Saturday, April 20, 2013

Conversations with Robert Wagner

     We have been lucky enough to see and interview Robert Wagner three different times.  He has been my favorite actor since the 1960's when he starred in It Takes a Thief.  He was gracious, kind, and friendlier than our neighbors when he answered our questions and discussed his acting career.

     We asked him about his acting career and how his costars were chosen.  He proudly said that he selected Stephanie Powers for Hart to Hart and never regretted it for a minute.  He also said that Hart to Hart was filmed in Canada - money reasons - and that, by the time we saw him, the show had been canceled.  That time, we saw him in Love Letters at the Valley Forge Music Theater, a show that we saw before, also with Ms. Powers, and after, in Honolulu, at the Hawaii Theater, with Jill St. John (his wife).  At the first Love Letters show, Jill St. John stuck out her hand and introduced herself to us as Mrs. Wagner.  She also turned on more lights in the dressing room for a better photo.

     At the Valley Forge Music Fair, he took one look at our paper, The Main Line Life, and asked, "what's this about?  drugs?"  with that darling smile and twinkle in his eyes that no amount of lessons can teach.  Also, "terrific" and "beautiful" - his pronunciation of those words in It Takes a Thief, Two and a Half Men, and NCIS should be patented.

     In Hawaii, after the show, he introduced his high school theater coach and credited that man with the successes he had in show business.  As I said, nicer that some of our neighbors who insist on grabbing all the credit for themselves.

     I wish I had asked him about his grace and poise, especially in It Takes a Thief; although he still exhibits that quality in his occasional appearances in NCIS.  Some of his movements are right out of ballet, while others appear to be choreographed from fencing and wrestling.

     He read my first crime novel that takes place in Hawaii, Hula Kapu, one of four, and returned it to me with a note that said that it would be perfect for Hart to Hart but that show had been canceled.  He ended his letter with "I hope our paths will cross again."  So do I.  Oh well.  What could have been - and maybe still will be - if anybody is interested.

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