Monday, June 23, 2014

YOU MUST REMEMBER THIS: ROBERT WAGNER



Reading about celebrities is frequently a guilty pleasure, but when celebrities are from the Golden Age of Hollywood and are the authors themselves, the reading takes on a special glow. Look on the shelves at the Monrovia Public Library for two terrific bestselling titles by Robert Wagner. It is hard to believe that this natural storyteller is now 84 years old.
 
Pieces of My Heart: A Life is a warm look back by the popular actor. A young handsome fellow who fell into acting, Wagner’s first screen test was a dud, but he went on to learn from some of the biggest names in Hollywood, like Cary Grant, Clark Gable and Barbara Stanwyck. Wagner talks about the movies he made, the stars he knew, his marriages, the tragic death of his wife Natalie Wood, his happy marriage to Jill St.John and the surprise hit of his television show Hart to Hart. 

You Must Remember This: Life and Style in Hollywood’s Golden Age is brand new and a quick and enjoyable read.  Rather than being another straightforward autobiography, this is more of a love letter to a time and place that has disappeared. Wagner arrived in Los Angeles as the movie studio system was winding down, but he seemed to know every star, visit every nightclub and attend every Hollywood A-list party. Wagner doesn't dish the dirt in this charming book.                           
What makes it special is that he also talks about the traditions, the buildings, the restaurants and the department stores that symbolized the Golden Age, but no longer exist. Hollywood fans will love this.

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