Ty Hardin was born Orison Whipple Hungerford, Jr. on New Year's Day, 1930, in New York City. He went to live with his grandparents on a farm outside Austin, Texas. It was there he acquired the nickname "Ty" from his grandmother who described him "like a Texas typhoon coming through the house".
After Ty graduated from High School he went on to attend College on a football scholarship. He joined the Army and attended Officer's Candidate School at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. As a Second Lieutenant, Ty went to flight school in San Marcos, Texas, where he learned to fly light L-19 aircraft known as the "Birddog". After achieving the rank of First Lieutenant, he served three years overseas during the Korean war.
After being Honorably discharged from military service, he studied electrical engineering at Texas A&M where he received another football scholarship and played tight end under the coaching of legendary Bear Bryant. He left college two weeks before graduation to take a job with Douglas Aircraft in Santa Monica, CA where he worked as an acoustical research engineer.
Six months later, Ty walked into Western Costume Co. on Santa Monica Blvd., to rent a costume for a Halloween party and changed his life forever. It was there he was "discovered" by Milton Lewis, a talent scout for Paramount Pictures. After meeting with the president of Paramount he given a screen test and offered a seven-year contract.
After appearing in six films at Paramount, Ty went to see John Wayne at Batjac Productions and The Duke was instrumental in getting him in to see Howard Hawks and Bill Orr at Warner Bros. It was Bill Orr, son-in-law to Jack Warner, who bought out his contract from Paramount and changed his name to Hardin after the notorious outlaw John Wesley Hardin.
At Warner Bros. he became known as the Texas cowboy with his own series, BRONCO that was a spin-off from THE CHEYENNE SHOW. It was an action-packed series and Ty, who knew his way around horses, did most of his own stunts. The series ran for four years as one of the top ten in the nation.
Since then TY has made many guests appearances at Western festivals, TV shows, along with various films.