Jack Wagner (actor)
Jack performing live in 2009
October 3, 1959
Washington, Missouri, U.S.
|Home town||Washington, Missouri, U.S.|
|Spouse(s)||Kristina Wagner (1993–2006; divorced)|
Wagner was born in Washington, Missouri. Raised as a Catholic, he attended St. Gertrude's parochial school and St. Francis Borgia Regional High School in his hometown, where he played football and basketball. He attended the University of Missouri for one year, then junior college before eventually enrolling at the University of Arizona, where he tried out for the golf team and drama department. The drama department offered him a full scholarship.
Wagner first appeared on the scene in 1982 in the role of Clint Masterson, in Douglas Marland's short-lived cable soap opera, A New Day In Eden (co-produced by Susan Flannery, who would later be Wagner's co-star on The Bold and the Beautiful).
His most famous role has been Frisco Jones on the soap opera General Hospital (1983–1988, 1989–1991, 1994–95, 2013). He was half of a supercouple with Kristina Wagner's Felicia and played the father of Georgie and Maxie Jones.
He appeared in several made for television films, including Moving Target with Jason Bateman, Lady Killer with Judith Light, Frequent Flyer with Joan Severance, Nicole Eggert, and Shelley Hack, and Dirty Little Secret opposite Tracey Gold.
He appeared for many years on Aaron Spelling's Fox nighttime soap opera Melrose Place, as the alternately caring/conniving Dr. Peter Burns (1994–99); he directed episodes as well. His character and Heather Locklear's "Amanda" were featured together on a beach in the series finale's closing scene, having faked their own deaths.
In January 2013, it was announced that Wagner had agreed to reprise the iconic role of Frisco Jones on General Hospital for several episodes in early 2013. He is also playing as Bill Avery on When Calls the Heart, as of 2014.
Dancing with the Stars
In 2012, Wagner was a contestant on season 14 of Dancing with the Stars, partnered with professional dancer Anna Trebunskaya. They were eliminated from the competition on April 3, 2012, placing 11th.
Singing and stage career
- 1984: All I Need #44 Peak Billboard 200
- 1985: Lighting Up the Night #150 / Peak Billboard 200
- 1987: Don't Give Up Your Day Job #151 Peak Billboard 200
- 1993: Alone in the Crowd
- 2005: Dancing in the Moonlight
- 2014: On The Porch
|US||US AC||CAN||CAN AC||AU|
|1984||"All I Need"||2||1||3||1||93||All I Need|
|1985||"Lady of My Heart"||76||—||—||—||—|
|"Too Young"||52||15||—||4||—||Lighting Up The Night|
|1986||"Love Can Take Us All The Way" (with Valerie Carter)||—||15||—||—||—|
|1987||"Weatherman Says"||67||—||—||—||—||Don't Give Up Your Day Job|
|2012||"Will The Rain Fall Down"||—||—||—||—||—||Non-album single|
Although Wagner had been playing the guitar since he was 14, his initial audition for the role of "Frisco Jones" on General Hospital with producer Gloria Monty did not include any singing. Wagner had five auditions with ABC before ultimately winning the role of "Frisco Jones". His final audition in 1983 included performing the Kenny Loggins song "Wait a Little While." ABC musical honcho Kelli Ross hooked Wagner up with her good friend in legendary producer Quincy Jones who oversaw his initial 5 song EP "All I Need". Eventually, they would release a full ten song LP of "All I Need" once the song "All I Need" began to rise the charts. Quincy Jones protégés Glen Ballard and Clif Magness produced Wagner's first two albums on Qwest Records/Warner Brothers. Wagner's singing talents led him to appearances on American Bandstand, Solid Gold, Soul Train and The Merv Griffin Show.
Eventually, his musical theater talent led to the title role(s) in a Broadway run of Jekyll & Hyde, making him the first celebrity casting. Wagner has stated this was "a role of a lifetime" and performing the dual characters on Broadway was his most fulfilling professional experience. Wagner says "the role I had the most fun playing, TV-wise, would be Dr. Peter Burns (Melrose Place). He was sort of an evil character who could redeem himself. Theatrically, it was when I played Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in Jekyll & Hyde on Broadway." He also appeared in a national theatre tour in 1987 in the role of Tony in West Side Story, and a national tour of Grease in 1988.
