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A place to update and discuss facts surrounding the controversial, tragic death of legendary Hollywood film actress, wife and mother, Natalie Wood who drowned mysteriously Nov. 29, 1981 off Catalina Island. Thank you for visiting.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Robert Wagner on his love affair with Barbara Stanwyck - 12.13.08

This YouTube video of Wagner talking about his book in 2008 exposes a few things. The character of this man is important to the story in Goodbye Natalie because this is the man who continues to reveal not only an animosity to giving details of Natalie Wood's death, he actually creates stories to avoid the subject. A man married to Natalie Wood TWICE, IF she truly had accidentally drowned, would TALK about it, and not be on a stage talking about a May/December romance with Barbara Stanwyck, and become so emotionally affected over it 55 years later. There is ample evidence Wagner had nothing more than a brief fling, if that, with Stanwyck, and nothing near what he portends happened.

Here, and in most of his interviews, he talks about how Hollywood icons "helped him and taught him" and about "all he got from them and learned from them" - but he NEVER mentions anything about what he "got" from Natalie. Has anyone ever heard him talk about something he learned from Natalie in regards to career? He MARRIED one of Hollywood's best, a LEGEND in her own time, TWICE, but all his emotion and gratitude is for all those around him, BUT never Natalie! Sometimes he says, "She had a good run." He often credits her with being a great mother. Well, there are two daughters involved, so I suppose he must, as she WAS an excellent mother.

As with most of his kiss and tell "victims" in his book, they are not around to defend or verify his stories. He claims in this video to have come to title his book after becoming overly emotional remembering Barbara. Anyone with ANY sense knows this is ALL an act, 55 years later. In his book, this man gets more emotional over the late greats such as Spencer Tracy, his romance with Stanwyck, and the death of his dog more than he ever does about a tragic "ACCIDENTAL" death of a woman he married TWICE?

I was left with so many questions after reading "Pieces of My Heart" and all of them are VALID questions. The book is a scan of a life, and it is filled with PROVABLE lies. What's worse? People believe it.


  1. More: In a People magazine article way back when Wagner made 'There Must be a Pony' with Liz Taylor, both were interviewed and insisted they never slept together. He has since insinuated he did sleep with Liz. Which is it? Which is the lie?

    He lied about who was in the room when he broke the wine bottle.

    He lied about what time he called for help for Natalie.

    He lies.

  2. Wow, I'll say. The first 30 seconds of talking about his LOVE of Ms. Stanwyck his eyes are darting all over the place. Not at the audience or the interviewer. That's a well known tell of when someone is lying as behavioral experts will tell you. It's uncomfortable but riveting to watch. Ms. Stanwyck was a good actress and a strong, formidable woman. However, even in her heyday she was no real beauty. Their eyes met and that was it? He and Clifton Webb, maybe, but Stanwyck? She wasn't known as a predatory female like Joan Crawford. Plus, what would a woman of substance want with Wagner? What did he bring to the table? Nothing that would make a long affair believable. I'm still not sure what Natalie ever saw in him. The fairy tale I guess but living with Prince Charming is more difficult than the fantasy. Pieces of his heart? Maybe Larry and David Niven got what little there was to give, everyone else was just a prop for his delusions of grandeur.

  3. His eye's tell you he is lying. He doesn't even know what the word "TRUTH" means. Now "I" believe Barbara Stanwych was a beautiful women, do I think she would even look at Wagner Who know's she gone and can't speak for herself, Wagner is always telling lie's about people who can't call him on it. The sick thing about him is HE believes what he is saying...
    Thanks for sharing Marti. Pam

  4. Ew he is so gross. I hate seeing photos/videos of him on this site.

    I actually prefer that he keeps quiet about Natalie. He does not deserve to be associated with her now. The only thing people should think about him when they remember her, is that he killed her.

  5. Cutting through the muck, Wagner's Mother set this up. She was worried that her "little boy" was hanging with too many "old queens". It was a fling for Stanwyck. Nothing more and nothing less.
    For the person who thinks a "maybe" is in order for Clifton Webb; there is no "maybe" about it. Wagner lived with Clifton and his Mother Maybelle. I can not indulge exactly how I know this but I assure you "Mr. Pennypacker"s Mother ran his life and no one lived in that house without doing certain and very particular favors for her son...

  6. anon who mentions Mr. Pennypacker. I'm not a movie buff so I had to look it up to see how you referenced it. Webb payed that character in a movie and I read some reviews which aren't that good but one in particular stood out. The future Mrs. Wagner was also in the movie and this is what the critic had to say "Unfortunately, an annoying performance by JILL ST. JOHN (with high-pitched voice playing "young") gets the film off to a bad start."

