For Once Robert Wagner's 'hart to Hart' Derring-Do Is Not Exactly Hair-Raising

updated 04/20/1981 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 04/20/1981 AT 01:00 AM EST

As Jonathan Hart, the suave businessman-sleuth of ABC's hit Hart to Hart, Robert Wagner must survive close shaves, but he never expected one quite like this. For an upcoming episode of the show, Wagner, 51, had to be transformed into Hart's long-lost 60ish Swiss uncle, "Fritz Von Hart." So Frank Westmore, whose family has dominated Hollywood makeup since the 1920s, labored 2½ hours daily during the week-long taping to believably age one of TV's most famous faces. "Some people get claustrophobic made up like this," said Westmore, "but sometimes R.J. went to sleep while I was putting it on." Observed the patient Wagner, "It's like being the man in the iron mask." The final effect, however, didn't fool Wagner's 7-year-old daughter, Courtney. She recognized Pop's unchanged hands. And Wagner's wife, actress Natalie Wood, 42, thought she could live with an aged R.J. Gushed Natalie, "I think he looks just like Olivier!"

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