the television movie "The Two Worlds of Jenny Logan" (1979), a project which was purchased for distribution in Japan and Europe only after the addition of a semi-nude scene (the only part of Wagner's career she openly regrets).Fact|date=May 2008

In 1979 Wagner held a ticket to American Airlines Flight 191, but due to an uneasy feeling about the flight, decided to cancel. The flight went down 30 seconds after takeoff, killing all onboard.

Civic activities

Wagner is on the board of directors of the Teen Talking Circles Project [] and is an active supporter of Girls Talking Circles [] .


*"High Road to Health: A Vegetarian Cookbook" by Lindsay Wagner and Ariane Spade (1994) ISBN 0-671-87277-X
*"Lindsay Wagner's New Beauty: The Acupressure Facelift" by Lindsay Wagner and Robert M. Klein (1987) ISBN 0-13-536806-5
*"30-Day Natural Face Lift Program" by Lindsay Wagner and Robert M. Klein (1988) ISBN 0-86188-779-4

External links

* [ Lindsay Wagner's Official Fan Club]
* [ Fanland of Lindsay Wagner]
* [ The Bionic Woman Files]
* A tribute to Emmy Award actress Lindsay Wagner

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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