The cause of Natalie Wood’s untimely death has remained one of the biggest mysteries in Hollywood. Now, nearly four decades after she passed, investigators have made a big move by calling Wood’s then-husband, actor Robert Wagner, a person of interest. The case once again has everyone talking, and has left many people wondering about the details surrounding Wood’s death — after all, it was a long time ago (most millennials hadn’t even been born yet). This has left many with questions like: Where did Wood die? When did she die? How old was the actress when she passed?
Sadly, Wood died young. A successful actress known for roles in movies like Rebel Without A Cause and West Side Story, Wood was quite popular during the height of her fame. She was a child actress who started acting at just four years old, when she scored her well-known role in Miracle on 34th Street. She went on to star in many other films and win prestigious awards, but in her early 30s she took a break from Hollywood to raise her children. Wood was married three times: once to producer Richard Gregson and twice to actor Robert Wagner. She had one child with each of these men.
Wood died in November 1981 when she drowned off the coast of Catalina Island in California.
She had gone missing from her family yacht, the Splendour, and was found the next day floating face down in the water wearing a red down jacket and a flannel nightgown. Wood had been on the yacht with three men: Captain Dennis Davern, Wagner, and Christopher Walken, Wood’s friend (and yes, the actor). Wood was 43 years old when she died.
At the time, Wood’s death was ruled an accident, but that didn’t sit right for many people who assumed Wagner had something to do with it. The three men said Wood had gotten into a dinghy on her own at night, but it didn’t make sense considering she was famously terrified of dark open water. Eventually, accounts told by Wagner and Davern changed a bit, making investigators suspicious. In 2011, the case was reopened by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. In 2012, the cause of death was changed from accidental drowning to “drowning and other undetermined factors.”
On February 1st, investigators named Wagner a person of interest, which people who have been following the case have been waiting for. They want to speak with him, but Wagner isn’t interested in talking.
Fascinated? You’re not alone. On Saturday, February 3rd, Natalie Wood: Death in Dark Water will be on CBS at 10 p.m. ET/PT. We can only hope this new development brings us closer to the truth.