Best photos ( Natalie Wood )

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Birth information

20 July 1938 San Francisco, California, USA

Death information

29 November 1981 Pacific Ocean off Santa Catalina Island, California, USA

Given Name

Natalia Nikolaevna Zakharenko

Nickname

Nat
Natasha

How tall is Natalie Wood?

1.57 m

Who is(are) his/her spouse(s)?

Robert Wagner
Richard Gregson
Robert Wagner

Life Story of Natalie Wood

Natalie Wood was born on July 20, 1938 in San Francisco, California as Natalia Nikolaevna Zakharenko. Her parents, Maria Zudilov and Nikolai Zakharenko, were Russian-born émigrés who spoke barely comprehensible English; they changed the family name to Gurdin after becoming US citizens. When she was just four years old, Natalie appeared in her first film, Happy Land (1943). A production company had come to Santa Rosa, California, where the Gurdins were living and Natalie won a bit part of a crying little girl who had just dropped her ice cream cone. With stars in her eyes for her daughter, Mrs. Gurdin packed the family and moved south to Los Angeles in the hopes that more films would come her daughter's way. Unfortunately they did not, at least not at first, and the family continued to scrape by much as they had done in Santa Rosa. In 1946 Natalie tested for a role in Tomorrow Is Forever (1946). She was only seven at the time, and flunked the screen test. Natalie's mother convinced the studio heads to give her another test, and this time she was convincing enough that they gave Natalie the role. In 1947's Miracle on 34th Street (1947), she won the hearts of movie patrons...

Significant features of Natalie Wood

Large brown eyes always covered with heavy makeup
Small petite frame
Often played vulnerable characters put through emotional wringers
Relaxed speaking voice

How much money has Natalie Wood earned?

Dear Brat (1951) $2,333
Just for You (1952) $6,500
Kings Go Forth (1958) $750 per week
Cash McCall (1960) $150,000
All the Fine Young Cannibals (1960) $150,000
West Side...

Publications and Magazines about Natalie Wood

Lana Wood Natalie: A Memoir by Her Sister. 1984
Suzanne Finstad Natasha: A Biography of Natalie Wood. 2001
Gavin Lambert Natalie Wood: A Life. 2004
Warren G. Harris Natalie and RJ: Hollywood's Star-Crossed Lovers. 1990

Biographical movies about Natalie Wood

E! True Hollywood Story: "Natalie Wood" Episode #1.22 1997
The Mystery of Natalie Wood 2004
Biography: "Natalie Wood: Child of Hollywood" 2003

What movies did Natalie Wood play or participate?

Actors Filmography
Brainstorm (1983) Karen Brace, Willie & Phil (1980) Natalie Wood, The Memory of Eva Ryker (1980) Eva Ryker / Claire Ryker, The Last Married Couple in America (1980) Mari Thompson, Meteor (1979) Tatiana Donskaya, Hart to Hart (1979) Movie Star, The Cracker Factory (1979) Cassie Barrett, From Here to Eternity (1979) Karen Holmes, Switch (1978) Girl in the Bubble Bath / Cruise Ship Passenger, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1976) Margaret, Peeper (1975) Ellen Prendergast, The Affair (1973) Courtney Patterson, The Candidate (1972) Natalie Wood, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice...

Birth information

20 July 1938 San Francisco, California, USA

Death information

29 November 1981 Pacific Ocean off Santa Catalina Island, California, USA

Given Name

Natalia Nikolaevna Zakharenko

Nickname

Nat
Natasha

How tall is Natalie Wood?

1.57 m

Who is(are) his/her spouse(s)?

Robert Wagner
Richard Gregson
Robert Wagner

Life Story of Natalie Wood

Natalie Wood was born on July 20, 1938 in San Francisco, California as Natalia Nikolaevna Zakharenko. Her parents, Maria Zudilov and Nikolai Zakharenko, were Russian-born émigrés who spoke barely comprehensible English; they changed the family name to Gurdin after becoming US citizens. When she was just four years old, Natalie appeared in her first film, Happy Land (1943). A production company had come to Santa Rosa, California, where the Gurdins were living and Natalie won a bit part of a crying little girl who had just dropped her ice cream cone. With stars in her eyes for her daughter, Mrs. Gurdin packed the family and moved south to Los Angeles in the hopes that more films would come her daughter's way. Unfortunately they did not, at least not at first, and the family continued to scrape by much as they had done in Santa Rosa. In 1946 Natalie tested for a role in Tomorrow Is Forever (1946). She was only seven at the time, and flunked the screen test. Natalie's mother convinced the studio heads to give her another test, and this time she was convincing enough that they gave Natalie the role. In 1947's Miracle on 34th Street (1947), she won the hearts of movie patrons...

