29 december, 1957
How do you describe a man who has played both heels and heroes, jumped onto moving cars, ridden horses, performed stand-up comedy, been a professional sports mascot and a model... and is also a dedicated family man? In a word: versatile. Versatility has been the hallmark of actor Sam Ayers' life and career. Born in Youngstown, Ohio, and raised in Merrimack, New Hampshire, Samuel Bielich III -- Ayers is his mother's maiden name -- became the first varsity quarterback in the history of Merrimack High School and went on to become the first of his family to continue his education. Bielich attended Memphis State University, joining Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. He was named Lambda Chi Associate of the Year in 1976. While at Memphis State, Sam created a character for a fraternity skit -- a medicine man with a fur and a special hat. Sometime later, he donned the hat again and used it while performing for the crowd at a sports event, spelling the team's name out with his body. "Sam the Medicine Man" was born. Bielich parlayed his performance as "Sam the Medicine Man" into a paying job with the Memphis Chicks minor league baseball team and other teams. He eventually was hired as a mascot for the Texas Rangers. While in Texas he studied acting and got various jobs as an extra, including appearances on Dallas. He also did modeling jobs and a stint as the entertainment director for a cruise line, performing stand-up comedy for the passengers. Sam eventually moved to New York and began using Ayers professionally as his last name. He found recurring roles on several soap operas, before moving to Florida a few years later. He was hired as the lead for Universal Studios' Wild West Stunt Show and continued to appear in TV shows and films, as both an actor and stuntman. He also received roles in the theater. Ayers moved to Los Angeles permanently in 1995. In 1996, he was cast as "Sam the Sweeper" on the NBC series The Pretender, appearing in roughly half of the episodes during the show's four-year run on NBC. Sam married actress Robin Trapp in 1998; they welcomed daughter Alexis Ann into their family the following year. Currently Ayers continues to work in Los Angeles while also making time to spend with Robin and Alexis.