Thursday, December 16, 2004

Natasha Wagner to celebrate sunny, warm Christmas in LA

LOS ANGELES - Actress Natasha Gregson Wagner is planning to spend a warm and sunny Southern California Christmas with her family.

The holiday is one Wagner's favorites, so she jumped at the chance to star in the Christmas-themed movie "Angel in the Family," airing Saturday on the Hallmark Channel. She co-stars with Meredith Baxter and Ronny Cox.

Wagner, 34, and her husband, screenwriter D.V. DeVincentis ("High Fidelity" and "Grosse Pointe Blank"), will join her father Robert Wagner, his wife Jill St. John, and her sisters Katie and Courtney for Christmas.

"My nanny Willie Mae-South, who still lives at my dad's house, prepares her famous orange stuffed yams and my dad still writes a letter from Santa Claus asking if I've been naughty or nice," she said.

Wagner was 11 when her mother, actress Natalie Wood, drowned off California's Catalina Island a few days after Thanksgiving 1981.

"It left a huge hole in my heart," she said. "But with a lot of therapy and the support of my two dads and my sisters and my brother, I discovered how resilient the human heart can be."

Wagner's father is Richard Gregson, who was Wood's second husband. She was later adopted by Wagner, who married Wood twice.

"Angel in the Family"

Sarah Bishop, a struggling artist, and her estranged sister Beth, a successful advertising executive, are reunited days before Christmas when their father suffers a mild stroke. He wants only one thing for the holidays: to return with his daughters to the idyllic community and family home they abandoned after his wife's death. There, sweet memories stir Sarah's impossible dream: That her mother might be with them. Could such a miracle happen? Hallmark Channel airs "Angel in the Family" at 9 p.m. Saturday, starring Ronny Cox and Meredith Baxter as the parents, with Tracey Needham as Sarah and Natasha Gregson Wagner as Beth.

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