Ty Hardin Biography
was born Orison Whipple Hungerford, Jr.on
New Year's Day, 1930, in New York City. The name Whipple was given in
honor of an ancestor on his father's side, William Whipple of New
Hampshire, who had co-signed the Declaration of Independence.
divorced when he was five and he and his brother moved to Houston,
Texas, with his mother. Struggling to survive in the years after
the depression, his mother was forced to send the boys to live with
their grandparents on a farm outside Austin Tex. It was there he
acquired the nickname "Ty" from his grandmother who described him "like
a Texas typhoon coming through the house".
many pitfalls in his young life as he struggled to find his identity. He
became known as a "problem child" in school who rebelled against
authority and was then sent to the Shriners'
Institute in Kerrville, Texas, a military school, to learn discipline.
Most of his time there was spent in detention, so he ran away from
school and eventually, after some tough life experiences, ended up back
in Houston with his mother. It was much later in his adult life
that he discovered that he suffered from ADHD, "attention deficit
hyperactivity disorder", a condition that was not diagnosable when he
was a child.
graduated from Lamar High School in Houston, Texas, in 1949, and went on
to attend Blinn Junior College on a football
scholarship. Having been raised deeply religious, he studied one
semester at Dallas Bible Institute before joining the Army.
Officer's Candidate School at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, and as a Second
Lieutenant, went to flight school in San Marcos, Texas, where he learned
to fly light L-19 aircraft known as the "Birddog". After achieving the
rank of First Lieutenant, he served three years overseas during the
Honorably discharged from military service,
he studied electrical engineering at Texas A&M where he received a
football scholarship and played tight end under the coaching of
legendary Bear Bryant. He left college two weeks before graduation to
take a job with Douglas Aircraft in Santa Monica, California, where he
worked as an acoustical research engineer.
later, Ty walked into Western Costume Co. on Santa Monica Blvd., to rent
a costume for a Halloween party. This venture change
his life forever, for, as fate would have it, it was there he was
"discovered" by Milton Lewis, a talent scout for Paramount Pictures. He
was interviewed by Bill Micheljohn, the
president of Paramount, given a screen test. He was then
offered a seven-year contract making twice what he was earning at
Douglas as an Engineer. He had what the industry was looking for in
those days" a macho Cowboy"
appearing in six films at Paramount, Ty went to see John Wayne at
Batjac on Santa Monica Blvd. about a film he
was doing named Rio Bravo. The part was perfect for Ty but had
already been cast to
Nelson. None the less "The Duke" was instrumental in getting him in to
see Howard Hawks and Bill Orr at Warner Bros. It was Bill Orr,
son-in-law to Jack Warner, who bought out his contract from Paramount
and changed his name to Hardin after the notorious outlaw John Wesley
Bros. he became known as the Texas cowboy having his own series,
“Bronco,” that was a spin-off from "The Cheyenne Show". He was
known as the man that replaced Clint Walker on the Cheyenne show.
Bronco Layne chased bad guys and Indians all over Texas. It was an
action-packed series and Ty, who knew his way around horses, did most of
his own stunts. The series ran for four years as one of the top
ten in the nation.
Ty went on
to make many more films for Warner Bros.,PT
109, Merrill's Marauders, Berserk, and others before seeking
adventure in Europe. With His world wide fame as Bronco He sought work
in all the major markets of the world making over forty films, including
many "spaghetti westerns" and a TV series in Australia called "Riptide".
spending several years in Europe, he returned to the U.S., to a new
country and a film industry that had changed drastically during his time
several film offers because the scripts contained unnecessary foul
language, exploited sex, or gruesome violence and he settled down to a
family life. He finally chose to put the film industry behind him and
joined the ministry under Chuck Smith's Calvary Chapel. Ty left the
Ministry as he felt he was not his calling.
Since then, Ty has made numerous guest appearances at western film
festivals and TV shows along with various films. He is now
living in Southern California with his wife where he spends
his time enjoying his family, friends, good health, golf, writing
books, the beach and thanking God for the abundance of life's blessings.
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