Robert Wagner Speaks At Westside Center for Independent Living's Annual Literary Tea

Actor, Producer, Writer and Author, Robert Wagner, will appear as the Guest Speaker at the Westside Center for Independent Living's Associates' (WCIL's) Annual Literary Tea on Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. at a private home in Beverly Hills, CA, at which time Wagner will talk about and sign copies of his New York Times bestselling autobiography, Pieces of My Heart - A Life. Wagner's wife, Jill St. John will also attend the event.

Tickets for this fundraising event are $75 each, and may be secured by calling Jenn Gunn Steip at the WCIL office at 310-568-0107, ext. 25. To learn more about WCIL, please visit the website,

Robert Wagner is one of the most popular and successful stars in the entertainment industry. He has had a career highlighted by three hit television series and an impressive portfolio of movies for film and television as well as becoming a best-selling author. While Wagner was still a young man under contract to 20th Century Fox, Darryl F. Zanuck cast him in With a Song in My Heart. The part was perhaps a minute's duration, but in that minute, the tears pouring from Wagner's eyes as he played the role of a crippled soldier responding to the singing of Susan Hayward's Jane Froman, brought immediate reaction pouring into the studio from the public. That one-minute part established Wagner as a major star. He has been working every since.

In the fall of 2008, Wagner wrote his memoir, Pieces of My Heart - A Life for Harper Collins, debuting at #3 on the New York Times Bestseller List. The book provides an inside look at his life and career, from his days as a teen caddying for Clark Gable, to his friendships with some of the biggest Hollywood names of our time. In 2007, Wagner appeared in the first episode of the AMC and BBC series Hustle, a weekly, hour-long series that follows the exploits of a crew of London-based con artists who pull off daringly intricate stings to swindle money from greedy, morally corrupt "marks." In November 2007 Wagner appeared in the feature family film A Dennis the Menace Christmas, based on the hit comic strip and television show.

Wagner is a reoccurring guest star on the CBS comedy Two and a Half Men, and has previously appeared in the series Hope & Faith and Boston Legal. He appeared on the big screen in the role of "Number Two," the villainous henchman to Dr. Evil, a cryogenically revived special agent who squares off against the title character, in all three of the Austin Powers films, starring Mike Myers.

His earlier classics include Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, The Pink Panther, The Curse of the Pink Panther, Midway, The Towering Inferno, Banning, Harper, Prince Valiant, All the Fine Young Cannibals and With a Song in My Heart, starring Susan Hayward.

More recent film credits include Last of the Mustangs, Man in the Chair, Everyone's Hero, Netherbeast Incorporated, New Line Cinema's Hoot with Luke Wilson, No Vacancy with Lolita Davidovich and Christina Ricci, Play It To The Bone which co-stars Woody Harrelson and Antonio Banderas, the Sony release, Crazy in Alabama, directed by Antonio Banderas and starring Melanie Griffith, Tiara Tango, Sordid Affair, the suspense thriller titled The Road to Santiago, in which he co-stars with Anne Archer, Anthony Quinn and Charleton Heston, and the cult classic Wild Things, starring Matt Dillon and Kevin Bacon.

In 1996, Wagner returned to primetime television as star and producer, reprising his role of Jonathan Hart in three Hart to Hart special presentations for cable's Family Channel. Previously, he had produced five two-hour Hart to Hart movies for NBC-TV. In 1993, Wagner starred in David Wolper's critically acclaimed mini-series Heaven and Hell: North and South III for ABC-TV.

Wagner has starred in two other popular series: Switch, with Eddie Albert, and It Takes a Thief, with Fred Astaire, the latter earning him an Emmy Award nomination. Wagner also starred with Jaclyn Smith in Windmills of the Gods, the top-rated mini-series based on Sidney Sheldon's best-selling novel; with Angie Dickinson in the mini-series Pearl; with Audrey Hepburn in Here a Thief, There a Thief; with Lesley-Anne Down in Indiscreet; and with ElizaBeth Taylor in There Must Be a Pony, which he also executive produced.

Sir Laurence Olivier chose Wagner to star with him in the television adaptation of Tennessee Williams' play, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, in which Wagner co-starred with his wife, the late Natalie Wood, who played Maggie the Cat. He also starred in This Gun for Hire, Danielle Steel's Jewels and To Catch a King.

Additionally, he tours the U.S. with his wife, Jill St. John, breaking house records starring on stage in A.R. Gurney's play, Love Letters, including a sold-out three week engagement at the Royal George Theater in Chicago.

Following in their parents' footsteps, Wagner's three daughters, Katie, Natasha, and Courtney all have successful careers in the arts.

Founded 1981 by Helen Levin, Betty Deutsch and Louise Escoe, the Associates of the Westside Center for Independent Living are a group of active community members who are dedicated to the cause of independent living for seniors and people with disabilities. In support of this mission, the Associated use their skills to educate and develop community advocates, support WCIL programs through membership development, provide volunteer services, and present fundraising events.

The WCIL Associates Steering Committee consists of: Betty Deutsch, Tea Party Hostess; Ruth Kraft, Steering Committee Chair; Suzie Levin Corben, Honorary Chair; and members Louise Escoe, Marjorie Fasman, LaVetta Forbes, Barbara Gordon, Claire Hammerman, Lola Jameson, Jean Katz, Ruth March, Trudy Kallis, Ruth Ortega, Marcia Solomon, Dorothy Straus, Dascha Auerbach Stuart, Ruth Tober and Phyllis Wiseman.

Westside Center For Independent Living was established in 1976 with the mission of providing seniors and people with disabilities the tools to achieve the goals of independent living self-assurance, community acceptance, unlimited access, and the right to self-determination.

Programs and services include individual and systems advocacy, assistive technology, employment services, independent living skills, information and referral, peer counseling, peer support and employment training, personal assistants, home accessibility, and Transition Services from hospital, skilled nursing facility or institutional facility and the Empowerment Alliance.

More than 70% of WCIL's staff is made up of people with disbabilities. Each staff member has a unique commitment to assist others with disabilities, and their understanding, guidance and support gives those we serve the confidence to reach out toward their own independence.

WCIL has three Westside service sites, Mar Vista, Santa Monica, and Redondo Beach, providing programs and services. The geographic service area runs from Malibu to San Pedro, to West Hollywood, and included the Westside of Los Angeles along with Carson.

To learn more about the Westside Center for Independent Living, please visit the website A disability need not be disabling.


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