  7. Most of the women Wagner boasted about are dead. As for Taylor, when they did There Must Be a Pony, they were interviewed. The reporter asked if they were ever romantically involved. Instead of saying "no" and leaving it at that, Wagner goes into a song and dance about how the kiss they shared in Pony was their first kiss and then he said "and it was worth the wait." With what he claimed in his book, that was a lie or was the tale he told in his book a lie. One way or the other, he's lying. He's very skilled at it except when he's doing so in live interviews.
    As for Stanwyck, they had a brief affair that ended after a few months, Wagner is using Stanwyck as a cover for his rather uneventful love life in 50s, as a cover for his toy boy years with the older gay Hollywood crowd. He's a fraud.

  8. The 'and uh...' breaks in his story are classic signs he's figuring out what the next little lie of the story is within a big lie. I listened with my eyes closed...on my, what a liar! Then, I listened to a part of your interview Marti, with closed eyes. What a difference! Your voice is a little wavy at breaks (nerves are understandable and acceptable) but this man, it's not nerves, it's pure crap!

    I'm not a whiz on old Hollywood either, but some of the pics in Wagner's book had me wondering who this man really is. I also noticed how he centered on a nonexistent movie career where in reality his popularity came from TV, which didn't last long because he left Natalie for dead at its peak. What kind of man are we dealing with?

  9. Clearly, a sociopath.

  10. What kind of man are we dealing with?

    How about a killer? (On stage!)

    I hate seeing this video on this blog also but it's a good subject. No one ever comes at this man. No one ever puts him on the spot. Good journalism is dying.

  11. I've edited many books as my best friend is a professional book editor and I worked part-time for her and learned a lot. A brilliant Playwright taught me a lot about writing I'll cherish forever. I've written lots of things on various subjects, primarily articles for newspapers and magazines, and I've studied enough about writing to present myself clearly, although I sure don't claim to be anywhere in a class of some of the authors I admire most, but I sure do know what should and shouldn't get past an editor. As author, it's more difficult to determine, as you get emotionally involved in your work.

    BUT, the most stunning thing I came across in Wagner's book was the space devoted to Freddie, the man who used to visit the studios and whip out his 12-inch cock (that's EXACTLY how Wagner describes it in his book)... and how Freddie made everyone laugh. Wagner described Freddie's apparatus as "thick as a baby's arm" -- at which point I felt as if I wanted to vomit. No editor, no writer, and no author should EVER have allowed such a sentence to go to print. Those two thoughts put together in one sentence is revolting. Period.

    There was five times the amount of space devoted to Freddie's penis than there was to Natalie's death in "Pieces" -- yet not one reporter thought to ask why!

    In writing, you usually mention something for a PURPOSE. For example, when I mentioned my blind friend early on in GNGS, it was to establish a point about a person's physical senses...to show you can know something from hearing as well as from seeing. I didn't just mention John to make it look like "Marti has a blind friend" -- there was a PURPOSE to mention him. Later in GNGS, when Dennis is HEARING things (like a ruckus in the master stateroom) the link to John's example of not having to see something to know what it is serves a PURPOSE. When things were hitting the walls in the stateroom, Dennis didn't see WHAT was hitting the walls, but he sure could hear that an argument was in full mode.

    In "Pieces" the early reference to Freddie was there for WHAT PURPOSE? There was no further reference to Freddie throughout the remainder of the book. It linked to nothing other than Wagner seemingly wanting the world to know he found something very memorable and fascinating about a studio visitor whipping out his goods. I could care less if Wagner is bi, or secretly gay, or whatever he is, other than it shows he keeps secrets, showing a man afraid to admit who he truly is. The gays I know have such higher standards, so I don't know who Wagner was trying to reach with his anecdote. It was not only a distraction for a reader, but rather blatant and disturbing for me, someone looking a bit deeper.

  12. I didn't understand the Freddy link either. It was not necessary and that's how he started off his wonderful memoirs!

  13. I understand exactly what you are saying Marti. What he claimed would be the final truth about Natalie was brief and offered nothing. The remaining stories were shallow bits of lies and memories, at best. I retitled his book. Pieces of My Lies.

