What Happened The Night Natalie Wood Died? Facts And Theories

By | July 18, 2020

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Natalie Wood, star of Rebel Without A Cause, West Side Story, and Splendor In The Grass, died in the water off Catalina Island on November 29, 1981. But how, exactly?

Wood's body was found a mile away from where the boat was anchored. Her skin was bruised, and she had a scratch on her face. There had been tension and shouting that night, and drinking -- lots of drinking. Was it a drunken accident, or was Natalie Wood killed?

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Wood and Wagner a Hollywood power couple. (CNN)

The mystery of Natalie Wood’s death checks all the boxes of a Hollywood script. A beautiful, cherished actress dies while enjoying a romantic yacht ride off the Pacific coast in the company of other celebrities -- her husband, Robert Wagner and the actor Christopher Walken. Of course, the death of Natalie Wood wasn’t a Hollywood script but a real-life tragedy that has defied explanation despite exhaustive efforts to determine what actually happened.

A 2020 HBO documentary, Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind, produced by Wood’s oldest daughter, Natasha Gregson Wagner, explores her mother’s amazing work in Miracle On 34th Street, Rebel Without A Cause, and West Side Story. The documentary also delves into what happened on that fateful night.