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On this Day in Movie History, July 20, 1938: Natalie Wood born

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It was on this day, July 20, 1938, American actress Natalie Wood was born. Born Natalia Nikolaevna Zacharenko, a film and television actress best known for her screen roles in Miracle on 34th Street, Splendor in the Grass, Rebel Without a Cause, and West Side Story, . after first working in films as a child, she received three Academy Award nominations before she was 25 years old.

Wood began acting in movies at the tender age of four years old. She was given a co-starring role in the classic Christmas film Miracle on 34th Street at eight and by her teens her performance in Rebel Without a Cause (1955) earned her a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

She starred in the musical films West Side Story (1961) and Gypsy (1962), and received Academy Award for Best Actress nominations for her performances in Splendor in the Grass (1961) and Love with the Proper Stranger (1963).

In 1969 her career continued with films such as Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice after which she took a break to have two children. Married to actor Robert Wagner twice, and to producer Richard Gregson in between her marriages to Wagner, She had one daughter by each: Natasha Gregson Wagner and Courtney Wagner.

At age 43, Wood drowned near Santa Catalina Island, California at the time her last film, Brainstorm (1983), Her death was declared an accident for 31 years; in 2012 after a new investigation the cause was reclassified as "undetermined"

Birthdays
1925 - Lola Albright (actress: The Tender Trap, The Impossible Years)

1930 - Sally Ann Howes (actress: Dead of Night, The History of Mr. Polly, Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang, Nicholas Nickleby)

1957 - Donna Dixon (actress: Wayne’s World, Speed Zone, Beverly Hills Madam, Dr. Detroit, Bosom Buddies, Berrenger’s)

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