Pieces of My Heart

Pieces of My Heart

Language: English

Pages: 326

ISBN: 0061373311

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The New York Times bestseller Pieces of My Heart is the revelation-filled memoir from one of Hollywood’s most talented actors, Robert J. Wagner. He offers readers a candid and deeply personal look at his life and career, from his rise to stardom among legends like Cary Grant and Barbara Stanwyck to his troubled marriage, divorce, and remarriage to starlet Natalie Wood. With color photographs and never-before-told stories, this is a quintessentially American, remarkably candid story of one of the great sons of Hollywood.



















starring in shows like Sunny and Irving Berlin’s As Thousands Cheer. Clifton and Mabelle were completely devoted to each other; Clifton would dance with her at parties. She was outrageous and would order Clifton around. “We are going to sit here,” she would announce, “and then we are going to move over there.” Mabelle was always at the head of the table, and Clifton was very respectful of her, although he had his eccentricities as well: he had an African gray parrot he would wrap in a napkin and

her, she was getting into a car and the man helping her slammed the door. It blew out her eardrum. Just thinking about Elizabeth’s physical troubles is exhausting; I can’t imagine what it must be like to have to live with them. In any case, this was a period when I was enjoying my freedom. I first saw Anita Ekberg when she came to RKO as a starlet. This was long before Federico Fellini made her, Marcello Mastroianni, and the Trevi Fountain immortal in La Dolce Vita. I took one look at Anita and

business. Greg was my lawyer, and a good one, but he was a very volatile man—a couple of drinks and he was off to the races. Booze made Greg pugnacious, and he’d take a swing at anybody. Between the women and the liquor, Greg was not your typical lawyer. Somewhere in here was a guest bit in a silly picture called Mardi Gras, which was only notable as the last movie directed by Edmund Goulding, who was, shall we say, an interesting man: a married, gay, former boxing champion. The year 1959

the trough I had fallen into, and I knew it. My insecurities were mounting, as were our disagreements. We argued. We made up. We argued again. I would give Natalie gifts to apologize for the argument, and then we would argue again. And the pressure mounted. It had gotten to the point where we were almost never alone. There was always an agent on the phone, or the studio, or a publicist. Everybody was fluttering around trying to keep her together; she was very nervous, and all of this was taking

knew my lines. As Spencer Tracy told me more than a half-century ago, don’t worry about anything but the scene. I extrapolated that to the big picture. From focusing on the scene, I focused on the job, then I focused on the next job. Beyond anything else, I loved the business, and I loved working. And I don’t think people understand how important behavioral choices—not being an asshole, showing up on time, knowing your lines—are to sustaining a career. It’s easy to go from job to job when you’re

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