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Natalie Wood

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 14, 2013 | By Christopher Goffard, Kate Mather and Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times
Through three decades of fevered tabloid speculation and whispers of a deeper story, the official account never changed: Natalie Wood drowned accidentally. The 43-year-old star of "West Side Story," who couldn't swim, had been drinking the night before she was found floating face-down in frigid waters off Santa Catalina Island. When the L.A. County Sheriff's Department reopened the case in November 2011, around the 30th anniversary of her death, skeptics questioned the timing and doubted whether there was anything new to be learned.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 17, 2013 | By Richard Winton and Andrew Blankstein, Los Angeles Times
Since reopening the death investigation of Natalie Wood more than 13 months ago, detectives have interviewed more than 100 witnesses and gathered piles of new evidence. But they said the one person they are most interested in talking to has so far refused several requests for interviews: Wood's husband, actor Robert Wagner. Los Angeles County sheriff's Lt. John Corina said Wagner is the only person on the boat at the time Wood drowned off Catalina Island in 1981 not to speak to detectives assigned to the new inquiry.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 19, 2011 | By Sam Allen, Richard Winton and Christopher Goffard, Los Angeles Times
When Natalie Wood died in the cold, dark water near Santa Catalina Island 30 years ago, the story elicited a frenzy of media attention. Rumors of suicide or foul play never disappeared, even after authorities closed the case as the accidental drowning of a 43-year-old actress who'd been drinking and couldn't swim. It is unclear what compelling evidence — if any — prompted the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department to reopen the case, and what accounts for the peculiar timing.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 14, 2013 | By Christopher Goffard, Kate Mather and Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times
Through three decades of fevered tabloid speculation and whispers of a deeper story, the official account never changed: Natalie Wood drowned accidentally. The 43-year-old star of "West Side Story," who couldn't swim, had been drinking the night before she was found floating face-down in frigid waters off Santa Catalina Island. When the L.A. County Sheriff's Department reopened the case in November 2011, around the 30th anniversary of her death, skeptics questioned the timing and doubted whether there was anything new to be learned.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 30, 2002 | Lee Margulies
Director Peter Bogdanovich, whose last film, "The Cat's Meow," dealt with the mysterious death in 1924 of Hollywood producer Thomas Ince aboard a yacht, will turn his attention next to a movie about a Hollywood actress who died under what many still consider to be mysterious circumstances aboard a yacht in 1981. That actress was Natalie Wood.
NEWS
January 13, 1998
Maria Gurdin, 85, the mother of the late actress Natalie Wood and actress Lana Wood. She was born in Russia and took an active role in Natalie's rise as a child actress, moving to Hollywood from Santa Rosa on the invitation of a movie producer who noticed Natalie on a trip. She was the grandmother of seven and the great-grandmother of four. On Jan. 6 in Thousand Oaks of pneumonia.
NEWS
July 30, 2001 | MERLE RUBIN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
One of the most striking things about Hollywood is the extent to which people all over the world came to regard it as the center of the universe. What the Holy Land was to true believers, Hollywood became to believers in make-believe. One such believer was Maria Gurdin, who fled her native Siberia in the wake of the Russian Revolution, ending up in Northern California. A woman of immense drive and ambition, she found an inspiring contrast to the struggle of her daily life in the movies.
BOOKS
February 29, 2004 | Jon Boorstin, Jon Boorstin is the author of "Making Movies Work" and "Pay or Play." His most recent novel is "The Newsboys' Lodging-house, or the Confessions of William James."
In 1966, the Harvard Lampoon voted Natalie Wood "Worst Actress of Last Year, This Year and Next." She surprised the magazine's staff by accepting in person. "They invited me," she told her presenter, "and I thought it was only polite to accept," Gavin Lambert writes in "Natalie Wood: A Life." "She looks very demure and bats her eyelids. 'It's funny, last year I was nominated by the Academy for Best Actress, and this year I'm the worst.' Then she bursts out laughing.