Significant features of Natalie Wood

Large brown eyes always covered with heavy makeup
Small petite frame
Often played vulnerable characters put through emotional wringers
Relaxed speaking voice

How much money has Natalie Wood earned?

Dear Brat (1951) $2,333
Just for You (1952) $6,500
Kings Go Forth (1958) $750 per week
Cash McCall (1960) $150,000
All the Fine Young Cannibals (1960) $150,000
West Side...

Publications and Magazines about Natalie Wood

Lana Wood Natalie: A Memoir by Her Sister. 1984
Suzanne Finstad Natasha: A Biography of Natalie Wood. 2001
Gavin Lambert Natalie Wood: A Life. 2004
Warren G. Harris Natalie and RJ: Hollywood's Star-Crossed Lovers. 1990

Biographical movies about Natalie Wood

E! True Hollywood Story: "Natalie Wood" Episode #1.22 1997
The Mystery of Natalie Wood 2004
Biography: "Natalie Wood: Child of Hollywood" 2003

What movies did Natalie Wood play or participate?

Actors Filmography
Brainstorm (1983) Karen Brace, Willie & Phil (1980) Natalie Wood, The Memory of Eva Ryker (1980) Eva Ryker / Claire Ryker, The Last Married Couple in America (1980) Mari Thompson, Meteor (1979) Tatiana Donskaya, Hart to Hart (1979) Movie Star, The Cracker Factory (1979) Cassie Barrett, From Here to Eternity (1979) Karen Holmes, Switch (1978) Girl in the Bubble Bath / Cruise Ship Passenger, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1976) Margaret, Peeper (1975) Ellen Prendergast, The Affair (1973) Courtney Patterson, The Candidate (1972) Natalie Wood, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice...

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Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer in West Side Story (1961)

Sister of Lana Wood.

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24 th
Natalie Wood, June Haver, and Geraldine Wall in Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay! (1948)

She and Lana had a maternal half-sister, Olga Viripaeff (1928-2015), who was born in Harbin, China as Ovsanna Tatulov.

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Natalie Wood and Christopher Walken in Projekt Brainstorm (1983)

She suffered from a deep fear of drowning after having barely survived an accident when she was a little girl, during the filming of The Green Promise (1949). Her fear was so great that Elia Kazan had to lie - promising a double - and trick her into doing the scenes at the water reservoir in Splendor in the Grass (1961).

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22 th
Natalie Wood and Christopher Walken in Projekt Brainstorm (1983)

Following her untimely death, she was interred at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, California. On her grave, marked Natalie Wood Wagner: Beloved daughter, sister, wife, mother & friend "more than love".

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21 th
Natalie Wood in Projekt Brainstorm (1983)

Was commonly listed as 5' 3" wearing heels in movie magazines, though her actual height was 5' 2".

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20 th
Natalie Wood and Christopher Walken in Projekt Brainstorm (1983)

The Harvard Lampoon often singled her out for derision. On Saturday, April 23, 1966, she surprised the Lampoon's staff when she became the first performer they voted the year's worst to show up and accept her citation.

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19 th
Natalie Wood, Ira David Wood III, and Jason Lively in Projekt Brainstorm (1983)

Reportedly turned down the role of Bonnie Parker in Bonnie and Clyde (1967) because she didn't want to be separated from her psychoanalyst while the film was on location in the Midwest.

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18 th
Natalie Wood and Christopher Walken in Projekt Brainstorm (1983)

Splendour, the name of the yacht Wood was on the night she died, was named after her movie Splendor in the Grass (1961).

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17 th
Natalie Wood in Projekt Brainstorm (1983)

An accident on a movie set (she fell into a river and almost drowned) when she was 9 years old left her with a permanently weakened left wrist and a slight bone protrusion, which, for the rest of her life, she hid with large bracelets. Regardless of the movie role, or anytime that she was out in public, she always wore a large bracelet on the left wrist.

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16 th
Natalie Wood and Christopher Walken in Projekt Brainstorm (1983)

The rubber dinghy "Prince Valiant" she had allegedly been trying to board after falling from husband Robert Wagner's yacht that fateful Thanksgiving weekend in 1981, was named after Wagner's movie Prince Valiant (1954), a film the actor considered among his worst.

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15 th
Natalie Wood, Christopher Walken, Louise Fletcher, Joe Dorsey, etc.

Had planned to produce as well as star in I Never Promised You a Rose Garden (1977), but the leading role of Deborah Blake went to Kathleen Quinlan by the time the film was made.