  14. By the time he wrote his "memoirs" he had a lifetime of overdrinking under his belt. That has an effect even on a professional con artist like Wagner. I'm sure as the years go by it's not as easy to keep up the charming fisad. As such, crude anecdotes like Freddie will tend to rear their ugly heads. I think that's the true Wagner, everything else is just show. I'm sure lots of people have seen his true character during heavy drinking bouts but have remained silent. Alcohol loosens your tongue, ask Mel Gibson. It can also deteriorate former disciplined parts of your personality. He's lucky he lives in Aspen where the press is much less likely to hear his utterances when he's drinking everyone under the table. When he does do an interview I'm sure it is an amazing strain to maintain the image. We're not looking at the pretty face anymore, now we can actually hear and analyze his words and performance. He's shown he has nothing to say but lies so he should stay off the public stage for his own safety.

  15. He probably made up the "Freddie" story like he did most of the stories in his book. He's repulsive.

    In watching his interviews and in reading his book I noticed that he kept referring to Barbara Stanwyck as his "first love". That presents yet another tale told by Wagner that contradicts what he has said in the past and for decades. Going as far back as 1957, he referred to Natalie as his "first love". He even called several reporters to tell them that he was in love for the first time in his life. Then, in the second marriage, he played the "Natalie was my first love" song for anyone who would listen. There were numerous interviews in which he spoke of her being his first love. In one such interview he said "Natalie was my first real love as I was hers, once you've had that kind of relationship with someone, that feeling never really leaves you because the intensity of one's first love was greater that anything else." He was apparently lying when he said made that statement and he volunteered the info, no one asked him about his first love. I guess that was a lie or is his story about Stanwyck a lie. Take your pick. How can anyone not see what a despicable liar this man is.

  16. ...and people call Dennis a liar because he was torn and confused? Those people are despicable as well. Wagner is the winner of the liar race, by a lonnnnnnnggggg stretch!

  17. There should be a deck of Wagner playing cards. Each one has a different story and is played according to which story will enhance or benefit his image in that particular game. Buyer beware.

  18. Those same people would call this bashing Wagner. Newsflash: this is what truth looks like!!!

  19. That's it with Wagner, whichever story will buff and polish his armor is the story he will tell at that time. If it's no longer useful for him to tell one particular story, he will change it to something else.
    But Dennis is not credible? LMAO

  20. Wagner would be utterly pathetic if he wasn't so despicable. I loathe how he makes everything about him and about the stars he knew who are not alive to back up his claims. His disrespect for Natalie's memory is deplorable, just as his actions were that terrible night. I'm calling BS on the Stanwyck thing. They may very well have had an affair but I doubt it was as deep as he claimed. It's a lame attempt to present himself as some kind of virile hetrosexual lover. Why does he feel the need to try to sell himself to the public in this light? If he is bisexual, okay fine - why not admit it? In this day and age, nobody blinks. I don't have a problem with sexuality but I do have a problem with someone deliberately misrepresenting themselves, using dead people as participants, and who don't even take responsibility for their actions. Wagner reeks of all three. I agree about his eyes and facial expressions - he's lying and making things up as he goes along. Probably if he answered any questions about Natalie's death he would do the same thing. But he won't, because that would cast more suspicion on him. Ugh, he's disgusting. Natalie (and her girls) deserved so much better.

  21. Colleen,

    I have never read an autobiography out of Hollywood where the person telling his or her life story clarified every person talked about by their sexual orientation. Wagner did it with almost every guy he talked about in his book. That struck me as the strangest thing about his book. What was the need? I've read many autobiographies by leading men in movies and none of them told about what guys made passes at them, or identified their friends by their sexual preferences.

    I don't have a problem with anyone's sexuality either, but Wagner may have led a double life, and maybe, just maybe, that factors into why he didn't care enough to want to save his wife from a painful (mentally and physically), certain death.

  22. When I read Wagner's book, I was also struck by how emotional he got over his dog (whom he made sure will be buried next to him, just as he made sure that no family member will be laid next to Natalie in Westwood). He got emotional over Barbara Stanwyck and David Niven. How odd--very different from how he talks about his wife, whom he married twice, as Marti emphasizes. He didn't dedicate the book to her or even list her in the acknowledgements.

    The tone of the chapters dealing with Natalie, particularly that fateful weekend, is very different. As someone else noted, it's as if he had his lawyers' input on those chapters.

    This man is a sham. I can't believe he has pulled off all that he has for so long.

  23. Don't forget--Wagner said a couple of years ago that he was thinking of "extending Natalie's legacy" or some such rubbish. He said there were thoughts of marketing a perfume in remembrance of her. That was two years ago. Where is it? Oh, well, Natalie has been dead only 30 years--what is the big rush?

    However, the only thing that smells is him. I, too, despise hearing or seeing him, but I know that Marti puts such material on here to help expose what a liar he is.

