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‘Hart to Hart’ Cast: Find Out What Happened to the Sleuthing Duo

Plus, learn why the shows executives wanted the on-screen couple to fight more (and why they wouldn’t)! 


The Hart to Hart cast revolves around Jonathan and Jennifer Hart, a wealthy and glamorous couple who also happen to be amateur detectives. The series, which aired from 1979 to 1984, was a mix of mystery and romance and captivated audiences with its blend of glamour, intrigue, and of course the on-screen chemistry of the two leading stars.  While the show didn’t amass a plethora of awards, it earned a devoted fan base.

Jonathan Hart (Robert Wagner) was the millionaire C.E.O. of Hart Industries, a global conglomerate, while his stunning wife Jennifer (Stefanie Powers) was a freelance journalist. They were both amateur sleuths, and in every episode found themselves trying to solve an array of mysteries: murder, smuggling, theft and international espionage. They also managed to find time to snuggle together and keep their marriage (and romance) very much alive. Max (Lionel Stander) was their loyal, gravelly-voiced butler, cook and chauffeur.

Did you know? Stephanie Powers told Entertainment Weekly that the ABC brass wanted the on-screen couple to fight more in order to boost ratings. “The network didn’t understand the romance of it,” explains Powers. “They were of the mentality that there should be grittier issues. But the feedback we got over the years was that it was a relationship that everyone wanted to have in their lives. Jonathan and Jennifer wanted to be together more than apart; there was no need to squabble. That was why the show was so successful.”

Stefanie Powers as Jennifer Hart in the Hart to Hart cast

Stefanie Powers as Jennifer Hart (Hart to Hart Cast)
1979/2023 Pictures; Michael Tullberg / Contributor/Getty

Stefanie Powers, born Stefania Zofya Federkiewicz in 1942 in Hollywood, California, brought charisma and sophistication to the role of Jennifer Hart.

Before the series, Powers was already an established actress. Her career started at the age of 16, when Columbia Pictures put her under contract. There she made 15 movies before being “loaned” to United Artists for the John Wayne production of McLintock! (1963).

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She was very in demand and MGM bought out her contract from Columbia to star in the The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. (1966). She continued to be a prolific actress and appeared in dozens of TV shows and mini-series. She was also a regular in The Feather and Father Gang (1976).

People are surprised to find out that she wasn’t a shoe-in for the part of Jennifer Hart. Wagner, who was already cast as the lead male, fought to have her play his on-screen wife. His star power persuaded executives and she landed the role.

After being on the Hart to Hart cast, Powers did a lot of stage work including appearances in Annie Get Your Gun, Oliver and Sunset Boulevard. In 2019 she appeared in the film The Artist’s Wife and in 2021 she appeared in several episodes of the TV series On the Verge. She has been nominated for several Emmy awards and has a star on the Walk of Fame.

(Hart to Hart Cast) Robert Wagner as Jonathan Hart and Stefanie Powers as Jennifer Hart Pictures

In addition to acting, Powers was very active in wildlife conservation. After the death of her long-time partner, William Holden she created the William Holden Wildlife Foundation. As president of the foundation, Powers splits her time between California and Kenya.

As a business woman, she also presented the PBS 13 series, Funding Your Dreams as a road map for women contemplating investment options. As someone who speaks seven languages and had ample success in Hollywood, Powers told the New York Times that when she divorced her first husband at 28 she was not in a good place.

I owed a lot of money,” Powers said. “I had nowhere to live. Luckily I was young enough to bounce back. Not everybody does.” That was a turning point for her to learn about investing and managing her own funds.

Did you know? When she was young, Powers was in the same ballet class as Natalie Wood and Jill St. John.

The three women all had long-term relationships with Robert Wagner: Wood was Wagner’s first and third wife, St. John was Wagner’s fourth wife, and Stefanie co-starred with him in Hart to Hart.

Robert Wagner as Jonathan Hart

Robert Wagner as Jonathan Hart
1979/2019 Hart to Hart Pictures; Amy Sussman / Staff/Getty

Robert Wagner was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1930. He was signed by 20th Century Fox and went on to play romantic leads as well as dramatic roles including With a Song in My Heart (1952) The True Story of Jesse James (1957), and A Kiss Before Dying (1956). In 1963 he starred in the The Pink Panther. He then moved to television where he starred in the series It Takes a Thief (1968) and Switch (1975) before landing the lead of Jonathan Hart in Hart to Hart.

After the series, he continued to have success as an actor, most memorably in

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997) and its sequels, and as Teddy Leopold, a recurring role on the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men (2003). Most recently, he played Anthony DiNozzo Sr., the father Tony DiNozzo, on NCIS.

In his personal life, Wager was married four times. Twice to Natalie Wood, once to Marion Marshall (second wife) and he’s currently married to Jill St. John since 1990.

There has long-since been controversy surrounding the death of Natalie Wood in 1981 by drowning. Some think Wagner was somehow involved. Wagner has denied any wrong doing and insists he loved Wood. “That night has gone through my mind so many times,” he said in the HBO documentary Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind.

Did you know? In addition to being an actor, Wagner is also a singer, he released a song in 1955 called Almost Eighteen. And he can also tap dance!

Lionel Stander as Max

Lionel Stander as Max
1982/1994Ben Martin / Contributor/Getty; Vinnie Zuffante / Stringer/Getty

Lionel Stander was born in 1908 in the Bronx and became an actor in his teens. He appeared in many films including William Wellman’s 1937 version of A Star Is Born, Roman Polanski’s Cul-de-Sac, Martin Scorsese’s New York, New York and Steven Spielberg’s 1941. He also appeared on stage both before and after his role as Max, the lovable chauffeur on Hart to Hart.

Stander died in 1994 at the age of 86. His last acting appearance was just weeks before his death. It was the two-hour Hart to Hart special on NBC.

Did you know? Stander was married six times and had five daughters.

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