NEWS
January 29, 2004 | Peter Fitzgerald, Special to The Times
"We need a fawn in the forest," assistant director Robert Relyea remembered someone saying to casting director Lynn Stalmaster when he was considering actresses for the role of Maria for the 1961 movie musical "West Side Story." Relyea continued, "When [Stalmaster] mentioned Natalie Wood, I believe paper cups were thrown at him. They said, you've got to get some fresh ideas."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 17, 2013 | By Richard Winton and Andrew Blankstein, Los Angeles Times
Since reopening the death investigation of Natalie Wood more than 13 months ago, detectives have interviewed more than 100 witnesses and gathered piles of new evidence. But they said the one person they are most interested in talking to has so far refused several requests for interviews: Wood's husband, actor Robert Wagner. Los Angeles County sheriff's Lt. John Corina said Wagner is the only person on the boat at the time Wood drowned off Catalina Island in 1981 not to speak to detectives assigned to the new inquiry.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 25, 2012 | By Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times Art Critic
James Franco's "Rebel" fills a Hollywood furniture warehouse with movie and TV-style stage sets, sculptural installations and video projections - some made by Franco, many made by other artists. Inspired by "Rebel Without a Cause," the celebrated 1955 movie, as well as by the tabloid mythology that almost instantly grew up around actor James Dean's best-known film, "Rebel" suffers a predictable fate: It withers by inevitable comparison. Art that seeks to appropriate, honor, deconstruct or otherwise make reference to an icon of earlier art faces a very high hurdle - namely, the icon itself.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 11, 2012 | By Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times
Nearly two months after they began a controversial new investigation into Natalie Wood's death while sailing off Santa Catalina Island in 1981, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department detectives have found no evidence to suggest that the cause was anything but accidental. Although the case has not been closed, a top Sheriff's Department official said it's highly unlikely any new ground will be broken on how the actress died. "At this point, it is an accidental death," said William McSweeney, the sheriff's chief of detectives.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 23, 2011 | By Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times
The lifeguard captain who helped pull Natalie Wood's body from the water 30 years ago said he still believes the actress could have been saved had officials begun the search for her earlier. Roger Smith, the former Los Angeles County supervising rescue boat captain, told The Times that he hoped the Sheriff's Department's reopening of her death investigation would answer lingering questions about why lifeguards were not alerted sooner when Wood disappeared from a yacht off Santa Catalina Island on Thanksgiving weekend 1981 during an excursion with her husband, actor Robert Wagner, and actor Christopher Walken.
OPINION
November 22, 2011
Natalie Wood died in the waters off Santa Catalina Island three decades ago. The details of her last night aboard a yacht with her husband, Robert Wagner, and Christopher Walken have been the stuff of gossip and rumor for years, but the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department long ago ruled the death of the 43-year-old actress — who couldn't swim — an accidental drowning. Now the department has reopened the case, saying it has new information, which so far it has not divulged.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 19, 2011 | By Sam Allen, Richard Winton and Christopher Goffard, Los Angeles Times
When Natalie Wood died in the cold, dark water near Santa Catalina Island 30 years ago, the story elicited a frenzy of media attention. Rumors of suicide or foul play never disappeared, even after authorities closed the case as the accidental drowning of a 43-year-old actress who'd been drinking and couldn't swim. It is unclear what compelling evidence — if any — prompted the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department to reopen the case, and what accounts for the peculiar timing.
NEWS
November 17, 2011 | Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
Detectives decided to reopen the investigation into the death of actress Natalie Wood in part because of statements made by the captain of the boat Wood was on at the time of her death. L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca told The Times that homicide detectives want to talk to the captain based on comments he had made recounting the case on its 30th anniversary. Baca did not detail what the captain said regarding the case "He made comments worthy of exploring," Baca said. A law enforcement source added that the department had recently received a letter from an unidentified "third party" who said that the captain had "new recollections" about the case.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 24, 2008 | Susan King, Times Staff Writer
Robert Wagner gets a bit emotional explaining how he came up with the title of the memoir he wrote with Scott Eyman, "Pieces of My Heart." After receiving a rough manuscript of the autobiography, he recalls, he decided to read the chapter about Barbara Stanwyck to his wife, Jill St. John, and a friend. The veteran Stanwyck and Wagner had a secret four-year relationship in the 1950s when he was in his early 20s and she was in her mid-40s. "She was a wonderful woman," Wagner says.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 29, 1991 | ALEENE MacMINN, Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press
Remembering Natalie: Today is the 10th anniversary of the Thanksgiving holiday death of Natalie Wood. She was 43 and drowned off Catalina Island when she accidentally slipped from the 60-foot yacht belonging to her and husband Robert Wagner. A spokesman for the Wagner family said the family declined comment on the unhappy anniversary. "They address it privately," he said. The actress hasn't been forgotten. Fresh flowers are left on her grave weekly at Westwood Village Cemetery.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 24, 2008 | Susan King, Times Staff Writer
Robert Wagner gets a bit emotional explaining how he came up with the title of the memoir he wrote with Scott Eyman, "Pieces of My Heart." After receiving a rough manuscript of the autobiography, he recalls, he decided to read the chapter about Barbara Stanwyck to his wife, Jill St. John, and a friend. The veteran Stanwyck and Wagner had a secret four-year relationship in the 1950s when he was in his early 20s and she was in her mid-40s. "She was a wonderful woman," Wagner says.
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