    It FLOORS me that no one can ever call him on his claims. I realize that these interviews are all likely discussed ahead of time. But on Larry King's show, which Marti also displayed here, there were callers who asked him about Natalie, and he dodged those. Larry King didn't call him on that, and of course, the callers couldn't.

    If I saw him in person, I'd yell something at him and see how he reacted. Maybe "Magic" will write her memoirs (as if anyone would read them). Wagner could accompany her to book signings, and I'd go there and yell! I missed the chance at his book signing because "GNGS" hadn't come out yet.

    I still recall Wagner's reaction when one caller was introduced as "Natalie." His looked a little frightened.

    And of course, he moved to Aspen for a reason. Can you imagine if he still lived out here and someone asked him about "GNGS?"

  24. Hi, Marti:

    I remember you questioned just how long "pre-meditation" had to be. A few months? A few weeks? A few minutes? The comment Wagner made to Dennis on Friday night on the boat about Natalie getting more than what she came for (I forget the exact words now) was chilling.

    I believe that Wagner probably did lead a double life. I would suspect that he cheated on Natalie not just once or twice but with multiple people in their second marriage. His wild, jealous, alcoholic rages at her were probably a hint as to his own behavior. HE was guilty, not her.

    They probably were both done with each other, probably even long before November, 1981. I feel certain that Natalie told him in that stateroom just what she planned to do. I wish she hadn't. If she only would've locked him out of the room...she would probably still be here.

  25. Colleen, he does do similar stuff when asked about Natalie in general. He doesn't answer the question posed--he'll turn it into something else, and no one comes back at him with the same question or a rephrasing of it.

    I've seen him do this many times, and he looks and sounds very uncomfortable. There are so many "ums," "you knows," "wells," etc. that it just reeks of deceit. He stammers and pauses constantly.

    Any comments of his about Natalie's death also have reeked of deceit. Why wouldn't someone who married "the love of his life" TWICE want to know what the hell happened to her? Just because someone drowns doesn't mean it was an accident. Of course, he knows what happened. He makes me sick.

  26. Marti and Marianne, I agree about Wagner's bio and his actions and reactions, the way he tries to redirect or avoid questions about Natalie yet words flow freely from him if he describes Stanwyck or other actors. I too found it strange and repetitive that he felt the need to "out" so many actors in his bio (and who knows if he was even telling the true about that). It does seem like he was avoiding talking about his own sexuality which has been debated for years. He wants to avert public attention from that as well as his involvement in Natalie's death. Anything that's uncomfortable for him to discuss (i.e. that may cause him to contradict himself, trip him up and expose his lies) he tries to hide from. He's so phony.

  27. I can't watch this video. He repulses me.

  28. Rebecca Howell (another Anonymous!)

    The Freddie reference was repulsive. I think I have a good sense of humor but that wouldn't be funny now and I know it wasn't funny back in the 1960s. His preoccupation with organs is so obvious. I don't think he is even trying to hide it. I think his audience may be his friends that also find this stuff amusing. The editor should have known better but maybe he didn't really like RJ. The book is poorly written and shows that he was a confused and childish human being. He found humor in things that a three year old might find funny... look at my pee, pee kind of humor. So sad. When I say he was bi (had sex with both sexes) it just shows that he was confused about his sexuality and this definitely impacted his relationships. He was divorced twice and probably would have been divorced a third time from Natalie. Barbara Stanwyck is dead- so who knows if it is true. David Niven- dead and what a disgraceful thing to write about him. What was the point to show that Niven didn't have "hang-ups" like he did. There was no point. Wagner did it for shock value to sell books and was disrespectful to his "friend". Same with Peter Sellers. Even if Sellers mentioned his sexual pleasures, which I even doubt... why would Wagner put this in his book. Was Peter his friend? Does anyone gay or straight want their sexual likes and dislikes made public. I wouldn't want my sons to read something like Rebecca always preferred having sex in public (I don't but you get the idea). Somethings are not meant for public consumption and Wagner did this to sell something juicy but it isn't juicy its just an invasion of privacy and has no relevance to Wagner's life. Isn't that what you write about- pivotal moments in your life. Were these events pivotal? No they were filler because his publisher probably read the first version of the book and thought- boring. A rich, self-absorbed, narcissist that surrounds himself with famous people- some of who may have indeed been his friends but face it- you can count on one hand who your real friends are. In this case, they are his three daughters who undoubtedly love him and will never believe their mother was murdered. I am sure they can't believe this because it would be too painful. That might be why Walken doesn't want to talk. Maybe he is a good guy. The rest of us want truth but don't bank on the daughters being in Marti's corner.