Book Talk: Actor Robert Wagner on his long career in Hollywood

Thu Apr 10, 2014 5:05am EDT
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By Billy Cheung

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Six years after releasing his best-selling autobiography, veteran actor Robert Wagner recalls his early years and favorite haunts in Hollywood in a new memoir, "You Must Remember This."

The book, written with Scott Eyman, chronicles not only Wagner's favorite places as he gained fame as a television and film actor but also the historical development of Hollywood and greater Los Angeles prior to becoming a movie-star destination.

Known for his boyish good looks and charm, Wagner, 84, was nominated for four Golden Globe awards for the "Hart to Hart" TV series that ran from 1979 to 1984. He also appeared in a long list of films from the early 1950s through the "Austin Powers" movies into 2002.

He is married to actress Jill St John. Wagner's former wife, "West Side Story" actress Natalie Wood, drowned in 1981 at the age of 43. Wagner recounted the events leading to her death in his autobiography "Pieces of My Heart: A Life."

He spoke to Reuters about the motivation and timing of his latest book and the contrasts between modern and the "Golden Age" of movie making.

Q: How did you choose the title "You Must Remember This"?

A: "You Must Remember This" is a lyric from the song "As Times Goes By" written by Herman Hupfeld in the 1930s. The song was made famous in (the film) "Casablanca."

Q: What prompted you to write the book?   Continued...

Actor Robert Wagner arrives at the world premiere of the 40th anniversary restoration of the film "Cabaret" during the opening night gala of the 2012 TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood, California April 12, 2012. REUTERS/Fred Prouser