Natalie Wood

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Natalie Wood Wiki

Real Name: Natalia Nikolaevna Zakharenko
Birth Place: San Francisco, California, USA
Birth Date: July 20, 1938
Occupation: Actor

Natalie Wood Biography

Natalie Wood appeared in 56 films for TV and the silver screen and received 3 Oscar nominations before turning 25.Her real name was Natasha Gurdin, and she was born in San Francisco on Wednesday, July 20th, 1938, to Russian émigrés Maria and Nicholas Zakharenko (they had changed their last name to Gurdin before coming to America). Natalie has one sister, Lana Wood, who is younger. They have a half-sister, Olga Viriapaeff, who is older. When she was just four years old, Natalie made her film debut in Happy Land (1943), although she had less than 10 seconds of screen time. When she was seven, she was cast in a major role opposite the legendary Orson Welles in Tomorrow Is Forever (1946). The following year, she starred as Susan Walker in one of the most famous films of all time, Miracle on 34th Street (1947), which for many people has become a traditional viewing every Christmas. Natalie stayed very busy as a child actress and appeared in over 20 films, including The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947), Driftwood (1947), Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay! (1948), The Green Promise (1949), The Jackpot (1950), and Our Very Own (1950),When she was 16, Natalie got her big break when she was cast as Judy in Rebel Without a Cause (1955), starring opposite 24-year-old James Dean and 16-year-old Sal Mineo. Her performance earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. The film was very popular and is now considered a classic. Both of her co-stars in the film also died young under tragic circumstances, and the main cast has become known as the "tragic three." The following year, she played a small but crucial role in the classic western The Searchers (1956), which starred John Wayne. Natalie was a rebellious teenager, started smoking and was romantically linked to much older men. Publicly, she dated Dennis Hopper and Elvis Presley, who were only a few years older. Privately, Natalie (age 16) was romantically involved with 43-year-old bisexual director Nicholas Ray, who did not face statutory rape charges because their affair was not made public knowledge until long after it ended. In the spring of 1957, Natalie started a relationship with actor Robert Wagner when she was 18 and he was 27. They married on December 28th of that year. The couple made a film together called All the Fine Young Cannibals (1960), which flopped.In 1961, Natalie's career reached a higher level when she starred in two hit films. The first was Splendor in the Grass (1961), a rural period drama in which she and Warren Beatty played teen lovers. Natalie received her second Academy Award nomination for her role, as Best Actress. The other film she made that year was West Side Story (1961), in which she played a Puerto Rican girl who falls in love with a member of her community's rival gang in New York. In June of that year, 22-year-old Natalie filed for divorce from Wagner. Although he said that their careers conflicted with the marriage, biographer Suzanne Finstad wrote that she caught him "in a compromising position with another man." Their divorce was finalized in April 1962, and she began a relationship with Warren Beatty. Natalie's next two films were very successful: the musical Gypsy (1962) and the melodrama Love with the Proper Stranger (1963), in which she played a young shopgirl who faces an unwanted pregnancy. The latter film earned her a third Academy Award nomination. She was only 25 years old. After this she starred in Sex and the Single Girl (1964) (which flopped) and The Great Race (1965), which was a modest commercial success but a critical failure. She delivered some of the best work of her career by playing southern depression-era teens with big dreams in Inside Daisy Clover (1965) and This Property Is Condemned (1966), both of which co-starred Robert Redford and earned her Golden Globe nominations. Although they were not box-office hits, many consider the latter to be Natalie's greatest performance.In her personal life, Natalie broke up with Warren Beatty then had a string of short-lived romances with screenwriter Henry Jaglom, actors Michael Caine and Tom Courtenay, and was even engaged to Venezuelan shoe tycoon Ladislav Blatnik. Following an unhappy relationship with an unnamed older married man, Natalie attempted suicide in November of 1966. Then, she began seeing a psychiatrist and, sadly, semi-retired from acting at just 28 years old. After a three-year hiatus, Natalie made a brief return with a role in the 1969 ensemble film Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969). It was a box office hit, but she did not parlay the success into furthering her career. On May 30th, 1969, 30-year-old Natalie married 39-year-old British producer Richard Gregson after dating on and off for two years. He had been married before and already had two children.On September 29th, 1970, Natalie gave birth to a daughter, Natasha Gregson (later Natasha Gregson Wagner). Ten months later, on August 1, 1971, she and Richard Gregson separated when she found out he was having an affair. Following their separation, Natalie dated politician Jerry Brown. However, she reunited with Robert Wagner on January 26, 1972. On July 16, 1972, 33-year-old Natalie married for the third and final time, to 42-year-old Wagner in Malibu, just three months after her divorce from Gregson was finalized. The couple worked together in a TV movie called The Affair (1973) (TV), which marked Natalie's first acting role in over four years. On March 9th, 1974, Natalie gave birth to her second child (and her only child with Wagner), daughter Courtney Wagner.Meanwhile, Natalie turned down the role of Daisy in The Great Gatsby (1974). By 1975, while only in her mid thirties, Natalie was no longer being considered for plum film roles due to the fact that she had been offscreen for so long. The best roles were going to Jane Fonda, who was actually a year older than Natalie, despite the public's perception to the contrary. She finally appeared in another movie, Peeper (1976), but it wasn't even widely released in theaters. In 1977, Natalie became inclined to start acting more often, and over the next year she signed on for one feature film and two made-for-TV movies.In 1979, Natalie saw the release of three projects. "From Here to Eternity" (1979) was a miniseries costarring Kim Basinger and William Devane; it earned Natalie a Golden Globe Award. The Cracker Factory (1979) (TV) provided another meaty role for Natalie, but it was, after all, still just a TV movie. Meteor (1979) was Natalie's first feature film in an entire decade (excluding Peeper (1976), which wasn't widely released). However, it was not a comeback for her, as she only had a supporting role and the film was a huge flop both critically and commercially. Her next film, the 1980 sex comedy The Last Married Couple in America (1980), was also a flop, even though Natalie gave a wonderful performance. The poor reception of this film couldn't have been much of a surprise, though, because Natalie had been off the radar for so long. It was a shame that she had done virtually no movies while in her 30s, which should have been the prime years of her career.Determined to re-ignite her film career, Natalie went to North Carolina in September 1981 to make Brainstorm (1983), a compelling science fiction drama in which she and Christopher Walken played a husband-and-wife team of researchers who create a device that can record human thoughts. At 43, this marked the first time in 15 years (since she was 28) that Natalie had a serious starring role in a major film. She spent two months working on it before returning to L.A. for Thanksgiving break. Walked accompanied her.On November 27, 1981, Natalie invited Walken to join herself, Wagner, and boat captain Dennis Davern on a boat trip to Catalina Island. The following day, they dined at a restaurant on Catalina where Natalie became very intoxicated. That night, the four of them returned to their yacht, the "Splendor". The rest is a mystery, and the stories about how she ended up in the water have been conflicting. On the morning of Sunday, November 29th, 1981, her body was found floating face down in the ocean. Rumors of foul play immediately surfaced, but no charges were filed and her death was declared an accidental drowning. She was 43 years old. She had not completed all of her scenes in Brainstorm (1983). As a result, her character was written out of several scenes, while a stand-in and sound-a-likes were used to replace her in some crucial scenes. The film was finally released in the fall of 1983, to mixed reviews and bad box office. However, unlike the majority of Natalie's films, it has found a larger audience on DVD.Since Richard Gregson lived in Europe, Wagner got custody Natalie's daughter Natasha and raised her. He also cut off all contact with Natalie's family. In 1984, Lana Wood published the book "Natalie: a Memoir by Her Sister," in which she expressed her disappointment concerning Wagner's behavior.Natalie had only outlived her father, Nick, by one year after he died of a heart failure in November 1980 at age 68. Her mother, Maria, never stopped grieving for Natalie and developed Alzheimer's disease. She died of pneumonia in Lana's home in 1998 at age 85.On May 30, 2012, Natalie's first grandchild was born, when Natasha gave birth to a daughter, Clover Clementine Watson, named after Natalie's character in Inside Daisy Clover (1965). The father of Natasha's baby is her boyfriend, actor Barry Watson.

