Natalie Wood Aboard A Yacht Yet Terrified of Water.
Born to Russian-immigrant parents By 1947, she earned up to a thousand dollars per week for such films as Miracle on 34th Street, She was about age 7.Wood settled down to marriage relatively early, wedding film star Robert Wagner in 1957. The union didn't last, and she and Wagner were divorced in 1962. In the midst of filming the 1981 sci-fier Brainstorm, 43-year-old Natalie Wood drowned in a yachting accident just off Catalina Island. Among her survivors was her sister, actress Lana Wood. She drowned mysteriously in 1981 off California's Catalina Island while vacationing with her husband Robert Wagner and actor Christopher Walken.Wood was married twice to actor Robert Wagner (from 1957-62 and from 1974 until her death)... She is the mother of actress Natasha Gregson Wagner, her daughter with producer Richard Gregson... Wood was 5'2" tall.In the early 1960s, however, Wagner suffered a series of personal and professional reverses. Because of financial difficulties, his "ideal" marriage to actress Natalie Wood had dissolved, and his film career skidded to a stop after The Pink Panther (1964). New lead actors like Marlon Brando and Paul Newman overshadowed Wagner, making it difficult to find work. Two years of unemployment followed before Wagner made a respectable comeback as star of the lighthearted TV espionage series It Takes a Thief (1968-70).A private celebration involving alcohol consumption has turned into a furious argument, now raging for more than an hour aboard a yacht off the Californian island of Santa Catalina. Aboard the yacht are actor Robert Wagner and his famous actress wife, Natalie Wood. Also aboard is actor Christopher Walken. Walken and Wood are nearing completion of the film Brainstorm, scheduled to be released in 1982. There are still several key scenes to be shot, however.No one will ever know what the argument is about except for these three people: and one of them will be dead very soon. Walken notified the authorities and a search beganThe dinghy was soon discovered in a Catalina cove. Shortly before dawn, the body of the 43-year-old actress was found floating face down in open sea; her parka kept her afloat. on the afternoon before her death, Wood and Walken awoke from naps before Wagner, and the pair went ashore in the dinghy and drank for a couple of hours in a Catalina restaurant. Wood, 43, whose fear of water is well-known, is found drowned on November 29 wearing a nightgown, socks, and a jacket after apparently trying to leave the yacht in the middle of the night to board an inflatable dinghy. Her death is ruled an accident, but the circumstances will become a source of speculation in Hollywood for many years to come. Suggestions of foul play will emerge time and again.According to the Coroner's report, Wood is believed to have slipped while trying to board the dinghy. She falls into the cold, black water, is swept away by ocean currents, and clings to the dinghy while paddling toward Blue Cavern Point. Tragically, she succumbs to hypothermia less than two-hundred yards from shore. The combination of the weight of her water-soaked jacket, the icy water and intense struggle to remain alive, finally exacts its deadly toll.When interviewed by the police, ( Christopher Walken ) confirms that he, Wood, and Wagner had been drinking on the yacht on the night in question. Walken also asserts that Wagner had complained "that [Natalie] was away from home too much. She was away from the kids; it was hurting their home life." Walken says he supported Wood but then realised he was getting involved in a marital argument,Walken was sideing with Wood, advising her husband to "let Natalie do what she wanted to do." He claims that after stepping outside for some air, he returned to find everybody apologising, (particularly Robert Wagner.) According to the police report ( Walken then went to bed.) The police investigation is closed two weeks after Wood's body is found, and the coroner rules it a case of accidental death, saying Wood had fallen into the water after trying to board the dinghy.The movie Brainstorm with Christopher Walken & Natalie Wood is finally released in 1983 after cleverly re-working a number of the scenes that Natalie Wood had not been able to complete.Five years after Natalie's death, Robert Wagner, in an attempt to quell rumours about an argument, issues a statement saying there had been a political discussion on the yacht that night. ( "There was no fight, no anger,") Wagner says. He says Wood left the room after about 30 minutes and the discussion continued for about another hour. "Then I went to kiss her good night and found her missing." Questions persist: Why did Natalie try to leave the yacht alone that night, dressed in only a nightgown, socks and jacket? Why does she do this while under the disabling effects of a substantially large amount of alcohol consumption? Was she in control of herself -- especially in the wake of a domestic quarrel? Was something hurtful enough said to drive her to leave and seek shore? Was she trying to escape from something -- or someone? Darker questions surface -- of suicide or foul play.
Wood and Wagner married young and moved into a "movie star" house in 1957. They divorced in 1963. The breakup came when she was in deep internal trouble with her family, Saying With parents like hers, "they don't really love you, they exploit you."
Wood's mother controlled her daughter's career and personal life from her start in films at age 5 and appropriated much of Wood's earnings. Lambert described Natalie's father as a passive alcoholic who went along with whatever his wife demanded. Torn between the unrelenting grasp of her mother and her newfound freedom with her career and Wagner, Wood wanted counseling. Wagner objected, feeling that seeking outside help would be a reflection on him. The conflict contributed to the separation. one night both attended a party without their spouses. He spied her alone across a crowded room, and they talked all evening. It was a rainy night, and he suggested driving her home. They arrived at her house, and he said, 'I guess I shouldn't come in.' She agreed and said goodnight. He told me, 'I drove the car a little bit down the street, and I stopped the car and I burst into tears.' A friend who was staying at the house told me that Natalie sat down in her living room and burst into tears."
Two divorces later, they were remarried in 1972.

John Robida


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