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Posts Tagged ‘Robert Wagner’

Author Chastises Access Hollywood for Natalie Wood Item

The first dispatch of the new year relating to the re-opening of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department investigation into the 1981 drowning death of actress Natalie Wood has turned out to be a sloppy piece of Web reporting.

AccessHollywood.com published a report late this afternoon headlined “Natalie Wood Investigation a Cold Case.” But the permalink for this item now points to an update in which the outlet seemingly clarifies that by “cold case,” the LASD did not mean the re-opened investigation had been tabled.

Author Marti Rulli, whose excellent tome Goodbye Natalie Goodbye Splendour was the trigger for some critical sworn statements submitted to the LASD, had angry words tonight for Access Hollywood. Blogs Rulli:

I received many notices tonight of an article published by Access Hollywood claiming that the Natalie Wood case was transferred to a cold case file, further stating the reopening of the case in November 2011 had been nothing more than a publicity stunt to promote my book Goodbye Natalie Goodbye Splendour.

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Robert Wagner Set for Florida ‘Conversation’

When Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood honeymooned in 1957, they traveled by train to the Atlantic Ocean community of Stuart, Florida, where they planned to go fishing. But as the actor recalls in his 2009 autobiography Pieces of My Heart, it was a bust.

“Stuart was terrible, totally unromantic,” he writes. “We were there only a couple of nights; then we got on a train and went to New York, to the Sherry-Netherland.”

Next week, Wagner will be back in Stuart for “A Conversation with Robert Wagner,” a special December 13-15 retrospective series organized by Lyric Theatre executive director John Loesser. To promote his first public appearance since the Wood drowning investigation was re-opened, the actor chatted via email with the Treasure Coast Palm newspaper.

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National Enquirer Publishes Explosive New Natalie Wood Claim

It apparently took five bylined reporters to wrangle a worrisome new circumstantial allegation about the weekend of Natalie Wood‘s drowning death off Catalina Island.

The tabloid spoke to 52-year-old interior designer Robin Butillo, who back in 1981 was roommates with someone she describes as a “close friend” of actor Christopher Walken. Hours after news broke of Wood’s drowning death, she says her roommate fielded a telephone call from the actor:

“In the phone call, it was clear that Chris was devastated by the tragedy. He was upset and confessed that a ‘sex secret’ had occurred, leading up to Natalie’s death.” Butillo added: “While it’s clear Chris had no involvement in Natalie’s actual death, he clearly felt the need to unload his sorrow on his friend.”

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EXCLUSIVE: Director Who Worked with Wagner, Walken Finalizing Release Deal

Last week, we told you about Life’s a Beach, the only film to have co-starred Robert Wagner and Christopher Walken. Today, we were able to connect with the movie’s writer-director Tony Vitale, who explains that big things are about to happen with his never-released, beach resort-set R-rated comedy.

“The Canadian rights were recently sold first, but after further review of the film, someone wants to buy worldwide rights,” Vitale tells FishbowlLA via telephone from Los Angeles, where he has been based for the past 15 years. “So it’s a matter of us reacquiring the Canadian rights and then doing this new deal. I’m hoping it will be done by the end of the year.”

In the film, Walken plays Roy Callahan, the father of a bride (Rebecca, Christine Lakin) who stands up husband-to-be Darren (Darren Geare) at the altar. Distraught, the passed-over groom heads down to a Club Med type resort with a friend to try and recover. Among the more prominent guests at the resort are a married swinger couple, Tom and Felicia Wald (Wagner, Morgan Fairchild).

Wagner and Walken have no scenes together in the film, although they each worked on the project for about two weeks. That is not entirely by accident. “We were sensitive to that [their real-life connection] going in,” Vitale explains. “In the movie, Fairchild’s character eventually seduces Darren; she and Wagner have both been married multiple times. There’s also a big twist involving Wagner’s character.”

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The Comedy That Co-Starred Robert Wagner and Christopher Walken

The paths of Robert Wagner and Christopher Walken famously crossed in 1981 and have collided once again this fall, thanks to the re-opening of the police investigation into the drowning death of Natalie Wood. But did you know that the two also worked together in 2001?

NYU grad Tony Vitale‘s comedy Life’s a Beach (also known as Club Jungle Juice) is the only time Walken and Wagner signed on for the same film project. Among the movie’s producers are Paul Kessler and Diana Derycz-Kessler, the husband-and-wife couple that today own and manage the LA Film School. The comedy is set in a Club Med type resort and was shot on the island of Provinciales in Turks and Caicos.

A (very) belated October 2010 premiere is listed for the film, which seems to have never been released because of bankruptcy-related complications. While cynics will no doubt make untoward jokes about the original title and poster art (pictured), FishbowlLA prefers to focus on this IMDb discussion board comment:

I was the captain of the sailboat and never saw the movie… I would like to know how to get it as well

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Natalie Wood Drowning ‘Ear Witness’ Was Threatened Three Days Later

Whenever a sensational story such as the re-opening of the police investigation into the 1981 drowning death of actress Natalie Wood breaks, it’s often possible thanks to the Internet to click right through to the heart of the matter. In this case, that would be the PDF of new statements submitted recently to the LA County Sheriff’s office by author Marti Rulli, boat captain Dennis Davern, the actress’ sister Lana and Catalina Island “ear witness” Marilyn Wayne.

Many of the stories hitting the wire this morning from Radar Online, the Daily Mail and other outlets are parsing info from this document. But not getting a lot of media attention, yet, is the fact that Wayne had a further connection to Robert Wagner beyond being moored just 50 feet away from the Splendour that terrible night and knowing him from various Southern California marinas. She was also working at the time as a stockbroker at an LA firm servicing Wagner; in her statement, she details a frightening subsequent office incident:

I had a “client box’” designed for clients to drop off their messages through a slot in the front. The boxes were opened in the back, labeled by broker name on each end. Three days after Natalie died, I found a scribbled message on a torn piece of paper in my box that read, “If you value your life, keep quiet about what you know.”

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Robert Wagner to Help Reboot Charlie’s Angels

Showbiz 411 columnist Roger Friedman has a good Hollywood exclusive this morning. Robert Wagner, suave star of many delightful film and TV classics as well as a recent author, has been hired to voice the part of Charlie in a new TV version of Charlie’s Angels.

As Friedman notes, there’s a very good reason why Wagner might be involved:

Wagner’s participation in the new Charlie’s is no coincidence. In the real world, Wagner and the late Natalie Wood owned 50% of the original TV series through a deal with Spelling-Goldberg TV. A couple of years ago, Wagner sued over rights to the movies, too, but lost on appeal. It’s presumed his first deal, for the TV series, still stands.

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Media Events 4.5.07

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FRIDAY 04.06.07
WHAT: Hollywood Walk of Fame star placement
WHO: James Bacon
WHEN: 11:30 a.m.
WHERE: Right next to Frank Sinatra’s, 1637 N. Vine.
WHY: The veteran Hollywood columnist will be feted by Robert Wagner and Tim Conway.

FRIDAY 04.06.07
WHAT: Film Screening, Money Talks: Profits Before Patient Safety
WHO: Films 4 Change and producer Holly Mosher
WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Clothing of the American Mind
WHY: Sure a film about how Big Pharma screws patients sounds infuriating, but at least it’s free!

SATURDAY 04.07.07
WHAT: Paramount Vantage promotion for Year of the Dog.
WHO: Hollywood-types and their pets
WHEN: 10 a.m.
WHERE: Farmer’s Market
WHY: Because you’ve always wanted to know what a “6-foot tall dog-friendly cake” tasted like.

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