Natalie Wood’s death was shrouded in mystery. Records show the Hollywood icon was in terror and even begged to be taken away from her husband Wagner a day before his death.
Entering showbiz as a child star, Natalie Wood has captured the hearts of fans with her acting talent and dazzling appearance. Her acting prowess catapulted her to huge success while growing up.
Natalie Wood has also won several awards. However, while she must have been envied for her success as a movie star, Wood’s love life has not been the calm one. The actress’ career was also cut short when her life came to a mysterious end.
Photo of actress Natalie Wood [à gauche], American actors Natalie Wood and Robert Wagner, circa 1960 [à droite]. | Photo : Getty Images
THE EARLY YEARS OF WOOD
Decades after the ‘Splendor in the Grass’ actress died on a yacht while vacationing with loved ones, never-before-seen details of her memoir have been revealed, and they provide more precise insight into her relationship .
According to some published information, Wood first met Robert J. Wagner, who later became her husband, when she was 10 years old.
Natalie Wood and Robert Wagner in London, July 1, 1976. | Source: Getty Images
It was a brief meeting, but they met again when she was 17 for a photoshoot. Their second meeting was enough for Wagner to be captivated by the actress and set a date to see her a few weeks later. She wrote in one of the passages:
“On July 20, 1956, my 18th birthday, he accompanied me to the screening of La Montagne. The next morning, he sent me flowers and a note, promising to see me again.”
Wagner was Wood’s husband until his death, and they had a daughter, Courtney Wagner, together. Sadly, news that the actress was unhappy in her marriage surfaced after her mysterious disappearance from the waters of Catalina Island in California on November 28, 1981.
Robert Wagner, Natalie Wood and their daughters Katie Wagner, Natasha Gregson Wagner and Courtney Wagner in 1980. | Photo: Getty Images
WAGNER’S ROLE IN WOOD’S DEATH
While the investigation was ongoing at the time of Wood’s death, authorities named Wagner a “person of interest.” It happened after the captain of the yacht where she disappeared revealed that the deceased actress and her husband were at odds.
According to Captain Dennis Davern, who was On board alongside Wood, Wagner and co-star Christopher Walken, there was a lot of jealousy and tension between the couple. And when Wood couldn’t stand her husband’s attitude anymore, she decided to come back to earth.
Robert Wagner with his former wife, American actress Natalie Wood, April 23, 1972. | Photo: Getty Images
Davern revealed that he took the “Miracle on 34th Street” actress to a motel, and the two had a long discussion. While they were alone, Wood confided in Davern about how she planned to leave Wagner.
The captain added that the actress even intended to take a seaplane and return home the next day, but that never happened as Wood disappeared hours later after they returned to the yacht.
Natalie Wood in the Daily News color studio August 21, 1956 | Photo: Getty Images
Sadly, when they did find her, she was in a nightgown, red suitcase, and socks, floating off the coast of Southern California.
But it wasn’t until thirty years after the Golden Globe winner’s death had been considered as an accident that a homicide investigation was opened into his case.
Other reports showed Davern said the “Rebel Without a Cause” actress and her husband were arguing in their cabin before the actress disappeared.
The coroner found accidental drowning, which may have been caused by her slipping off the boat while trying to tie up a lifeboat.
Natalie Wood poses for a portrait session at her home in 1952 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images
Captain Davern admitted he had not told the whole truth about events that may be linked to Wood’s tragic disappearance, and he urged investigators from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Criminal Squad to reopen the case.
When speaking about the incident in an interview, Davern said he believed the argument between Wood and Wagner led to his death. The captain also noted that Wagner intentionally simplified the investigation and didn’t do everything he could have done.
Over time, the case only sparked new questions, and the late actress’s sister, Lana, also made claims that kept Wagner on the front page of the case.
Natalie Wood (1938-1981), American actress, wearing a red top and holding a pink flower, in a studio portrait, against a yellow background, circa 1965. | Source: Getty Images
In an interview, the grieving sister of the deceased said she believed Wagner withheld details from authorities after her sister’s death. However, Davern and Lana weren’t the only ones deeply affected by Wood’s drowning.
To girl Natasha Gregson Wagner was 11 when the mysterious incident took place, and she has never recovered from the loss. Natasha is Wood’s daughter with her ex-husband, producer Richard Gregson.
Almost 40 years after Wood’s drowning, 51-year-old Natasha revealed that she still misses her mother. She brought up the memory of the “West Side Story” star in an interview. She even went back to the story that led to the mysterious death of her mother in her memoir “More Than Love”.
Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood at Heathrow Airport on May 28, 1976 | Photo: Getty Images
WOOD’S DEATH WASN’T AN ACCIDENT
The tragic death of Natalie Wood has been a mystery for years, and each time it seems more complicated to come to a definitive conclusion. However, his disappearance has been mentioned in the book “Natalie Wood” with new details that imply that Wood did not drown by accident.
The author of the book believes that Wagner played an important role in the death of the movie star. According to reports, the author shares some of Wood’s darkest secrets, and Wood hasn’t always had a splendid life.
Natalie Wood and Robert Wagner on January 01, 1960 | Photo: Getty Images
WOOD’S SECRET MEMORIES
Memories of Natalie Wood allowed to find out more information about her relationship with Robert Wagner and how she is said to have died. The secret memoir was written years before the Hollywood star’s death, and it was handed over to authorities by his sister Lana who believed he would help the investigation.
On a page of the published book, we can read that Wood explained how she was surrounded by people but felt alone. She also notes that her relationship with Wagner was fraught with flaws. When the book was handed over to authorities, Lana said she was shocked at its details.
Actress Natalie Wood poses for a portrait on January 01, 1960 | Photo: Getty Images
The documentary on Wood’s life and the events surrounding his death is also available on Apple Podcast for all fans. “THE NIGHT BEFORE” – “The Mysterious Death Of Natalie Wood” now features several episodes about how Wood planned to leave her husband but sadly didn’t live long enough.
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Natalie Wood, “petrified”, asked the captain to take her away from Wagner the day before his death