'Natalie Wood' who was tragically killed in 1981,at 43, won over move-goers with her first starring role, in the 1947 Christmas classic,"Miracle on 34th Street". About a little girl
whom by questioning the existence of Santa Claus, gave Santa's beard a tug, and instantly made herself a child star. Then continuing to play other inocent child roles with lightening striking again at 16, when she co-starred with 'James Dean' in 'Rebel Without a Cause'.
In 1961, she played the iconic character 'Maria' in 'West Side Story' and was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in she starred opposite 'Warren Beatty' in 'Splendor in the Grass'. Going on to mirror her own life story in a way, Natalie Wood played the title character in 1962's Gypsy, the musical about stripper 'Gypsy Rose Lee'. 'Rosalind Russell' co-starred as her domineering stage mother who drove her daughter to perform.
Earning a lot of press not just for her acting roles, but for her personal life. She enjoyed great popularity, becoming a hit with movie star fan magazines. Her first marriage in the 1950s also attracted much media coverage. The 18-year-old star wed actor Robert Wagner, eight years her senior, in 1957. The couple became a favorite subject in fan magazines. The union, unfortunately, did not last, with the pair splitting up in 1962. Around this time, Wood became involved with Warren Beatty.Wood had numerous relationships with her co-stars, like James Dean and other stars. She dated actors, Dennis Hopper, hotel dynasty heir Nicky Hilton,and even singer Elvis Presley.
By the way in the 360 degrees of Kevin Bacon,dating all the above including a brief relationship with President John Kennedy, who also was with Marilyn Monroe, Natalie Wood and Dennis Hopper finalyzed the celebrity circle of death. Oh....Natalie's ex..the late Nicky Hilton's grand daughter Paris Hilton and Kevin Bacon are close friends.
Today 33 years after her death she remains in Hollywood headline's today, due to her death investigation which has been reactived and in the news since 2010. By sister, Lana Wood
who publicly states that she believed an argument between her sister Natalie and husband actor Robert Wagner had on the yacht's back deck preceded Wood's drowning. In 2011, Lana said did not necessarily suspect foul play, just that she wanted the truth to come out, the real story, which means she smells a rat. Husband Robert Wagners didn't stray too far from the Hollywood gene pool marrying follow up wife actress Jill St.John, former friend of Natalie Wood.
In 1972, Wood's volatile personal life took another turn. She divorced her second husband and decided to remarry Wagner. And had mutual children and one child together, a daughter named Courtney, born in 1974. This time around, Wood seemed to devote more time to her family rather than her career.The pair stayed together until Wood's death in, which occured on a boat moored off Catalina Island on Thanksgiving weekend in 1981 with husband Robert Wagner.
The couple invited her "Brainstorm" co-star, creepy ole Christopher Walken, to join them on the Thanksgiving weekend sail that preceded her death.Wagner acknowledged being jealous and having fought with Wood, in his book. "Pieces of My Heart,"published in September 2009. It appeared that Wagner was jealous of Walken, but authorities have said Walken witnessed only the events leading up to an argument between the couple. But about which of the three couples that included Christopher?
It was believed that the night she died,she slipped into the cold water later had delayed the bruising while trying to get into a dinghy and drowned. Officials ruled her death an accident, but there has since been much speculation about whether there was more to the story. According to a supplemental coroner's report, released Monday, revealed that Wood had several fresh bruises and scratches on her arm, wrist and neck that probably occurred before she ended up in the Pacific Ocean and drowned Nov. 29, 1981, the cold water might have delayed the bruising,explaining why it wasn't immediately seen. He maintains that after the argument with Walken, Wood went to her room and prepared for bed while he and Walken sat on the deck, cooling off.
Wagner writes that he went to check on Wood, but she wasn't there. He maintains that he and Davern searched the boat and noticed the dinghy was missing.Wagner assumed his wife had gone ashore on her own, he radioed the restaurant on shore where they'd had dinner and called the harbor master to seeif anyone had seen Wood. Eventually the dinghy was found about a mile from the yacht, and a mile from where Wood's body was found.
The former captain of the yacht Splendor, broke his silence with an account of that day in "Goodbye Natalie, Goodbye Splendor," a book he co-wrote that was also published in 2009. Captain Davern has said he believes Wood's death was a direct result of a fight with Wagner,the county coroner's office ruled at the time that Wood's death was an accident, or was it? today the mystery continues......