With a passionate work ethic, versatile prowess and an insatiable sense of humor and charm, Jill Wagner is the American Girl who’s established herself as a widely recognizable actress and television personality. Her diverse body of work combined with a rapidly growing fan base has demonstrated her appeal to a broad range of audiences who can easily relate to her approachable wit and down-to-earth personality.
There are few who’ve been able to successfully transition between acting and hosting duties, but Wagner has broken down barriers with her inherent ability to do both. For three seasons was the host of the INSP TV series, “Handcrafted America,” where she traveled the country in search of talented artisans who continue to make sought-after, contemporary products the traditional way – with their own two hands. Wagner’s enthusiasm and unique style of getting to the heart of the story and personalities behind some of America’s most skilled workers is a big reason why the series has been successful.
Hosting is nothing new for the beautiful, North Carolina native. Wagner spent seven seasons on ABC’s hit reality series “Wipeout,” where she regularly interviewed and encouraged contestants competing on the world’s largest obstacle course.
On the acting front, Wagner recently appeared in the breakout independent film Braven, in which she starred opposite Jason Momoa (“Game of Thrones,” Aquaman). She also starred in MTV’s hit series “Teen Wolf” as Kate Argent, one of the main antagonists of the show’s first and fourth seasons. After her success on the series, she was asked to host the after-show titled, “Wolf Watch.”
Born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Wagner and her brother were raised by their grandmother and father, a former U.S. Marine and local tire shop owner. She attended North Carolina State University, where she graduated Cum Laude with a degree in Business.
Family is very important to Wagner and she regularly chooses family-themed projects based upon her grandmother’s recommendations. When not filming or pursuing new career aspirations, she regularly travels home to North Carolina, where her grandmother continues to be a driving force in her life. Because of her family ethic, Wagner has done such films as Hallmark Channel’s “Autumn Dreams,” the highly rated “Christmas Cookies,” “A Harvest Wedding,” “Karen Kingsbury’s Maggie’s Christmas Miracle,” “Pearl in Paradise” “Christmas in Evergreen: Letters to Santa,” “Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses,” “Christmas in Evergreen: Tidings of Joy,” and most recently, “Hearts of Winter.” In 2019, Wagner starred as a crime-solving English professor opposite Kristoffer Polaha in the new Hallmark Movies & Mysteries franchise “Mystery 101.” Since then the two have starred together in “Mystery 101: Dead Talk,” “Mystery 101: Playing Dead,” “Mystery 101: Words Can Kill and “Mystery 101: An Education in Murder.”
Actively involved in giving back, Wagner has paid homage to her father and other military veterans by traveling overseas to such places as Afghanistan to support our troops. In addition, her charitable involvement as a spokesperson for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as well as her own Jill’s Closet for a Cure campaign has raised tens of thousands of dollars to help find a cure for a disease that has touched the lives of so many, including her own family.
Fans still recognize Wagner from her time as the spokesperson for Lincoln-Mercury, where her popular television commercials were an effective campaign tool for the brand, and also her widespread recognition within American households.
Wagner first made her mark in Hollywood when she was cast as the first female, regular sketch performer on MTV’s hit series “Punk’d” opposite Ashton Kutcher. Some of her memorable appearances included the “punking” of such celebrities as Katie Holmes, Usher and Tommy Lee.
On the big screen, Wagner made a sensational horror debut starring in the award-winning feature, Splinter, opposite Shea Whigham (“Boardwalk Empire”). The film is a disturbing yet masterfully crafted horror feature where Wagner showcased her ability to carry top billing in a feature film and it earned her a cult following.
As an actively involved woman who’s dedicated herself to a regular fitness regime, Wagner often says, “There’s nothing better than cranking some classic rock in my headphones and hiking up a mountain.” But whether she’s climbing a mountain or taking on new challenges as one of Hollywood’s most dynamic and versatile artists, this all-American girl’s message remains the same: “It’s the view from the top that makes it all worthwhile.”