“Hart to Hart” was the classic hit television series that followed a fabulously wealthy CEO, played by Robert Wagner, and a freelance journalist, played by Stefanie Powers, as they fell in love and traveled the globe as amateur detectives.
If that plot sounds wild, so was the reunion that brought Wagner, 83, and Powers, 70, back together again after 17 years. The reunion, coordinated for Entertainment Weekly magazine’s annual reunions issue, was hosted by “Hart to Hart” “superfans” Adam Scott and Amy Poehler, who play husband and wife themselves on the TV sitcom “Parks and Recreation.”
Poehler’s asked “the Harts” what it was like to play husband and wife on the small screen.
“They were constantly asking us to have affairs with other people, have a child,” Powers, aka Jennifer Hart, said, referring to the show’s creative team. “We couldn’t have a child. It would slow us down.”
“They constantly wanted to have conflict between us,” agreed Wagner, aka Jonathan Hart, but said their characters “never got into any domestic squabbles.”
Powers pointed out that their characters were “two people who were adults who were in love with each other who had chosen to be together and were there because of free will.”
“We were a team,” he said.
The pair’s chemistry was so strong that the producers and crew tried to keep them apart in order to keep the show, which ran from 1979-84, moving along on schedule.
“We would get tired and laugh [and] one take would become 30,” Powers said.
“We had so much joy that the main office came down and said they didn’t want us to be together because we would laugh,” Wagner recalled. “They got really upset. They were like, ‘Why did they do that? Why did they laugh?’”
Powers first met Wagner when she was a dancer during preproduction for the 1961 movie musical “West Side Story.” (Powers was later cut from the cast.)
“We were rehearsing every day … and then, one day, in walked the two most beautiful people in the world, real movie stars Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood,” Powers said, referring to Wagner’s late wife, the actress Wood, who died after falling off a yacht that Wagner was also on in 1981.
In a strange coincidence, Powers at one time studied ballet with both Wood and Wagner’s current wife, Jill St. John.
“Who in the world would ever predict that in one ballet class there would be three people who would be, in one way or another, married to Robert Wagner?” Powers said.
And while Powers’ onscreen persona carried with her an aura of glamour and wealth and was famous for her voluminous hair, she revealed to Poehler a behind-the-scenes secret that the current sitcom star could not believe.
“You set your own hair,” Poehler asked Powers, incredulously.
“I never had one,” Powers replied, referring to a hairdresser.