Hart To Hart star Robert Wagner, 93, shares his sister Mary Jane has died: ‘While she is no longer in pain, she will be terribly missed’
Hollywood icon Robert Wagner had some sad family news to share on Sunday.
The 93-year-old TV and movie actor – who was best known for his series Hart To Hart – shared that his sister Mary Jane had died.
In an Instagram post he shared flashback photos of his sibling in her youth and in more recent years.
‘Today is a very hard day. Early this morning, my sister, Mary, passed away,’ Wagner – who was wed to the late film star Natalie Wood twice – began his note.
‘While she is no longer in pain, she will be terribly missed. Please keep her children and grandchildren in your thoughts,’ he added.
The Colorado resident added hashtags for Love My Sister, Forever Loved, Rest in Peace and Family.
A sad farewell: Hollywood icon Robert Wagner had some sad family news to share on Sunday. The 93-year-old TV and movie actor – who was best known for his series Hart To Hart – shared that his sister Mary Jane had died
The star: Wagner seen in October 2019 in LA, left, and with Stefanie Powers on their hit TV series Hart To Hart in the 1980s
Wagner is best known for his role on the 80s smash hit series Hart To Hart with co-star Stefanie Powers.
He also made several films like The Pink Panther and Austin Powers. And he appeared on the shows Two And A Half Men and NCIS.
Robert and Mary grew up in the car town of Detroit, Michigan to Norwegian parents Thelma Hazel Alvera, a telephone operator, and Robert John Wagner, Sr, a travelling salesman who worked for the Ford Motor Company.
The handsome matinee idol was also known for being wed to West Side Story star Natalie Wood twice: from 1957 until 1962 and again from 1972 until 1981 when she died near Catalina, California after falling out of her dingy.
He has been married to Natalie’s friend Jill St John since 1990.
In 2020 Wagner appeared in a documentary from HBO about Wood overseen by her daughter Natasha Gregson-Wagner.
The film is titled Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind and included footage from the actress’ second wedding to Robert Wagner but also interviews from Wagner, Robert Redford and Mia Farrow.
Wagner spoke for the first time on camera about Natalie’s death in 1981 at the age of 43. When Natasha asks him if the case of her drowning should be reopened, he says: ‘I don’t think there’s a day that has ever gone by that I don’t think about Natalie.’
Heartbreaking: In an Instagram post he shared flashback photos of his sibling in her youth and in more recent years. ‘Today is a very hard day’
More on this: He said, ‘Early this morning, my sister, Mary, passed away,’ Wagner began his note
Wood and Wagner were married in 1957 and stayed together for four years before divorcing.
They went on to each marry other people and have more children before eventually reconciling then marrying again in 1972.
Natasha is heard saying in the movie that ‘RJ was the love of her life.’ Robert’s nickname is RJ.
There is a collection of personal photographs and home movies of Natalie, some of which Gregson Wagner discovered in her family’s storage unit.
A loving tribute to a Hollywood goddess: Natalie Wood was the subject of an HBO documentary Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind which was released in 2020
His love: Wagner, who was married to Wood twice, spoke for the first time on camera about Natalie’s death in 1981 at the age of 43; seen in 1970
Front and center: The veteran actor was seen on camera with his daughter
Face to face: Natasha is seated opposite Robert as they talk their family’s tragedy from 40 years ago
Never-before seen footage of Wood’s second wedding to Wagner was discovered.
There is also a never-published article for Ladies Home Journal that Wood wrote in 1966. She addresses her thoughts on fame, affairs of the heart and family.
‘The day my mom died, my entire world was shattered,’ Wood’s daughter Natasha says in the trailer.
She was only 11 when her mother was found dead on the shores of Catalina Island in California in 1981.
There have been conspiracy theories ever since about how she died, but the film does not dig into that as her daughter wanted to focus more on her mom’s life rather than her death.
‘Since then there’s been so much focus on how she died that it’s overshadowed who she was as a person,’ added Natasha.
This film weaves excerpts from Wood’s filmography with archival material, including extensive family photos, diaries, never-before-seen home movies and audio recordings.
Born to Russian immigrant parents in San Francisco, Wood was barely five years old when she appeared in her first films, Tomorrow Is Forever and Miracle On 34th Street.
The early years: ‘I don’t think there’s a day that has ever gone by that I don’t think about Natalie,’ Wagner says in the clip. Seen in the 1960s
She went on to receive three Academy Award nominations for the movies Rebel Without A Cause, Splendor In The Grass and Love With The Proper Stranger.
Her most popular film is 1961’s West Side Story in which she played Maria; a remake is in the works.
Robert Redford spoke about Natalie in the new docu as she was the one who got him his break in the 1965 movie Inside Daisy Clover.
George Hamilton talked about how professional she was, Mia Farrow touched on her role as a mother.
The movie, which had its World Premiere at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, is directed by Laurent Bouzereau and produced by Gregson Wagner.
Wood’s sister, Lana, did not want to participate in the film, telling Bouzereau to let Natasha know, ‘I completely understand she also wishes to keep her pain and her family’s at a minimum.’
Lana was involved , however, with the 12-part podcast Fatal Voyage: The Mysterious Death of Natalie Wood, which looked at Natalie’s death.
‘I am not making judgments,’ she told the New York Times.
‘I am not supposing. I’m not doing any of those things. I’m simply looking at facts. Natalie didn’t swim. Her fear of dark water was deeply ingrained.’
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