I was talking to my good friend, retired Western Stuntman Jack Young and he shared a long kept secret with me.
Jack calls Tucson, Arizona home these days. Although he was based in Hollywood during his years as a stuntman he spent a good deal of time in Tucson on location. He fell in love with the town, the area and the people.
Each February Tucson puts on a parade, it has been doing this since 1925. It has the rather grand title of La Fiesta de los Vaqueros. It celebrates the upcoming rodeo season and is unique. It is the longest non-motorized parade in the country, and maybe the world. So well known is this parade that it even boasts itâ€™s own museum!
By the early 70â€™s Jack Young had become a regular figure around Old Tucson Studios.
Just fifteen minutes from Tucson at the base of the Tucson Mountains lay a preserved slice of Americana, Old Tucson. Passing through the gates of an old frontier town, visitors from around the globe are transported back to a time when fearless men with six shooters ruled the Old West. The perfect setting for the more than 300 movies and television productions filmed at the location since 1939.
With the 1972 parade looming on the horizon Jack was asked who they might invite to join them on the Old Tucson float.
I remembered my friend, RJ so he agreed to come for expenses only.
Let me translate, RJ is no other than actor Robert Wagner. He may be best known as Jonathan Hart from the TV series Hart To Hart, but this is a man who has had a very rich career. In fact in 2011 he was on the popular crime series NCIS.
RJ had one stipulation to the parade deal, and that was that he could bring his girlfriend.
Now who might that girlfriend be?
He had divorced his second wife Marion Marshall in 1971, so he was once again a free agent.
Jack went on to add:
While he waved to the crowd from our float, she was down behind a bale of hay watching him. No one in the audience knew she was there.
So who was the mysterious girlfriend? None other than his first wife Natalie Wood. They would remarry a few months later. Jack even has a few photoâ€™s from their visit to Tucson.
So there you have it! Entertainment Weekly, eat your heart out! It has taken 30 years, but we just scooped you! hahahaha
All photographs are owned by Jack Young, and I thank him for letting me share them.