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Birth name Natalia Nikolaïevna ZakharenkoNationality USABirth 20 july 1938Natalie Wood (born Natalie Zacharenko; July 20, 1938 – November 29, 1981) was an American film and television actress best known for her screen roles in Miracle on 34th Street, Splendor in the Grass, Rebel Without a Cause, The Searchers and West Side Story. After first working in films as a child, Wood became a successful Hollywood star as a young adult, receiving three Academy Award nominations before she was 25 years old.
at San Francisco (USA
)Death 29 november 1981
(at 43 years) at Santa Catalina Island (USA
Wood began acting in movies at the age of four and at age eight was given a co-starring role with Maureen O'Hara in the classic Christmas film Miracle on 34th Street. As a teenager, her performance in Rebel Without a Cause (1955) earned her a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She starred in the musical films West Side Story (1961) and Gypsy (1962), and received Academy Award for Best Actress nominations for her performances in Splendor in the Grass (1961) and Love with the Proper Stranger (1963). Her career continued with films such as Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969).
After this, she took a break from acting and had two children, appearing in only two theatrical films during the 1970s. She was married to actor Robert Wagner twice, and to producer Richard Gregson. She had one daughter by each husband: Natasha Gregson Wagner and Courtney Wagner. Her younger sister, Lana Wood, is also an actress.
Wood starred in several television productions, including a remake of the film From Here to Eternity (1979) for which she won a Golden Globe Award. During her career from child actress to adult star, her films represented a "coming of age" for both her and Hollywood films in general.
Wood's two marriages to actor Robert Wagner were highly publicized. Wood said that she had had a crush on Wagner since she was a child, and on her 18th birthday she went on a studio-arranged date with the 26-year-old actor. They married a year later on December 28, 1957, a marriage that met with great protest from Wood's mother. In an article in February 2009, Wagner recalled their early romance:
I saw Natalie around town but she never seemed interested. She was making Rebel Without a Cause and hanging out with James Dean; I was with an older crowd. The first time I remember really talking to her was at a fashion show in 1956. She was beautiful, but still gave no hint about the mad crush she had on me. I later found out she had signed with my agent simply because he was my agent. A month later, I invited Natalie to a premiere on what turned out to be her 18th birthday. At dinner, we both sensed things were different. I sent her flowers and the dates continued. I remember the instant I fell in love with her. One night on board a small boat I owned, she looked at me with love, her dark brown eyes lit by a table lantern. That moment changed my life.
Wood and Wagner separated in June 1961 and divorced in April 1962.
On May 30, 1969, Wood married British producer Richard Gregson. The couple dated for two and a half years prior to their marriage, while Gregson waited for his divorce to be finalized. In 1970 they had a daughter, Natasha. They separated in August 1971 after Wood overheard an inappropriate telephone conversation between her secretary and Gregson. The split also marked a brief estrangement between Wood and her family, when mother Maria and sister Lana told her to reconcile with Gregson for the sake of her newborn child. She filed for divorce, and it was finalized in April 1972.
In early 1972, Wood resumed her relationship with Wagner. The couple remarried on July 16, 1972, just five months after reconciling and only three months after she divorced Gregson. Their daughter, Courtney Wagner, was born in 1974. Wood's sister, Lana Wood, recalls this period:Her marriage was considered to be one of the best in Hollywood, and there is no question that she was a devoted, loving—even adoring—mother and stepmother. She and R.J. had begun with love and built from there. They had overcome each other's problems and had reached an accommodation with time, and the changes time brings. As with anybody else who has settled into making a long marriage work, they were far more determined than most people to make it work ...
They remained married until Wood's death seven years later on November 29, 1981.