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'Bionic Woman's' Lindsay Wagner's 3rd Marriage Broke after Kids Became a 'Very Sensitive Issue'

Olawale Ogunjimi
May 29, 2022
07:40 A.M.
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"Bionic Woman" star Lindsay Wagner did not enjoy being raised in a perfect household. So during her third marriage, when the kids started coming, it was essential to give them all the attention. Sadly, this reasoning broke her marriage.


Fans of the actress would agree that Lindsay Wagner was the highlight of the classic series "Bionic Woman," as she thrilled them with outstanding acting, portraying the blonde bombshell Jaime Sommers, "the first female cyborg."

It was impossible not to fall in love with the sporty character who later became a government worker and an action woman.

Jaime (Lindsay Wagner) turned to Bigfoot and the aliens to save Steve's life. | Source: Getty Images


Since its debut, it has remained one of Wagner's significant roles, following her appearance in 1973's "The Paper Chase."

Wagner did not grow up with famous parents, nor did the LA native inherit acting genes. Her father, Bill Wagner, was a school photographer, while her mother, Marilyn Ball, worked as a building contractor and later, a production consultant.

However, she portrayed an astounding talent bridled by a wound from her childhood. Long before she thought of becoming an actress, Wagner was consumed by hurt as she became a product of a broken home at age 7, after her parents divorced.

Lindsay Wagner on November 05, 2019 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images


It was challenging coping as a young child, and it led to her bottling her emotions. Fortunately, she found a haven: while taking acting classes with James Best, an L.A teacher.

This happened by accident, as Wagner was a babysitter for Best. He had recommended that she take classes, and a short time later, she guest-starred in Lee Majors' series.

Wagner later branched into the fashion industry, working as a model signed to Nina Blanchard. Staying active was her way of life, and it did not matter the nature of the job.

Lindsay Wagner as Jaime Sommers, on "The Bionic Woman" | Source: Getty Images


Her other job descriptions included a cocktail waitress, a dress seller in a boutique, and regularly singing with a rock band.

It was not until she was 22 that the heavens smiled at her with a Universal deal that paid $162 weekly. A few years later, she became the real deal, showcasing one side of herself: determination, as Jaime Sommers.

While seeking fame, Wagner was also ready to build the life she never enjoyed as a child. The actress loved family, and by 1971, many years before her time on the scientific series, she was already a wife.



Actress Lindsay Wagner speaks at the 20th Century Superhero Legends Exhibit "Dedicated To Fighting Evil" Opening Night Ceremony on November 13, 2018. | Source: Getty Images

As a young, attractive, and successful woman, it was not difficult for Wagner to find a man as interested in her as she was in him. The actress was so dedicated to these relationships that they blossomed into marriages.


Her first wedding was to Allan Rider, a music publisher, in 1971. Unfortunately, their "till death do us part" vows were not so binding; the marriage ended after two years.

After appearing as Jaime, the on-screen diva met and fell in love with actor Michael Brandon. This time, the marriage stretched to nearly three years before they separated.

Alan Oppenheimer (Dr. Rudy Wells), Richard Anderson ((Oscar), Lindsay Wagner (Jamie Sommers), Lee Majors (Steve). | Source: Getty Images


At this point, Wagner was disappointed in marriages. Even though she moved on with producer Jack Haley Jr., she was convinced that sharing vows and committing to stick together on paper should never be a decision to rush into. According to her:

"I have been married too much at this point in my life. For me to settle down with anybody right now will be repeating history in a very dumb way…more pain than anything."


Steve (Lee Majors) attempted to restore Jaime's (Lindsay Wagner) memory by taking her back to their hometown on set of "The Return of the Bionic Woman, Part II." | Source: Getty Images


After more than fifty episodes, Wagner was worn out. She scripted the show's last episode in 1978 and admitted that she was losing coordination in her personal life.

As if that was not enough, she also dealt with health issues. She struggled with anemia and consumed medications that nearly damaged her hair. Her mental and physical energy also dwindled, affecting her credibility on the set of other productions.

Lindsay Wagner during "Indiana Jones Adventure" Disneyland Opening at Disneyland in Los Angeles, California, United States. | Source: Getty Images


Thankfully, Wagner recovered from the gruesome schedule of acting like a cyborg. But she almost did not reap the fruits of her labor.

The story would have been different if she had been on the American Airlines Flight 191 from Chicago to Los Angeles that crashed in May 1976. Thankfully, Wagner escaped death because she opted for a flight to Portland instead of an initial schedule on Flight 191.


Actress Lindsay Wagner poses for a portrait in 1982 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images


Wagner's third marriage was to Henry Kingi Sr. in 1981. The wedding was a private ceremony in their home, officiated by a justice of the peace. Also, this was Henry's second marriage.

Like Wagner, Henry was and still is rooted in acting. He is a man with an outstanding reputation for stunts, which earned him a spot as an inductee into the Hollywood Stuntmen's Hall of Fame. He has also amassed recognition following his features in over three hundred films and TV credits.

Their marriage began as a fairy tale, granting Wagner her wishes to become a mother and have a family. The former couple welcomed two sons, Alex and Dorian, but by 1984, they divorced.


American actress Lindsay Wagner plays with her son on the set of the film Martin's Day, directed by Alan Gibson. | Source: Getty Images

An insider revealed that one of the problems in their marriage was that Wagner tried to persuade her husband to retire from being a stuntman.


Despite the separation, the busy actress continued to thrive as a mother as she dedicated her time to nurturing her kids amid setting up rules to structure their lives.



Some of her special rules for her kids included never eating red meat and staying away from Mom's reruns of her old shows on TV. While speaking about one of the episodes of the "Bionic Woman" series, Wagner added:

"It's not a fantasy for them. They're looking at their mother with a gun to her head. I don't think that's very healthy."

Today, the boys have become exceptionally confident and brilliant men, as they take after their dad by starring in films. Alex has worked in "Tenet," "Blade Runner," and "Spiderman: Homecoming," while his brother has featured on "Antlers" and "Venom."



Lindsay Wagner during "Indiana Jones Adventure" Disneyland Opening at Disneyland in Los Angeles, California, United States. | Source: Getty Images

As expected, Wagner is beyond proud of her kids for turning out to be impressive people in society and choosing suitable careers to excel in. In her words:


"I'm blessed. I have really wonderful children and they're doing fine."

Lindsay Wagner with sons Dorian and Alex at The Hollywood Reporter and The Museum of Television and Radio's cocktail party in honor of TV's Greatest Hits. | Source: Getty Images

Apart from feeling genuinely happy about motherhood and how she influenced her kids, Wagner has used her string of talents, including public speaking and writing to inspire and tutor many.


She transitioned from being an actress to authoring life-saving books, where she shares her experience to impact others.

Lindsay Wagner at the 60th Anniversary Party For The Monte-Carlo TV Festival at Sunset Tower Hotel on February 05, 2020 in West Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images

The mother-of-two also enlightens people through motivational speaking. While she takes care of others through her works, the actress has not neglected herself.

Wagner looks refreshingly youthful at her age, and her big secret is, maintaining a balance and keeping a healthy spiritual lifestyle.