Wagner in March 2019
|Education||University of Oregon (withdrawn)|
Mt. Hood Community College (withdrawn)
|Occupation||Actress, model, author, singer, adjunct professor|
|Known for||Jaime Sommers - The Bionic Woman|
(m. 1971; div. 1973)
(m. 1976; div. 1979)
(m. 1981; div. 1984)
(m. 1990; div. 1993)
|Relatives||Ed Thrasher (uncle)|
Lindsay Jean Wagner (born June 22, 1949) is an American film and television actress, model, author, singer, acting coach, and adjunct professor. Wagner is best known for her leading role in the American science-fiction television series The Bionic Woman (1976-1978), in which she portrayed action character Jaime Sommers. She first played this role on the hit series The Six Million Dollar Man. The character became a popular-culture icon of the 1970s. For this role, Wagner won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Dramatic Role in 1977. Wagner began acting professionally in 1971 and has maintained a lengthy acting career in a variety of film and television productions to the present day.
Wagner was born in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Marilyn Louise (née Thrasher) and William Nowels Wagner. When she was seven years old, Wagner's parents divorced and her mother moved with her to the northeast Los Angeles neighborhood of Eagle Rock, near Pasadena. Another relocation with her mother and stepfather, Ted Ball, brought Wagner to Portland, Oregon, where she attended David Douglas High School and appeared in a number of school plays.
After graduation, Wagner spent a couple of months in France before enrolling at the University of Oregon for one year. Wagner then transferred to Mt. Hood Community College, Gresham for six months before dropping out and moving to Los Angeles. She was diagnosed with dyslexia.
Wagner worked as a model in Los Angeles and gained some television experience by appearing as a hostess in Playboy After Dark, and she was also a contestant on the game show The Dating Game in 1969 (one of her potential suitors, whom she did not choose, was TV actor Roger Ewing). In 1971, she signed a contract with Universal Studios and worked as a contract player in various Universal productions. Her primetime network television debut was in the series Adam-12 ("Million Dollar Buff"), and she went on to appear in a dozen other Universal shows, including Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law, The F.B.I., Sarge, and Night Gallery (1971, as the nurse in the episode: "The Diary").
Between 1971 and 1975, she appeared in five episodes of Universal's Marcus Welby, M.D. and two episodes of The Rockford Files. In 1973, Wagner branched into film roles when Universal cast her in Two People, which was her first feature film and her first lead role. She also co-starred in the 20th Century Fox film The Paper Chase the same year, playing the daughter of the stern law professor, Kingsfield.
In 1975, arranged under an extended contract with Universal Studios, Wagner played the role of Jaime Sommers, a former tennis professional who was the childhood sweetheart of "Six Million Dollar Man" Colonel Steve Austin (played by Lee Majors). According to Kenneth Johnson, interviewed for a featurette included in the 2010 North American DVD release of The Bionic Woman season one, Wagner was cast in the role based upon her appeal and spontaneity after he saw her appearance in the pilot and a follow-up episode of The Rockford Files. In the second-season, two-part episode, her character is critically injured in a skydiving accident and equipped with bionic implants similar to Austin's, but her body rejects them, ultimately leading to her death.
This was intended to be Wagner's last role under her Universal contract, but public response to the character was so overwhelming that the "death" was retconned into a cover story for a near-death secret recovery, and Wagner appeared in a two-part episode which returned her character, followed by a spin-off series, The Bionic Woman, which debuted in January 1976. The same year, she co-starred in a Canadian film, Second Wind opposite James Naughton. She made several crossover appearances in The Six Million Dollar Man during 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 miniseries and television films. These included the highly rated 1980 miniseries Scruples, as well as three made-for-TV Bionic reunion movies with Lee Majors between 1987 and 1994. Also in the 1980s, Wagner co-starred as Sylvester Stallone's ex-wife in his 1981 movie Nighthawks and starred in two more weekly television series, Jessie (1984) and A Peaceable Kingdom (1989), though both of these were short-lived. In 1983, she also appeared in an episode of Lee Majors' series The Fall Guy.
Wagner continued to act into the 1990s and 2000s, though in less prominent roles, such as a small part in the action movie Ricochet (1991). Her most recent projects have included the 2005 television film Thicker than Water with Melissa Gilbert, Buckaroo: The Movie (2005), and Four Extraordinary Women (2006). In 2010, Wagner began a recurring role as Dr. Vanessa Calder in the SyFy channel's hit drama Warehouse 13 and played the character again in its Syfy sister show Alphas in 2011. In the fall semester of 2013, Wagner began teaching at San Bernardino Valley College in southern California (Acting and Directing for Television and Film, Motion Picture Production) as an adjunct faculty member. In 2015, Wagner appeared in the NCIS season 13, episode 10: "Blood Brothers" in the role of Barbara Bishop, the mother of NCIS Probationary Agent Eleanor Bishop (Emily Wickersham).
