'I was shaking,' Wagner said about his winning putt with the title on the line against his playing partners, two-time tourney winner Billy Joe Tolliver and four-time winner Dan Quinn.
'It was downhill, thank God, so I just had to get it moving. Uphill, I never would have made it.'
Wagner -- whose 15-year-old son, Peter, served as his caddie -- finished with 70 points in the modified Stableford scoring system that puts a premium on eagles and birdies. Tolliver, a former NFL quarterback, had 69 points and Dan Quinn, a former hockey player, had 67.
Two other former NHL greats, Mario Lemieux and Grant Fuhr, were next with 58 points.
'I'm speechless,' said Wagner, who twice was nominated for Emmy Awards for his roles on 'The Bold and the Beautiful' and 'General Hospital.' He became the first nonprofessional athlete to win the tourney in its 17-year history at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course.
'I'm speechless,' he said. 'This is a dream come true. I've worked so hard for this.'
Wagner has played in every one of the tournaments at Lake Tahoe since it began in 1990, finishing second in 2003 and third two other times.
'I've choked, thrown it away down the stretch several times,' said Wagner, who has won six club championships at Bel Air Country Club in Los Angeles.
The scoring system awards six points for eagle, three points for birdie, one point for par, none for bogey and minus two for double bogey or worse.
Tolliver, who led the first two rounds, was five points ahead of Quinn and eight ahead of Wagner when he birdied the par-4 sixth. But Tolliver bogeyed the next four holes in a row while Wagner posted a pair of birdies in that stretch.
Wagner caught Tolliver with a birdie on the par-4 14th then took the lead for good when he parred No. 15 while Tolliver bogeyed.
Down the stretch with a one-point lead, Wagner hit a 9-iron within 12 feet on the 169-yard, par-3 17th but Tolliver followed with a 9-iron to about 8 feet and both missed their birdie putts, as did Quinn.
Trailing by three points headed to the par-5 18th, Quinn had a chance to win when he hit his second shot to within 20 feet of the hole but missed an eagle attempt and had to settle for birdie.
Wagner drove right in the rough behind some towering Ponderosa pines on the last hole and had to punch out to about 90 yards from the green. But he hit to about 12 feet from the pin and slowly rolled the putt home.
Tolliver had pulled his approach short right of the green but chipped within 2 feet of the hole and made his birdie after Wagner had clinched the win.
The tourney featured some unusual sights for a golf course. Former Bears quarterback Jim McMahon played barefoot and comedian Anthony Anderson wore a Scottish kilt on Sunday.
Anderson was paired with Cheech Marin and Kevin Nealon, who hit left into the gallery on the par-3 17th that borders Lake Tahoe on the right side of the fairway where dozens of boats were anchored.
'Throw it on the green when it hits you!' Anderson yelled to the crowd.
'I was so afraid of hitting those boats,' Nealon explained.