Career overshadowed by fateful moment at sea

Robert Wagner, born in Michigan in 1930, became one of Hollywood’s most prolific actors during the fifties and sixties under contract to the 21st Century Fox studios.

He was acclaimed for his roles in movies such as White Feather, The War Lover, The Pink Panther and 1953’s Titanic.

However, he is perhaps better known for acting in several long-running television series including It Takes a Thief, Switch and, most famously, the hugely popular Hart to Hart (1979-1984) in which he and actress Stefanie Powers starred as self-made millionaires moonlighting as private detectives.

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His career stalled in the aftermath of Wood’s death in 1981 but he later enjoyed a revival in the three Austin Powers movies from 1997 to 2002, in which he appeared as Dr Evil’s henchman, Number 2.

He also drew attention for his tangled love life, claiming in his 2009 autobiography, Pieces of My Heart, that he had affairs with Hollywood legends Joan Crawford, Elizabeth Taylor and Joan Collins, among others.

He had a four-year relationship with Barbara Stanwyck after they appeared together in Titanic.

Between his two marriages to Wood, he was married to actress Marion Marshall for eight years before their divorced in 1971.

Since 1990, he has been married to the actress Jill St John, whom he began dating in 1982.

Despite his success as an actor, questions about the circumstances of Wood’s death dropped a cloud over his career.

Suspicions over his movements that night, and those of fellow actor Christopher Walken, who was also present on board the yacht, remain, even though a coroner ruled Wagner’s wife’s death a tragic accident.