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14 th
Natalie Wood, Richard Benjamin, George Segal, and Arlene Golonka in Einmal Scheidung, etc.

Daughter with Robert Wagner: Courtney Wagner (born March 9, 1974).

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13 th
Natalie Wood and George Segal in Einmal Scheidung, bitte! (1980)

Her death was kismet, as she always cited a fear of water.

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12 th
Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty in Fieber im Blut (1961)

Younger sister Lana Wood made a ABC-TV special on Natalie's life, The Mystery of Natalie Wood (2004).

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11 th
Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty in Fieber im Blut (1961)

By the early 1960s, Natalie Wood was considered one of Hollywood's most valuable and wanted actresses. Her career started to lose steam after a row of box office failures in the mid-1960s, but she was still getting big movie offers. Rather than accepting roles that could kick her career back into high gear (Barefoot in the Park (1967), Goodbye, Columbus (1969), Diary of a Mad Housewife (1970)), she stopped working, and by the mid-1970s was no longer a hot property. She appeared in just 4 feature films during the last 15 years of her life, not counting her would-be comeback picture Brainstorm (1983), which was incomplete at the time of her death. It was ultimately finished and released, but Wood's character had to be written out of three scenes while a stand-in and changing camera angles were used for crucial shots.

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10 th
Natalie Wood in Fieber im Blut (1961)

She was cast as Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1976) quite unexpectedly, without campaigning for the role. Wood explained that when Laurence Olivier would come to Hollywood, she would often be seated with him at the table at formal sit-down dinners. When Olivier decided to make a version of the Tennessee Williams play, he thought of casting Wood, his dinner companion, and her husband, Robert Wagner, in the husband-wife roles of Brick and Maggie. Naturally, they accepted.

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9 th
Natalie Wood, Audrey Christie, and Fred Stewart in Fieber im Blut (1961)

Wood knew screenwriter Gavin Lambert as both were intimates of director Randy Suhr. In the early 1960s, he wrote a novel about an adolescent Hollywood starlet in the 1930s titled Inside Daisy Clover (1965). After reading the book, Wood telephoned Lambert and said, "I'd kill for that part". He assured her she was his first choice for the movie, for which he was writing the screenplay. She got the role and Ruth Gordon got her first Oscar nomination as an actress for portraying Daisy's mother.

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8 th
Natalie Wood and Audrey Christie in Fieber im Blut (1961)

She was the inspiration of High School Musical (2006) star Vanessa Hudgens.

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7 th
Natalie Wood, Barbara Stanwyck, Robert Benchley, Robert Cummings, etc.

People magazine (USA) named her one of "The 25 Most Intriguing People of 1976" for the January 3, 1977 issue.

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Natalie Wood and Sterling Hayden in The Star (1952)

Entertainment Weekly placed her on the "100 greatest stars of all time" list, at #70.

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5 th
Bette Davis and Natalie Wood in The Star (1952)

Voted one of the top sex stars of the 1970s in Playboy magazine.

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Natalie Wood in The Star (1952)

Called "The Most Beautiful Teenager in the World" by Life magazine in 1955.

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3 rd
Maureen O'Hara and Natalie Wood in Das Wunder von Manhattan (1947)

Godmother of her daughter Natasha Gregson Wagner was Ruth Gordon, who played Natalie's mother in the film Inside Daisy Clover (1965).

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2 nd
Natalie Wood and Edmund Gwenn in Das Wunder von Manhattan (1947)

In 1982, Wood was supposed to make a comeback following a decade and a half of semiretirement. On February 12, she was scheduled to make her stage debut playing the title role in "Anastasia" at the Ahmanson Theatre in L.A. Brainstorm (1983) was slated for release in July, and Timothy Hutton reported that he and Wood had purchased film rights to the Barbara Wersba book "Country of the Heart" and were planning to team in the drama about the professional/romantic relationship of a young writer and a successful novelist who's dying of cancer.

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1 st
Natalie Wood, Michael Caine, Don Calfa, and Timothy Carey in Die falsche Schwester (1975)

Had an affair with 43-year-old director Nicholas Ray when she was 16 years old. Other way older (more than 20 years) men romantically linked to the underage Wood, according to a multitude of publications, included Raymond Burr, John Ireland and Frank Sinatra. What's baffling is that both Nicholas Ray and Raymond Burr were reportedly gay or bisexual - as were several of the slightly more age appropriate men Wood dated in her teens, such as Nick Adams and Scott Marlowe. According to Suzanne Finstad, Wood was brutally raped by a "powerful, married movie star" in her earlier adolescence and sought safety in the company of non-heterosexuals until she married Robert Wagner at the age of 19.

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