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Pieces of My Heart: A Life

by Robert J. Wagner

Robert J. Wagner's autobiography covers over 60 years as an actor. He tells stories of his career in various media and his many personal relationships, including marriages to Natalie Wood. Adult Content.

Pieces of My Heart: A Life

by Robert J. Wagner Scott Eyman

In this moving memoir, Robert J. Wagner opens his heart to share the romances, the drama, and the humor of an incredible life He grew up in Bel Air next door to a golf course that changed his life. As a young boy, he saw a foursome playing one morning featuring none other than Fred Astaire, Clark Gable, Randolph Scott, and Cary Grant. Seeing these giants of the silver screen awed him and fueled his dreams of becoming a movie star. Battling a revolving door of boarding schools and a father who wanted him to forget Hollywood and join the family business, sixteen-year-old Wagner started like any naÏve kid would-walking along Sunset Boulevard, hoping that a producer or director would notice him. Under the mentorship of stars like Spencer Tracy, he would become a salaried actor in Hollywood's studio system among other hot actors of the moment such as his friends Rock Hudson and Tony Curtis. Working with studio mogul Darryl Zanuck, Wagner began to appear in a number of films alongside the most beautiful starlets-but his first love was Barbara Stanwyck, an actress twice his age. As his career blossomed, and after he separated from Stanwyck, he met the woman who would change his life forever, Natalie Wood. They fell instantly and deeply in love and stayed together until the stress of their careers-hers marching upward, his inexplicably deflating-drove them to divorce. Trying to forget the pain, he made more movies and spent his time in Europe with the likes of Steve McQueen, Sophia Loren, Peter Sellers, Laurence Olivier, David Niven, Liz Taylor, and Joan Collins. He would meet and marry the beautiful former model and actress Marion Marshall. Together they had a daughter and made their way back to America, where he found himself at the beginning of a new era in Hollywood-the blossoming of television. Lew Wasserman and later Aaron Spelling would work with Wagner as he produced and starred in some of the most successful programs in history. Despite his newfound success, his marriage to Marion fell apart. He looked no further than Natalie Wood, for whom he still pined. To the world's surprise, they fell in love all over again, this time more deeply and with maturity. As she settled into a domestic life, raising their own daughter, Courtney, as well as their children from previous marriages, Wagner became the sole provider, reaping the riches of television success. Their life together was cut tragically short, though, when Wood died after falling from their yacht. For the first time, Wagner writes about that tremendously painful time. After a serious bout with depression, he finally resurfaced and eventually married Jill St. John, who helped keep his family and his fractured heart together. With color photographs and never-before-told stories, this is a quintessentially American story of one of the great sons of Hollywood.

You Must Remember This

by Robert J. Wagner Scott Eyman

The legendary actor and bestselling author of Pieces of My Heart offers a nostalgic look at Hollywood's golden age For millions of movie lovers, no era in the history of Hollywood is more beloved than the period from the 1930s through the 1950s, the golden age of the studio system. Not only did it produce many of the greatest films of the American cinema, but it was then that Hollywood itself became firmly established as the nation's ultimate symbol of glamour and style, its stars almost godlike figures whose dazzling lives were chronicled in countless features in magzazines like Photoplay and Modern Screen. While these features were a standard part of the work of studio publicity departments, they told eager readers little about what life was really like for these celebrities once they stepped out of the public eye. No one is better qualified to tell that story than Robert Wagner, whose own career has spanned more than five decades and whose New York Times bestseller, Pieces of My Heart, was one of the most successful Hollywood memoirs in recent years. You Must Remember This is Wagner's intimate ode to a bygone time, one of magnificent homes, luxurious hotels, opulent night-clubs and restaurants, and unforgettable parties that were all part of the Hollywood social scene at its peak. From a dinner party at Clifton Webb's at which Judy Garland sang Gershwin at the piano to golf games with Fred Astaire, from Jimmy Cagney's humble farmhouse in Coldwater Canyon to the magnificent beach mansion built by William Randolph Hearst for Marion Davies, from famous restaurants like the Brown Derby and Romanoff's to nightspots like the Trocadero and the Mocambo, Wagner shares his affectionate memories and anec¬dotes about the places and personalities that have all become part of Hollywood legend. As poignant as it is revealing, You Must Remember This is Wagner's account of Hollywood as he saw it, far from the lights and cameras and gossip columns--and a tender farewell to the people of a mythical place long since transformed, and to a golden age long since passed.

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