All In The Family

Robert “R.J.” Wagner and wife Jill St. John are headed to N.Y. this week — on joint appearances. He starts the regimen as a book-signing, interview-appearing, author. His autobio (with Scott Eyman), “Robert Wagner: Pieces of My Heart” (Harper Collins) gets a sendoff with a reception on the 22nd by MOMA’s President Emeritus Agnes Gund. And on the 23rd Jill is a guest at the Paley Center for Media’s screening of “Lost TV Musicals.” She co-starred in CBS’ “Junior Miss” show which aired “live” on Sept. 20, 1957 — “and was never seen again,” according to Jill. Fortunately it was kinescoped for posterity — and thus, will screen. Co-starring with Jill were: Carol Lynley, Joan Bennett, David Wayne and Don Ameche.

Meanwhile, husband Bob Wagner will be making the TV rounds and participating in all-media interviews in N.Y., followed later by the de rigueur national stops. He’s accustomed to that pace from his half-century of movie and TV series debuts. In his bio, he reveals the sad details of the day/night of wife Natalie Wood’s accidental death. Jill tells me she fact-read the book — “three times. I’m glad he did it. It is daring and 80% of the book is about Natalie.”  And Selma and I will never forget going to the Wagner house in Beverly Hills the morning after to offer our support to “RJ” during that sad, tragic time. In his telling of the events, he admits “everything went away from me.” 

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