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Natalie Wood

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Also Known As: Natalia Nikolaevna Zakharenko, Natasha Gurdin Died: November 29, 1981
Born: July 20, 1938 Cause of Death: Drowning
Birth Place: San Francisco, California, USA Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A doe-eyed, brunette beauty, Natalie Wood was one of Hollywood's brightest stars and a legend both on and off the silver screen. Born to Russian immigrants, Wood found herself in the spotlight as a child, capturing audience's hearts in the holiday classic, "Miracle on 34th Street" (1947). Maintaining a successful career as an adult, she went on to turn in Oscar-nominated performances in the films "Rebel Without a Cause" (1955) and "Splendor in the Grass" (1961), as well as charming audiences as Maria in the hit musical "West Side Story" (1961). Wood's storybook marriage to fellow actor Robert Wagner delighted movie fans - first, in the late 1950s, and later, following their divorce, when the couple reunited for a second go at marriage in the early 1970s. With a personal life rivaling the plot of any Hollywood movie, Wood was one of the most beloved actresses of her time, even long after her mysterious drowning death in 1981, which left behind more questions than answers.

A doe-eyed, brunette beauty, Natalie Wood was one of Hollywood's brightest stars and a legend both on and off the silver screen. Born to Russian immigrants, Wood found herself in the spotlight as a child, capturing audience's hearts in the holiday classic, "Miracle on 34th Street" (1947). Maintaining a successful career as an adult, she went on to turn in Oscar-nominated performances in the films "Rebel Without a Cause" (1955) and "Splendor in the Grass" (1961), as well as charming audiences as Maria in the hit musical "West Side Story" (1961). Wood's storybook marriage to fellow actor Robert Wagner delighted movie fans - first, in the late 1950s, and later, following their divorce, when the couple reunited for a second go at marriage in the early 1970s. With a personal life rivaling the plot of any Hollywood movie, Wood was one of the most beloved actresses of her time, even long after her mysterious drowning death in 1981, which left behind more questions than answers.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Brainstorm (1983) Karen Brace
2.
 Willie & Phil (1980) Natalie Wood
3.
 Memory Of Eva Ryker (1980) Claire Ryker; Eva Ryker
4.
 Last Married Couple In America, The (1979) Mari Thomson
5.
 Hart to Hart (1979) Movie Star
6.
 Cracker Factory (1979) Cassie Barrett
7.
 Meteor (1979) Tatiana
8.
 Peeper (1976) Ellen Prendergast
9.
 Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1976) Margaret
10.
 The Candidate (1972)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1943:
First film appearance, a bit part in "Happy Land"
1946:
Feature acting debut, opposite Orson Welles and Claudette Colbert in "Tomorrow Is Forever"
1947:
Acted in Joseph L. Mankiewicz's "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" and the holiday classic "Miracle on 34th Street"
1952:
Made TV debut on ABC's "Gruen Guild Theater"
1955:
Breakthrough film role, playing rebellious teenager Judy opposite James Dean in "Rebel Without a Cause"; earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
1958:
Cast as a Hollywood actress in "Marjorie Morningstar" opposite Gene Kelly
1961:
Co-starred with Warren Beatty in Elia Kazan's "Splendor in the Grass"; received second Oscar nomination, for Best Actress in a Leading Role
1961:
Landed starring role of Maria in the Leonard Bernstein musical "West Side Story"; Wood signed on to do her own singing, but the studio later dubbed over her voice with that of Marni Nixon
1962:
Portrayed burlesque dancer Gypsy Rose Lee in "Gypsy"
1963:
Earned third Oscar-nominated performance, for Best Actress in a Leading Role, in "Love with the Proper Stranger"
1969:
After several box office misses, saw a career resurgence in Paul Mazursky's critically acclaimed "Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice"
1976:
Starred as Maggie opposite husband Robert Wagner in televised adaptation of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" (NBC)
1979:
Cast in NBC miniseries version of "From Here to Eternity"; won a Golden Globe for Best TV Actress ¿ Drama
1979:
Appeared opposite Sean Connery in the Cold War-era sci-fi film "Meteor"
1980:
Shot her final film in its entirety, "The Last Married Couple in America" opposite George Segal
1983:
Final film appearance, opposite Christopher Walken in "Brainstorm"; released posthumously
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Robert Wagner. Actor. Married on December 28, 1957; divorced c. 1962; remarried on July 16, 1972.
companion:
Henry Jaglom. Director, screenwriter.
husband:
Richard Gregson. Producer. British; married in May 1969; divorced.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Nicholis Gurdin. Architect, set and stage designer, specialist in film props. Of Russian descent; alcoholic.
mother:
Maria Gurdin. Ballet dancer, fortune teller. Of French descent; abandoned by first husband; emigrated to USA from Siberia; died of pneumonia on January 6, 1998 at age 85.
half-sister:
Olga. Older; from mother's first marriage.
sister:
Lana Wood. Actor. Younger.
step-daughter:
Katie Wagner.
daughter:
Natasha Gregson Wagner. Actor. Born on September 29, 1970; father, Richard Gregson; adopted by Robert Wagner after his second marriage to Wood.
daughter:
Courtney Wagner. Artist. Born c. 1974; father, Robert Wagner.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Natalie: A Memoir by Her Sister"
"Natalie Wood: A Biography in Photographs"
"Natalie and RJ: Hollywood's Star-Crossed Lovers"
"Natasha: The Biography of Natalie Wood" Crown
VIEW COMPLETE BIBLIOGRAPHY

Contributions

cosmicly ( 2007-05-27 )

Source: Library of Congress

Additional biography:
"Natalie Wood: A Life In Seven Takes" by Gavin Lambert

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