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Robert Wagner Finally Tells All About Natalie Wood Death: 'I Thought My Life Was Over'

robert wagner tells all natalie wood death book
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Nov. 18 2016, Published 7:04 p.m. ET

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Nearly 35 years after his wife Natalie Wood's mysterious drowning death, Robert Wagner is finally opening up about the shocking tragedy's aftermath.

"After When Natalie died, I thought my life was over," the actor, now 86, writes in new book, I Loved Her in the Movies: Memories of Hollywood's Legendary Actresses. "Luckily, I had the help of a great many people who loved her and loved me as well."

He lists Fred Astaire, Cary Grant, Gene Kelly, Delphine Mann, David Niven and the couple's children for helping him cope with the sudden loss.

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Wagner also turned to a psychiatrist named John Lindon.

"This much is gone," the star claims his doctor told him, pointing to a picture of a heart. "But this much is left, and that can be enough. It has to be enough — for your girls and for yourself."

Upon returning to work on mystery series Hart to Hart, Wagner was "filled with anxiety," he admits.

But he credits costar Stefanie Powers with restoring his confidence on camera.

"You're going to be all right," she said as she escorted him to set.

Wagner says he moved on from his wife with Hart to Hart costar Jill St. John "six to eight months" after Wood's death.

"I owe her everything," he gushes.

Wood famously disappeared after yachting with her husband and friend Christopher Walken off Santa Catalina Island on November 28, 1981. Her body was discovered one mile from the boat the following morning. She was just 43 years old.

Natalie Wood
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According to the autopsy, she was covered in bruises and had a blood alcohol level of .14%, meaning she had been drinking before she died.

Though the cause of death was originally determined to be "accidental drowning," it was eventually changed to "drowning and other undetermined factors" when the case was reopened in 2011.

Wood's sister Lana and others blamed Wagner for her death, but he has always vehemently denied the accusations.

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