In June 2018, it was announced that Wagner would co-star in Death Stranding, a video game being developed by Sony Interactive Entertainment and Kojima Productions. Wagner lent her likeness to the characters Bridget and Amelie Strand and voiced the former, with Emily O'Brien voicing the latter and a younger version of the former. Death Stranding was Wagner's first role in a video game, and her first experience with the industry's motion capture and voice acting technology.
In 1987, Wagner wrote a series of books with Robert M. Klein about using acupressure to achieve results akin to a surgical facelift. In 1994, she wrote one of the first "celebrity" vegetarian (and mainly vegan) cookbooks, High Road to Health. Wagner appeared in commercials as a spokesperson for Southern California's regional Ford Motor Company dealerships from 1987 through 2000. She was also a spokesperson in infomercials for Select Comfort's "Sleep Number" bed from 2003 to 2009.
In recent years, Wagner has given seminars and workshops for her self-help therapy, "Quiet the Mind and Open the Heart", which promotes spirituality and meditation.
In 2016, she appeared in the film Change of Heart as the owner of a somewhat rundown bed and breakfast.
She appeared in Grey's Anatomy as Alex Karev's mother Helen Karev over the course of two seasons, first appearing in 2018 during Season 14 for a single episode and reappearing in 2019 for a number of episodes during Season 15.
On December 13, 1984, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce presented Wagner with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, category 'Film', located at the north side of the 6700 block of Hollywood Boulevard.
Prior to being married, Wagner lived with Captain Daniel M. Yoder (USAF) until he went to Vietnam. She has been married four times and divorced four times. From 1971 to 1973, she was married to music publisher Allan Rider. From 1976 to 1979, she was married to 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), but the couple divorced in 1984. Wagner then married TV producer Lawrence Mortorff in 1990, but they, too, divorced a few years later.
|1973||Two People||Deirdre McCluskey|
|1973||The Paper Chase||Susan Fields|
|1979||The Incredible Journey of Doctor Meg Laurel||Meg Laurel|
|1979||The Two Worlds of Jenny Logan||Jenny Logan|
|1985||Martin's Day||Dr. Mennen|
|1986||Young Again||Laura Gordon|
|1991||Ricochet||DA Priscilla Brimleigh|
|1998||Frog and Wombat||Sydney Parker|
|2003||A Light in the Forest||Penelope Audrey|
|2005||Buckaroo: The Movie||Ms. Ainsley|
|2006||The Surfer King||Connie Zirpollo|
|2008||Billy: The Early Years||Morrow Graham|
|2012||Who Killed Soul Glow?||Unnamed|
|1971||Adam-12||Jenny Carson||Episode: "Million Dollar Buff"|
|1971||The Man and the City||Margie Holland||Episode: "Disaster on Turner Street"|
|1971||The Bold Ones: The Lawyers||Stella Bowers||Episode: "In Defense of Ellen McKay"|
|1971||Sarge||Laurie Meyers||Episode: "The Combatants"|
|1971||Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law||Diana Oliver||Episode: "Until Proven Innocent"|
|1971-1972||Night Gallery||Girl / Nurse||2 Episodes|
|1971-1975||Marcus Welby, M.D.||Susan Davis / Denise Malory / Emily Matocsis / Nurse Gledhill||5 episodes|
|1972||O'Hara, U.S. Treasury||Edie Lang||Episode: "Operation: XW-1"|
|1972||The F.B.I.||Laurie Peale||Episode: "Dark Journey"|
|1974-1975||The Rockford Files||Sara Butler||2 Episodes|
|1975-1976||The Six Million Dollar Man||Jaime Sommers||9 episodes|
|1976||Whodunnit?||Panellist||Episode: "Future Imperfect"|
|1976-1978||The Bionic Woman||Jaime Sommers||3 x Seasons: 58 episodes|
|1978||Windows, Doors & Keyholes||Unnamed||Television film|
|1979||The Incredible Journey of Doctor Meg Laurel||Meg Laurel||Television film|
|1979||The Two Worlds of Jennie Logan||Jennie Logan||Television film|
|1980||Scruples||Billy Ikehorn||Television miniseries|
|1981||Callie & Son||Callie Bordeaux||Television film|
