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Lindsay Wagner is an actress and activist known for her portrayal of Jamie Sommers on TV's The Bionic Woman.
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In a two-part episode titled "The Bionic Woman," Wagner played ex-tennis player Jamie Sommers, Steve Austin's childhood sweetheart, who is injured in a skydiving accident. Austin attempts to rescue Sommers by outfitting her with bionic parts similar to his own, but her body rejects the parts and she dies at the end of the episode.
"The Bionic Woman" struck a cord with viewers,
and Universal received mountains of fan mail begging for her return. Resigning Wagner for a salary ten times her original contract, Universal revived her character for another series of episodes. (In a slightly awkward plot twist, the writers contrived to explain that Sommers did not actually die but was cryogenically frozen until a cure for her ailments could be discovered). In 1976, Wagner's character received her own spin-off show, The Bionic Woman, which ran for three seasons and garnered Wagner an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.
Propelled to iconic status by her role as The Bionic Woman, Wagner went on to a long and successful acting career. Some of her highlights include Nighthawks (1980), co-starring Sylvester Stallone; Callie and Son (1981) with Michelle Pfeiffer; and a host of Bionic reunion movies with Lee Majors. In total, Wagner has appeared in over 40 TV movies, five miniseries, and 12 feature films.
A longtime vegan and student of holistic medicine, in the late 1980s Wagner turned to writing and co-authoring books on health and beauty: Lindsay Wagner's New Beauty: The Acupressure Facelift (1987), 30-Day Natural Facelift Program (1988), and The High Road to Health: A Vegetarian Cookbook (1990). In 1993, Wagner joined the board of directors of Teen Talking Circles (formerly the Daughters and Sisters Project), a nonprofit that helps young people make the transition to adulthood. In 2004, she co-founded the Peacemakers Community, a group dedicated to preventing domestic violence.
Wagner has been married four times. She has two sons, Dorian (born 1982) and Alex (born 1986) with her third husband, stuntman Henry Kingi, whom she met on the set of The Bionic Woman. While continuing to act (mostly in low-profile TV movies), Wagner also travels the United States and Europe leading a series of workshops and retreats. Her program, called "Lindsay Wagner's Quiet the Mind & Open the Heart Experiential Workshops and Retreats," seeks to "awaken the joy, compassion, creativity and loving nature that is naturally within us."
While her career pursuits have been varied—acting, writing, counseling and leading retreats—Wagner says her entire life has a single purpose: "It's about sharing," she says. "You just give what you have to give wherever you go, and you let God handle the rest."
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