Jack Wagner is known for a lot of things in the 1980s. He was a soap opera star on General Hospital and a No. 1 hit singer.
Today, he’s helping the Will Smith Foundation raise tens of thousands of dollars for children’s charities in San Antonio.
In the shade of the Will Smith Foundation Amphitheater at the Witte Museum, Wagner reminisced about how his life was turned around when he got the role of Frisco on General Hospital.
“That was the real hey-day of that show, back in the early to mid-'80s ... through the Luke and Lauras, Frisco, Felicias, the Robert and Annas,” said Wagner.
He also had a No. 1 pop hit was was played often on the show. That acclaim translated to other roles on the Bold and the Beautiful, as well as Melrose Place.
Most remarkably, he transferred his talents late in life to Broadway in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, singing and dancing to critical acclaim.
When he’s not taking roles like that, he’s helping charities like the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, but admits he’s got a soft spot for kids.
“This particular charity is about raising money that is then distributed to other children's charities, so it's kind of a one-and-all, which is what I like about this," he says of the Will Smith Foundation, which was formed after the death of an 8-year-old child in 2007.
Will Smith’s mother, Susan Moulton, is a San Antonio resident, who formed the foundation as a way to provide a clearing house of funding for children’s charities of all sizes.
"We love being hands-on, but we love doing the fundraising and bringing awareness to these organizations. There are a lot of large organizations that have their own fundraising efforts. But there are some small ones, too," she explained.
She says their goal is to help these organizations do their work better, providing positive and impactful experiences for kids that might not get that chance otherwise.
It’s all in the same vein, as little Will Naylor Smith lived his short life, she says.
Friday night, the Will Smith Foundation is hosting a luau with Jack Wagner as the host in a major fundraising effort in San Antonio.
If you would like more information on how you can help in their mission, visit willsmithfoundation.org.