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Po owerful story fr rom the hart.

Byline: HannahStephenson

IT'S been 30 years since Stefanie Powers and Robert Wagner raised cheesiness to new heights as a glamorous, jetset couple doubling as amateur detectives in the hit Hart To Hart.

Today, Powers still has the shock of lustrous red hair and green eyes which made her such a doll in the Aaron Spelling series, and cuts a trim figure in a grey skinny rib sweater and smart, tailored trousers.

Powers, 68, reveals two dramatic events in her life prompted her to write One From The Hart.

"In the space of a few months, I was diagnosed with cancer and my mother died (aged 96). She lived with me for the last 27 years of her life. I had to keep it together for her."

Powers was diagnosed with lung cancer at the end of 2008 at an annual check-up, even though she had no symptoms indicating anything was wrong. Surgeons removed part of her right lung and more than two years later she says she's fine.

"My scans have all been clear and no further treatment has been necessary. The odds are I will be able to join other cancer survivors in marching for a cure for many years to come."

When Powers was in the throes of her divorce from her first husband, actor Gary Lockwood, she recalls Roddy McDowall inviting her to a party at his house.

She burst into tears in front of two women he'd been talking to, declaring she was getting divorced.

"One of the women said, 'So am I'. The other said, 'It happens to all of us, honey, you look like you need a drink'. 'So am I' was Elizabeth Taylor. 'You need a drink' was Ava Gardner."

While her movies may not be memorable, it was Hart To Hart which raised her profile hugely and was among the happiest periods of her working life.

"RJ (Wagner) was simply the most charming, naturally funny and endlessly caring friend a person could have," she says.

But one actor was to have a more profound effect on her than any other - William Holden.

They met at a showbiz party - she was 30, he was 54 - and began a romance which was to last nine years until his death as a result of his lifelong struggle with alcohol.

"There was a certain something about him," she recalls. "A smile that lit up the world, an indescribable chemistry between us."

She heard the news of his death on the radio as she was driving to work in Malibu. He had fallen on to the sharp corner of a bedside table with such impact it cut a deep wound in his forehead and severed the artery.

Two weeks later, Robert Wagner's wife, Natalie Wood, drowned in a boating accident. The Hart To Hart stars helped each other to cope with the grief.

She went on to marry Patrick De La Chenais in 1993, but it ended in divorce six years later.

She's now with businessman Tom Carroll but doesn't want to marry again.

She is still acting, although is growing increasingly disillusioned with the industry. "It's an industry, but it's a heartless industry", she sighs.

* One From The Hart by Stefanie Powers is published by JR Books priced pounds 18.99
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Apr 8, 2011
Words:545
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