While he toured as a rock/pop performer in concert consistently from 1985–1988, Wagner did not perform in the 1990s except for an occasional benefit appearance. In 2005, Wagner resumed performing in concert sporadically. His more recent concerts have included a diverse blend of songs from his own catalog, cover songs from artists such as Neil Young, Lindsey Buckingham, and Paul McCartney, and originals.
In 2014, Wagner released the full-length release "On the Porch". A notable song from this release was the fan-favorite "The Right Key", which made its debut on General Hospital in 1989. He made a music video for "Driving Miss Daisy" which premiered on YouTube.
Wagner was married to actress Kristina Wagner, who played opposite him on General Hospital as his love interest Felicia Cummings. After marital troubles they filed for divorce twice; it was finalized in 2006. The Wagners have two sons, Peter (born 1990) and Harrison (born 1994). Wagner began dating his Melrose Place love interest Heather Locklear in 2007; they became engaged in August 2011. Wagner said of his relationship with Locklear and the prospect of marriage: "[W]e're not rushing into anything - we're really focusing on being good parents." The couple called off their engagement on November 15, 2011.
In November 2011, Jack met his 23-year-old daughter, Kerry, for the first time at a concert in Florida. Kerry had been placed for adoption at birth by her birth mother and had recently hired a private investigator to find both of her biological parents. This was the subject of Wagner's "personal story" in his Dancing with the Stars performance on April 2, 2012.
Wagner is an avid golfer and is ranked as one of the leading celebrity golfers. He is the only non-professional athlete to have won the American Century Celebrity Golf Classic, the annual competition to determine the best golfers among American sports and entertainment celebrities. Wagner first won the event in 2006 and repeated as champion in 2011, when he bested Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo . Wagner also won the Missouri junior college championship in 1980, and at one point considered a career in pro golf. He has a Celebrity Golf Classic named after him that raises funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Wagner created the event to support the Society's mission to cure such cancers as leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease, and myeloma, and to improve the quality of life of patients and their families. The Golf Classic raised more than $600,000 in its first two years to fund critical cancer research and patient services.
- Wagner hosted the Miss Universe Pageant twice: in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1998; and in Chaguaramas, Trinidad and Tobago in 1999.
- Wagner is a regular competitor at the American Century Golf Classic, the annual competition to determine the best golfers among American sports and entertainment celebrities. He won the tournament in 2006 and 2011 and has a total of nineteen top ten finishes. The tournament, televised by NBC in July, is played at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course in Lake Tahoe.
Selected Stage Work Highlights
- Butterfly - Pink (1987) East Haddam Playhouse, Connecticut
- West Side Story - Tony (1987) National Touring Company
- Grease - Danny Zuko (1988) National Touring Company
- They're Playing Our Song (1992) Long Beach Civic Light Opera, California
- Jekyll & Hyde - Dr. Henry Jekyll / Edward Hyde (2000) Broadway
- "'Dancing With the Stars' Season 14 Cast Revealed". Yahoo.com. Retrieved February 28, 2012.
- "With the Hit 'All I Need' Jack Wagner Gives Birth to a Rock Career on TV's General Hospital". people.com. 1984-12-17. Retrieved 2009-10-18.
- "Heather Locklear and Jack Wagner are Engaged!". Extra. August 12, 2011.
- Kroll, Dan J. (March 20, 2005). "Wagners headed back to divorce court". The Bold and the Beautiful News. Soapcentral. Archived from the original on September 7, 2008. Retrieved September 30, 2009.
- Salamone, Gina (2009-08-21). "Heather Locklear in talks to move back to 'Melrose Place'; would reprise role from original show". New York: New York Post.com. Retrieved 2009-10-18.
- "Rep: Heather Locklear "Is Not Engaged"". US Magazine.com. 2009-06-18. Retrieved 2009-10-18.
- Raftery, Liz (November 24, 2011). "Jack Wagner reunites with long lost daughter". CNN. Retrieved November 26, 2011.
- "Former Co-Stars Confirm They're Dating!". Soaps In Depth. Bauer Media Group. May 15, 2013. Retrieved May 15, 2013.