Born within earshot of Dallas, Texas, Jerry Hardin showed an early knack for the performing arts with a school acting and speaking career. He won a scholarship to Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, before later gaining a Fulbright scholarship; he then studied at the Royal Academy for Dramatic Art in London. For the next two years he embarked in a stage career in Europe, before making his film debut in "Thunder Road", while continuing a very successful theater career in the States.
Hardin soon became known in Hollywood as a talented, charismatic, and reliable character actor. He appeared in a number of classic films, including Reds, Missing, The Falcon and the Snowman, Big Trouble in Little China, The Milagro Beanfield War and Little Nikita. It was his work in The Firm, however, that convinced Chris Carter to cast him as Deep Throat, who became one of "The X-Files" most well-liked characters before his character's untimely death.
Hardin is still acting. He is married to actress and acting instructor Diane Hill, with his daughter, Melora, being an up-and-coming actress as well, and his son, Shawn, having been the chief operating officer for NBC-1 in San Francisco.