|1982||Memories Never Die||Joanne Tilford||Television film|
|1983||I Want to Live!||Barbara Graham||Television film|
|1983||The Fall Guy||Mary Connors||Episode: "Devil's Island"|
|1983||Princess Daisy||Francesca Valenski||Television film|
|1983||Two Kinds of Love||Susan Farley||Television film|
|1984||Passions||Nina Simon||Television film|
|1984||Jessie||Dr. Jessie Hayden & Executive producer||Television film pilot and 10 episodes in a series|
|1985||The Other Lover||Claire Fielding||Television film|
|1985||This Child Is Mine||Bonnie Wilkerson||Television film|
|1986||A Child's Cry||Joanne Van Buren||Television film|
|1986||Kate & Allie||Julia||Episode: "Late Bloomer"|
|1986||Convicted||Martha Forbes||Television film|
|1987||Stranger in My Bed||Beverly Slater||Television film|
|1987||The Return of the Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman||Jaime Sommers||Television film|
|1987||Student Exchange||Principal||Television film|
|1988||Evil in Clear River||Kate McKinnon||Television film|
|1988||Alfred Hitchcock Presents||Susan Forrester||Episode: "Prism"|
|1988||The Taking of Flight 847: The Uli Derickson Story||Uli Derickson||Television film|
|1988||Nightmare at Bittercreek||Nita Daniels||Television film|
|1988||Police Story: Burnout||Det. Sidney Shannon||Television film|
|1989||From the Dead of the Night||Joanna||Television film|
|1989||Voice of the Heart||Katharine Tempest||Television film|
|1989||Bionic Showdown: The Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman||Jaime Sommers||Television film|
|1989||A Peaceable Kingdom||Rebecca Cafferty||12 episodes|
|1990||Shattered Dreams||Charlotte Fedders & Co-producer||Television film|
|1991||Fire in the Dark||Janet||Television film|
|1991||To Be the Best||Paula O'Neill||Television film|
|1992||She Woke Up||Claudia Parr||Television film|
|1992||Treacherous Crossing||Lindsey Thompson Gates||Television film|
|1992||Against All Odds||Host||Television film|
|1992||A Message from Holly||Holly||Television film|
|1993||Nurses on the Line: The Crash of Flight 7||Elizabeth Hahn||Television film|
|1994||Men Who Hate Women & the Women Who Love Them||Host||Television film|
|1994||Once in a Lifetime||Daphne Fields||Television film|
|1994||Bionic Ever After?||Jaime Sommers||Television film|
|1995||Fighting for My Daughter||Kate Kerner||Television film|
|1996||Sins of Silence||Molly McKinley||Television film|
|1996||A Mother's Instinct||Raeanne Gilbaine||Television film|
|1997||Contagious||Dr. Hannah Cole||Television film|
|1997||Their Second Chance||Barbara||Television film|
|1998||Voyage of Terror||Dr. Stephanie Tauber||Television film|
|2002||The Division||Agatha B.||Episode: "Farewell My Lovelies"|
|2005||Thicker than Water||Jess Jarrett||Television film|
|2006||Four Extraordinary Women||Anne||Television film|
|2006||The Surfer King||Connie Zirpollo||Television film|
|2008||Billy: The Early Years||Morrow Graham||Television film|
|2010-2014||Warehouse 13||Dr. Vanessa Calder||6 episodes|
|2011||Alphas||Dr. Vanessa Calder||Episode: "Never Let Me Go"|
|2013||The Thanksgiving House||Abigail Mather||Television film|
|2013||Wi Na Go||Mary Beth (Voice/Narrator)||Short|
|2015||NCIS||Barbara Bishop||Episode: "Blood Brothers"|
|2016||Love Finds You In Valentine||June Sterling||Television film|
|2016||A Change of Heart||Helen||Television film|
|2017||Eat, Play, Love||Rita||Television film|
|2018||Mingle All the Way||Veronica Hoffman||Television film|
|2018||Fuller House||Millie||Episode: "Angels' Night Out"|
|2018-2019||Grey's Anatomy||Helen Karev||4 episodes|
|2019||Death Stranding||Bridget (voice and likeness), Amelie (likeness only)||Amelie and the young Bridget digitally de-aged and voiced by Emily O'Brien|
|1977||Golden Globe Award||Best Actress - Television Series Drama||The Bionic Woman||Nominated|
|1977||Primetime Emmy Award||Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series||Won|
|1978||Golden Globe Award||Best Actress - Television Series Drama||Nominated|