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At 93, Robert Wagner Breaks His Silence on Natalie Wood’s Death

Robert Wagner is an acting legend, with a career that has spanned seven decades. He’s been in an array of notable films and TV shows, and is considered one of the top stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Yet he is also known as being a suspect in the bizarre death of his wife, actress Natalie Wood. The events of that night have haunted Wagner in the decades since it happened, and no one has been able to pinpoint exactly what happened. Wagner has claimed all along that he had nothing to do with Wood’s death, and for many years he was not considered a suspect. Yet in more recent years he’s gone from being not involved in the case, to being declared a ‘person of interest’ in 2018. While he still maintains his innocence, there are still so many unanswered questions regarding Wood’s untimely death. In this video, we’re taking a look at the rare times when Wagner has spoken about his late wife, as well as some of the highlights of his illustrious career. Join Facts Verse, as we present: At 93, Robert Wagner Breaks His Silence on Natalie Wood’s Death

On February 10th of this year, Robert Wagner turned 93 years old, and he celebrated in part by posting a heartfelt video on Instagram. In it, it thanks his friends, family, and especially his many fans for making the occasion extra special. With his adorable dog in his lap, he thanked people who had sent him birthday wishes from around the globe. Clad in a snazzy blue sweater from Ralph Lauren, the actor talked about how he was spending his big day at his home in Aspen, Colorado with his daughters, granddaughter, and his son-in-law. And if he is troubled by his continued association with the death of his wife, he certainly wasn’t showing it in the video. Wagner appeared as happy as ever, and excited to be celebrating his birthday, despite being a nonagenarian.

Wagner’s Memoir

In the many years since Natalie Wood’s strange death, Robert Wagner has kept fairly quiet about it, other than to assure his fans (and the police) that he had nothing to do with her passing. But in 2016, he published a memoir called, “I Loved Her in the Movies: Memories of Hollywood’s Legendary Actresses.” And while it wasn’t strictly about the incident with Natale Wood, he did speak about his late wife, and the hole left in his left when she perished. The book was an expansive look at his life and career, told through the lens of meeting, working with, or dating some of the top women in Hollywood over the years. These included big names like Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe, in addition to Wood. He included Wood’s influence in his statement that “they made an imprint on me and on all of our lives.” And clearly Wood made a huge influence on Wagner’s life. They managed to get married not once, but twice. Of course, it’s less romantic when you consider that they had to get a divorce in order for the second marriage to happen. But the positive way to look at it is that their love was strong enough to last through a split like that. They were originally married in 1957, but things soured in 1962. So they split up and went their separate ways. However, it appears they were destined to try again, and ended up marrying again in 1972. This was less than a decade before Natalie’s tragic death in 1981, at age 43.

In the book, Wagner talked about what a complex person Natalie was. And yet, he claimed, there was something about motherhood that helped her find fulfillment in life. He wrote that it was a home run for her, and that Wood was utterly devoted to her daughters. These included Courtney Wagner, who was Robert and Natalie’s daughter, as well as Natasha Gregson Wagner, who was the daughter of Wood and Richard Gregson.

Natasha’s Documentary

Natasha Gregson Wagner, a successful actress in her own right, released a documentary in 2020 about her mom, and the mystery surrounding her death. It’s called Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind, and it was released on HBO. As she promoted the doc, she was consistently asked about Robert’s participation in it, which some found quite surprising. Natasha sang Wagner’s praises for agreeing to be involved in the documentary. It would likely have been a difficult topic to broach, even if the death hadn’t been under suspicious circumstances with Wagner living as a person of interest in a potential crime. But given those heightened circumstances, Natasha felt that Robert went above and beyond by agreeing to be in the doc. She talked about how courageous he is, and how his appearance in the documentary was full of transparency, elegance, and class. She even referred to Robert as one of the great loves of her life, saying he still moves her every day. And that he moved her, in particular, during the days they filmed the doc.

And while he isn’t her biological father, she still considers him her dad. And for good reason. After Natalie Wood died, it was agreed that Robert would continue to raise Natasha. Reportedly, Richard Gregson and Robert Wagner met up and thought it would be in young Natasha’s best interest to continue living with Robert. That way she’d also be with her sisters, and living in the same overall environment. Had she been forced to go live with her biological father, she’d have been forced to leave the rest of her family, and live in an entirely new location.

People Magazine Interview

As Robert’s memoir was being released, he and Natasha sat with People Magazine to talk about the book, Natalie, and other important topics from both of their lives. It was particularly notable in that Robert has not made a habit of talking too much about Natalie. But perhaps due to his memoir, and getting up there in years, Wagner has become more candid about Natalie and her death. He told People that he and his family were utterly shattered by Wood’s untimely death. As such, his bond with his children, and with Natasha in particular, grew immediately stronger in the wake of Natalie’s death. He’s particularly proud of how Natasha has flourished in the years since her mother’s passing, saying that from the get go, she’s been focused on making sure she tried to life a happy and fulfilling life. He also talked about the similarities she has with her late mother. He called Natalia a “very, very special and loving and caring person” and praised Natasha for having those same qualities. In particular he called out how great Natasha has been for her own daughter, Clover, as well as to her two step-sons. He even said that some of her physicality reminds him of Natalie. Said Wagner, “It’s not a continuous thing, just a moment, a turn, her hair, some kind of look. It’s quite extraordinary.”

The Book About Natalie

The documentary wasn’t the only product that Natasha helped create about her mom. She cowrote a book in 2016 called Natalie Wood: Reflections on a Legendary Life, that peeled back the layers of Natalie Wood’s life, including some family photos that hadn’t been seen before, and an essay that Wood wrote in 1966. It also included an intro by Robert. Wood’s essay focuses on her journey from a child star to a Hollywood A-lister, and how she struggled with it emotionally and psychologically. She delves into what it was like being the sole bread winner for her family as a child, and that she would have nightmares about the family not being able to eat if she didn’t land big jobs. She also talked about some of her biggest heartbreaks, such as losing her good friend James Dean. She co-starred with him in one of only three movies he was ever in – Rebel Without A Cause – and even then she worried about his wild lifestyle. She recalled being at a dinner talking with her friends about that, and then hours later finding out he’d died. She was naturally traumatized and incredibly sad.

Wood even wrote about her first marriage to Robert Wagner. At that point they’d been divorced for about 5 years, and hadn’t gotten remarried. But perhaps she gave some foreshadowing of the fact that they’d get back tighter. Because she talked about how divorce papers don’t’ make you feel differently about someone you love. Wood wrote that the love doesn’t vanish after divorce, but that there’s a mutual sadness in the failures you both went through.

And ominously, she wrote about how some of the best times she and Wagner had were aboard his boat. This was a bizarre coincidence, considering it was on that same boat that she spent her final night. She talked about how being on his yacht, sailing to Catalina Island, were among the happiest moments of their marriage. She talked about how Wagner taught her about all the component of boating, like the radar, the fire extinguishers, and more. And, amazingly, she told a story about how she accidentally fell into the water outside Catalina one time, and that Wagner managed to fish her out. This was in stark contrast to her death, when no one was able to get her out of the water before she drowned.

Natalie Wood’s strange death is still an unsolved mystery. And it’s notable that, over the years, Robert Wagner has gone from being not a suspect, to being a person of interest. Only time will tell if that changes. But in the meantime, he maintains his innocence, and seems to be doing his best to enjoy his life with his family and friends.

Now it’s time to hear from you. Did you know that Wagner had been labeled a person of interest in Natalie’s death a few years ago? Let us know in the comments section below!

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