BiographyTy Hardin was born in New York City, USA, on January 1, 1930. Born Orton Hungerford, Hardin was raised in Texas and is best known as the star of the 1950s western television series Bronco. He served in the Korean War in the early 1950s, and after his return, he began taking college courses at Texas A & M.
By 1957, Hardin had made his way to Hollywood and was put under contract by Paramount. He was at first billed as "Ty Hungerford," but soon his name was changed to Ty Hardin. When Clint Walker walked out on his ABC series Cheyenne in 1958 during a contract dispute with Warner Bros., Ty Hardin got his big break. Warner Bros. bought out Hardin's Paramount contract and installed him as Cheyenne's country cousin Bronco Layne for one season. Walker and Warner Bros. came to terms after the season ended, but Hardin had been such a big hit that the studio gave him his own series, Bronco. Since it was difficult to produce an hour-long western every week in which the star appeared in every episode and virtually every scene (whereas a series like Bonanza or Maverick would feature one or another of the main characters in a given episode and could thus be filmed weekly), Bronco alternated weeks with another Western, Sugarfoot. Bronco ran from 1958 through 1962. Later on Hardin was given a further series called On the Trail of Johnny Hilling, Boor and Billy which was immensely successful in Germany.
Hardin was married to the German beauty queen and actress Marlene Schmidt from 1962 to 1966 and they had one daughter.
The following is from Ty Hardin's biography listing on the Internet Movie Database:
"Ty Hardin became a self-styled "freedom fighter" in the 1970s, and led a group called the Arizona Patriots. The Arizona Patriots were an anti-Semitic group with an emphasis on stockpiling weapons and baiting public officials.
After a mid-1970s dispute with the IRS, Hardin ran a tax protest school called the Common Law Institute, whose packet of materials included a "Patriot Handbook" containing "tested cases and methods to maintain good personal freedom." In 1983 and 1984, Hardin edited The Arizona Patriot, a monthly journal that printed diatribes against government officials, calls for "Christian Patriots" to band together, and reprints of articles from anti-Semitic publications.
Following a two-year FBI undercover probe, Federal agents raided a Patriot camp in 1986, and confiscated a hoard of weapons and publications from Aryan Nation groups. Ty Hardin left Arizona, and the group soon ceased to function."
Ty Hardin was recently awarded the Key Peninsula citizens award for his volunteer services to his community. He was mentioned with others in an article that appeared in the February 28, 2007 edition of the Peninsula Gateway newspaper. Mr. Hardin currently lives in the Key Peninsula area near the town of Gig Harbor, Washington.
He was considered for the role of Batman in the 1960s series Batman, when it was being planned as a serious action-adventure show. Adam West got the part, because Hardin declined while working over in Europe.