ACTOR, MUSICIAN, GOLFER
“I decided that I have much more control over what I do on stage
than whether or not my golf ball goes out-of-bounds when it hits a tree.”
Jack Wagner has been a mainstay on television for several decades, from daytime soaps to nighttime dramas. He is also a singer and hit the charts with one of the biggest songs of the 1980s. The multitalented star also shines on the golf course, where he has been recognized as one of the best golfers in the entertainment industry.
THE EARLY YEARS
Jack Wagner was born on October 3, 1959, and was raised in the town of Washington. As a teenager, he became one of the best golfers in the Show Me State, winning the Missouri Junior Championship. Jack also excelled in every other activity he tried, including football, basketball, schoolwork, music, and drama.
After graduating from high school, he headed a few miles down the road to attend East Central College in Union. He played golf at the junior college and won the Missouri State Junior College Golf Championship in 1980. The next year he set off for the University of Missouri–Columbia for one year before trying to land a golf scholarship at the University of Arizona. He didn’t get the golf scholarship, but he landed a full scholarship for drama at the Arizona college.
RISE TO FAME
Wagner completed his studies at Arizona and moved to Hollywood. He lived the life of a struggling actor for a few years where he worked as a tour guide, waited tables, and in retail sales.
His first big break came at the age of 23 when he landed a part on the daytime soap opera A New Day in Eden. As the saying goes in Hollywood, it’s much easier to get work when you are working, and the saying came true for Wagner. He soon had a small part on Knot’s Landing, and a bigger role on the horizon.
SHOW ME SUCCESS
The year after his part on Knot’s Landing, he landed a high-profile job as Frisco Jones on General Hospital. The role was a perfect combination of a number of his passions, and he soon had critical acclaim and legions of fans for both his acting and his music. Exposure on the radio and TV helped send his first hit song, “All I Need,” straight to the top of the charts.
In 1991, Jack took on another role with the daytime soap opera Santa Barbara. The role lasted only a short time because the show was cancelled two years later. But the timing was perfect. The next year, he was added to the cast of the hit television show Melrose Place as Dr. Peter Burns. The show won numerous awards and kept Jack in the public eye as one of the most popular actors of the late 1990s.
When Melrose halted production in 1999, he spent a few years doing live theater. During this time, he also decided to combine his two main passions, golfing and television, into a new TV show. The show on ESPN, called Off Course, allowed Wagner to interview other celebrities during a round of golf. It was the perfect combination of all of his skills, but the show lasted only a short time.
In 2003, Jack made the move back to daytime soaps with a role on The Bold and the Beautiful. He won an Emmy nomination for his portrayal of Dominick Payne, proving that after two decades in the public eye, he is still a force to be reckoned with in the entertainment world.
* Jack is consistently one of the top golfers in the world on the Celebrity Players Tour.
* Jack released his first album in twelve years, Dancing in the Moonlight, in 2005.