Natalie Wood

  • Celebrity
  • Birth Name: Natalya Nikolaevna Zakharenko
  • Birth Place: San Fernando, California, United States
  • Died: November 29, 1981
  • Profession: Actor
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Fast Facts

  • The daughter of Russian immigrants who changed the family name to Gurdin after becoming U.S. citizens. The stage name Natalie Wood was given to her by a Hollywood producer who thought it was more marketable. She never legally changed her name from Natasha Gurdin.
  • Began career as a movie extra at age 4. At 8, she captured the hearts of audiences in the Christmas film Miracle on 34th Street.
  • As a teen actress ready to escape her child-star image, she accepted a role opposite heartthrob James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause, and earned her first Academy Award nomination.
  • Was associated romantically throughout her career with numerous high-profile men, including Elvis Presley, Warren Beatty and Dennis Hopper.
  • A publicity-staged date for her 18th birthday with handsome rising star Robert Wagner began a romance that resulted in marriage a year later.
  • Despite her fear of water and inability to swim, director Elia Kazan manipulated her into performing the reservoir scene in Splendor in the Grass (1961) instead of using a stunt double.
  • While her songs in West Side Story (1961) were recorded by renowned vocalist Marni Nixon, she did do her own singing the next year in Gypsy (1962).
  • In 1962, filed for divorce from husband Wagner after a reported infidelity. Married producer Richard Gregson in May 1969.
  • After learning Gregson was having an affair, she filed for divorce in 1971 and found comfort in the arms of first husband Wagner. They remarried in 1972.
  • Accidentally drowned at age 43 while spending a weekend on her yacht with husband Wagner and friend Christopher Walken.
  • Her death came while she'd been filming the sci-fi thriller Brainstorm; a new ending was devised using pre-existing footage.
  • Following her death, her sister Lana Wood authored a tell-all memoir and later coproduced the 2004 television movie The Mystery of Natalie Wood, directed by Peter Bogdanovich.

Awards

  • 1963, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Foreign Actress: Nominee
  • 1961, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 1964, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama: Nominee
  • 1963, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 1957, Golden Globe — New Star of the Year - Actress: Winner
  • 1967, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama: Nominee
  • 1966, Golden Globe — Actress in a Leading Role - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
  • 1980, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama: Winner
  • 1963, Golden Globe — Actress in a Leading Role - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
  • 1962, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama: Nominee
  • 1966, Golden Globe — Henrietta Award (World Film Favorites): Winner
  • 1955, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role: Nominee

Relationships

  • Robert Wagner — Husband
  • Courtney Wagner — Daughter
  • Nikolai Gurdin — Father
  • Lana Wood — Sister
  • Natasha Gregson Wagner — Daughter
  • Olga Gurdin — Sister
  • Richard Gregson — Ex-husband
  • Maria Gurdin — Mother

Details

  • Birth Name: Natalya Nikolaevna Zakharenko
  • Birth Place: San Fernando, California, United States
  • Died: November 29, 1981
  • Profession: Actor

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