1958: Natalie Wood OK with ‘Earth’

A look back at events from 1958

June 19, 1958

GOOD MORNING: Natalie Wood would OK the loanout offer to co-star with Rock Hudson in “This Earth is Mine,” which will be California-filmed… She nixed H-H-L’s “Devil’s Disciple” because it’s England-localed and would separate her from hubby Bob Wagner … She accompanies Wagner to Frisco this weekend when he starts “In Love And War” locations … (2008 Update: Natalie and RJ had only been married six months and thus did not want to be film-separated. She did not do “This Earth is Mine” — Jean Simmons did along with Hudson and Dorothy McGuire. She visited RJ on his locations of “In Love and War” with Dana Wynter and Jeff Hunter. Thereafter, the lives of Natalie and RJ wove in and out of films, marriages and divorces. Natalie wed Richard Gregson, then Stanley Donen before remarrying Wagner. He married Marion Marshall. Three daughters and one adopted son resulted from these mergers. The family was happily reunited when Natalie and RJ remarried on July 16, 1972 — only to be tragically broken with Natalie’s accidental drowning Nov. 29, 1981 … RJ and Jill St. John married on May 26, 1990. This year, on Feb. 10, RJ’s 78th birthday, Jill brought all of the family to their house in Aspen for the celebration — which included the apple of RJ’s eye, grandson of 14 months, Riley Wagner-Lewis , son of daughter Katie and husband Leif Lewis. RJ returns for more segments this season in the “Two and a Half Men” series. “I just love it,” says Wagner. “It is the highlight of my career” — which is saying a lot since his career include hundreds of TV shows (“Hart to Hart”) as well as bigscreen comedies such as two “Austin Powers.” Today, Wagner is readying to start 20th-Fox cable’s “Pretty & Handsome” with Ryan Murphy. And he’s prepping to produce two features: “The Nick of Time,” by Ted Bell, a children’s story, and another with producers Bob Papazian and Jim Hirsch, “Gone to Wichita” a contemporary Western. RJ acknowledges getting a film launched today as compared to the halcyon days of Hollywood is not easy. “Back then,” he recalled, “I shook hands with people — and we had a deal.”)

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