Friday, January 1, 2010
Happy 80th Birthday Ty Hardin
Born Orison Whipple Hungerford Jr. On January 1, 1930 in New York, City. His parents divorced when he was five and he went with his mother and brother to live in Texas where he grew-up living with his grandparents on a farm near Austin. His grandmother often referred to him as a typhoon and the nickname Ty stuck. Ty was in and out of trouble most of his childhood years but did graduate from Lamar High School in Houston, Texas in 1949. He went to Blinn Jr. College on a football scholarship and also spent a year at Dallas Bible Institute before joing the army. He served three years in the Army in Korea and was honorably discharged a 1st Lieutenant. He then returned to college at Texas A&M playing football and studied electical enginnering. He left college two weeks before graduation to work at McDonnell Douglas in California. Venturing into Western Costume one day to rent a Halloween costume he was discovered by a Paramount talent scout. He took a screentest and was signed to a seven-year contract. After six films he went to see John Wayne who was making “Rio Bravo” but the part he was after had been cast with Ricky Nelson. The Duke was able to get him in touch with William Orr at Warner Bros. Orr was the brother-in-law of Jack Warner who bought his contract from Paramount and changed his last name to Hardin after the famous Texas outlaw Johny Wesley Hardin. When Clint Walker began having problems with his “Cheyenne” series Ty was given his own series “Bronco”. After his contract with Warner Bros. ended he went to Italy and made eight Euro-westerns including “The Man from the Cursed Valley” (1964) “Savage Pampas” (1965) “Custer of the West” (1967), “The Last Rebel”, “You're Jinxed Friend...You've Met Sacramento both (1970) “Drummer of Vengeance”, “Holy Water Joe”, and “Vendetta at Dawn” (1971). He owned a bar in Spain then returned to the U.S. and put his year of bible college to use becoming a TV evangelist and then formed a militia group in Arizona and ran for President of the U.S.A. Now retired he makes the celebrity conventions selling autographs. Still in great shape he's wating for that next job offer. Today we celebrate Ty Hardin's 80th birthday.