If things had gone a little differently for Ingo Rademacher, we’d be seeing a lot more of him — everything that’s not covered by a loincloth, in fact. “Before I go my role on GENERAL HOSPITAL, I was up for TARZAN, a miniseries that’s coming out,” he explains. “It was down between two of us and I met with the producers twice. It would have been a series like the guy who is doing HERCULES.”
Luckily for GH fans, Rademacher has been traveling by private plane as jet-setting Jax and wooing Brenda instead of swinging from vines in search of Jane. “I’m equally happy for be playing Jax,” he insists. “There’s no limits to this guy. He’s fantastic.” No kidding — since his auspicious arrival, Jax has married Brenda, jump-started Lois and Ned’s relationship and become a fan favorite in a remarkably short period of time. “I’m doing whatever I want with him,” beams Rademacher. “The writers are having a really good time with this character because he’s an interesting sort of guy. There’s always a bit of mystery there.”
When the GH writers are ready to fill in the blanks in Jax’s past, they could steal a page or two from Rademacher’s life. After a “great” childhood in Germany, where he was a skiing champion at age 8 and professional equestrian in jumping and dressage, Ingo’s parents uprooted Ingo and sister Anne to Australia, where the family lived on a 400-acre farm, complete with cattle and angora goats.
Next stop: Sydney, where modeling led to a successful stint on the surf and sand soap, PARADISE BEACH. When the show finished its run, Rademacher emptied his piggy bank traveling back and forth to the U.S. for auditions. “I just kept auditioning and living off my savings,” he says. “I spent all that money, everything. I didn’t have to work, which was really good. I spent a lot of money setting myself up, flying back and forth, though. I don’t see how I Could have handled a job and done three or four auditions a day.”
The summons from GH put a halt to Rademacher’s wayfaring lifestyle, but being daytime’s newest sensation does have its drawbacks. “It’s not as easy to play as the stuff I used to on the last show,” he admits. “In a way, it’s been really stressful. The last four weeks, every day it’s been crazy. I started building this headache by the second week and it doesn’t go away. I can’t wait to have a week off.”
Time off for Rademacher means sports. Not watching them, playing them. A lot. Volleyball, swimming, kayaking, running, surfing and skiing round out his fitness program; he’s also raced motorbikes in Australia (he was sponsored by Honda) and raced sailboats. And he’s a certified lifeguard. “I love competing, it’s great,” he grins. “You work out all day and you come home and you lay in bed at night and you’ve got this big smile on your face because you’re that tired.”
Too tired, evidently, to search for a Mrs. Rademacher. In between working with his acting coach, keeping in shape and studying scripts, the actor doesn’t have much time for a social life. “I’m not really dating,” he admits. “I’ve gone out with women friends, to the movies or whatever, occasionally. I stay home a lot.”
Not that he doesn’t squeeze in some fun here and there. Rademacher got his first taste of soap stardom, American-style, on a recent trip to Las Vegas. “I had never been there before, and it was the first time I had ever really been out in public [since starting GH],” he laughs. “It’s amazing how many people watch the show and how many people knew who I was. I felt like I was home again doing the show there, considering how many people recognized me. I had no idea GH had such a big audience. As soon as we arrived in town, someone looked into the convertible we were in and said, ‘Oh, Jax!’ and I said, ‘Oh, boy, we’re in for a night, aren’t we?’”
Night, shmight — if he chooses, Rademacher’s “in for” the kind of enduring popularity that many American actors would kill for … if his homesickness for Australia doesn’t send him packing. But Rademacher insists that for now, at least, he’s staying put. “I do like L.A.,” he smiles. “It’s really growing on me. Everything I want is here at the moment.”
JUST THE FACTS
Birthday: April 22
Originally From: Iselohm-Letmathe, West Germany
On His Name: “Ingo doesn’t mean anything; it’s a German name. Rademacher means ‘wheel maker.’ I guess we invented the wheel, huh?
In His Dressing Room, He Listens To: The Legends Of The Fall sound track
He Lives Next-Door To: Mike Newman, the real-life lifeguard on BAYWATCH
Best Quality? “People always say they like my eyes.”
Worst Quality? “I have to think about this. I’m quite happy the way I am.”
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