Monday, April 13, 2015


Ty Hardin, born Orison Whipple Hungerford, Jr. (born January 1, 1930), is a former American actor best known as the star of the 1958-1962 ABC western television series Bronco.

Though born in New York City, Ty was raised in Texas and, after military service during the Korean War, took some classes at Texas A&M. He then moved west to California and won some minor roles in B movies. When TV's Clint Walker insisted on improvements in his Cheyenne (1955) contract, Warner Brothers countered by bringing in Ty as a possible replacement. Soon, Ty had his own show, Bronco (1958), which ran from 1958 to 1962. From here, he moved into a brief flurry of film activity: Merrill's Marauders (1962) and The Chapman Report (1962) in 1962, PT 109 (1963), Wall of Noise (1963), and Palm Springs Weekend (1963) in 1963, and Battle of the Bulge (1965) in 1966. After this, Ty's career drifted off into a series of forgettable movies made in Europe and, later, he worked in Prescott, Arizona, as an evangelistic preacher. Though often dismissed as just a hunk of "beefcake" -- he did a lot of bare-chest scenes -- Ty displayed a flair for light comedy in The Chapman Report (1962) and showed dramatic potential in the underrated Wall of Noise (1963).


After his acting career faded away, Ty Hardin became a self-proclaimed "freedom fighter" in the 1970s, and led a radical right-wing group called The Arizona Patriots, an anti-Semitic/anti-immigrant/anti-black group with a penchant for stockpiling weapons and baiting public officials.

After a mid-'70s dispute with the IRS, Hardin opened a "tax protest" school called the Common Law Institute, which featured such materials as a "Patriot Handbook" containing "tested cases and methods to maintain good personal freedom." In 1983 and 1984 he edited "The Arizona Patriot", a monthly publication that consisted of diatribes against government officials, calls for "Christian patriots" to band together and reprints of articles from other anti-Semitic publications.

In 1986, following a two-year FBI undercover investigation, agents from the FBI and ATF raided an Arizona Patriot camp and confiscated a hoard of illegal weapons and publications from Aryan Nation groups and affiliates. Hardin left Arizona, and the group soon ceased to function.

1 comment:

  1. I have to confess that beyond recognizing Ty Hardin's name, I don't remember ever seeing him act, nor did I ever watch his TV series, Bronco, to the best of my recollection. I would surely have taken note if I had spotted him, because he's a very fine looking man... RobtheElder