I’ve always wondered about the circumstances surrounding the death of beautiful actress Natalie Wood. Her death always seemed a little suspicious to me. There were so many things unanswered.
“In the early morning hours of Nov. 29, 1981, Hollywood’s “princess” perished in the chilly waters off Catalina Island. Authorities believed Natalie Wood accidentally slipped into the water while attempting to transfer aboard a small dinghy attached to her 55-foot yacht.” (Courtesy of Hollywood Crimes, Investigation Discovery)
Born Natasha Gurdin in 1938, Wood had a very successful movie career and was nominated for an Oscar at the young age of 17 for her work in “A Rebel Without a Cause.” There were rumors about Wood’s personal life, that she “got around.” In 1957 she married Robert Wagner, and although they divorced, they would later decide to try again. They remarried.
While working on a film with Christopher Walken, Wood, Wagner, and Walken went out for drinks on Catalina Island. Here is the remaining story:
“Days after his wife’s death, spokespeople for Wagner stated his wife died from an accidental slip. He claimed she went to bed on the yacht, but became annoyed by the insistent banging of the dinghy against the yacht. Wood went out to try and stop the noise, slipped over the side railing of the boat into the ocean, and drowned in the chilly water.
The skipper, Dennis Davern, had a different tale.
Davern claimed Walken and Wagner were fighting with each other — over Natalie Wood. Apparently, Wagner became incensed because he believed Walken wanted to sleep with his wife. Davern claimed that Wagner broke a wine bottle, held it up to Walken’s face, and screamed at the actor, “Go ahead and f*** her if you want to so badly!” The altercation upset Wood so much she hurriedly escaped to the dinghy to seek solace.
Who knows if either one of these stories is true?
Dr. Thomas Noguchi, the so-called coroner to the stars, was not certain, but he definitely had a theory. According to his book, Coroner, Noguchi learned some interesting information from a colleague who was not only a fellow coroner, but also happened to be moored near Wood’s yacht on the morning of her death. The friend hinted at something far less sinister, but possibly much more tragic.
Noguchi’s colleague believed Wood did indeed escape to the dinghy. She then slipped and fell into the water. Instead of being worried, however, she did not panic because she was only a couple of feet away from the yacht. Wood attempted to crawl up the side of the dinghy, but could not get inside due to the watered-down coat she had been wearing. Her coat probably weighed anywhere from 30-40 pounds — quite a burden for a 100-pound woman in icy cold water with a .14 percent (or higher) blood alcohol level.
As Wood attempted to get into the dinghy, she must have realized it was drifting away from the yacht out into the open sea. This realization led to a more frightened state, as there were reports of a woman screaming for help.
Simultaneously, a thoughtless band of revelers were cranking up their stereo on a party boat, drowning out her pleas for help.
According to Noguchi’s friend, Wood realized no one was coming to save her, so she had to take action. She grabbed the 11-foot dinghy and steered it back toward the shore. She was possibly aware of a wind stream that could propel her and the boat to safety. Somehow, the diminutive woman did just that. Frightened, slightly intoxicated, shivering cold and weighed down with soaked clothes, Natalie Wood was determined to live.
She almost made it.
The dinghy was found early the next morning on the shore of Blue Cavern on the northern isthmus side of Catalina Island. Her body was found floating, in her red coat, less than 200 yards from shore. She was only minutes away from saving her own life.
No one knows for sure how Natalie Wood perished. No one is talking either.
Walken and Wagner refuse to comment on that night. The skipper is not considered the most reliable source.
Was it an accident? Was there foul play?”
What is your opinion on the death of Natalie Wood? Have a great day friends!