Natalie Wood Movies / TV-Shows

Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold (2017)
Bright Lights (2016)
Tab Hunter Confidential (2015)
Making the Boys (2011)
The Mystery of Natalie Wood (2004)
Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003)
20th Century-Fox: The First 50 Years (1997)
Century of Cinema A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies (1995)
Death in Hollywood (1990)
48 Hours (1988)
American Masters (1985)
Brainstorm (1983)
Hart to Hart (1979)
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1976)
Peeper (1975)
James Dean Remembered (1974)
The Affair (1973)
The Candidate (1972)
Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969)
Downhill Racer (1969)
Penelope (1966)
This Property Is Condemned (1966)
Inside Daisy Clover (1965)
The Great Race (1965)
Sex and the Single Girl (1964)
Love with the Proper Stranger (1963)
Gypsy (1962)
Splendor in the Grass (1961)
West Side Story (1961)
Cash McCall (1960)
Kings Go Forth (1958)
Marjorie Morningstar (1958)
The James Dean Story (1957)
The Searchers (1956)
A Cry in the Night (1956)
Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
One Desire (1955)
The Silver Chalice (1954)
The Star (1952)
The Blue Veil (1951)
The Jack Benny Program (1950)
Never a Dull Moment (1950)
The Jackpot (1950)
Father Was a Fullback (1949)
The Green Promise (1949)
Studio One in Hollywood (1948)
Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947)
Tomorrow Is Forever (1946)
The Bride Wore Boots (1946)

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