What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Ah, the illustrious Natalie Wood.
There’s been a lot of controversy surrounding Natalie Wood over the years. Sadly, it’s been in relation to how she died—was it an accidental drowning or was it by murder? It’s been thirty years since that sensational incident, yet for some reason the nature of her story continues to tug at our hearts.
Could it be because of her untimely death? Without a doubt she was one of the most beautiful women of her time. There was something about the sparkle in her eyes when she smiled that would light up the screen while her presence would dominate her contemporaries. She appeared in over 50 films altogether and received 3 Oscar nominations before reaching the age of 25.
Some of Natalie Wood’s blockbuster hits include:
“Rebel Without a Cause” opposite James Dean.
“West Side Story” which was adapted from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
“Splendor in the Grass” alongside Warren Beatty.
Many of us were much too young to see these great films when they were first released, let alone know who she was. But if you are looking for something new to discover from the archives, these films definitely stand up to the test of time.
It’s disheartening to think of that evening and the conditions that brought about what may have happened. Natalie, her husband Robert Wagner along with their friend and costar Christopher Walken had dined togther that night on the Island of Catalina.
There was certainly plenty of drinking taking place, both on dry land and on their yacht named the Splendor. Then an argument had ensued between husband and wife. It’s been said that Natalie retired for the night and that was the last time her husband Robert Wagner and Christopher Walken had reported to’ve seen her. The very next morning, shortly after sunrise, her body was found by search and rescue helicopters floating face down not 200 yards from their boat.
Now this is starting to sound like a Murder Mystery/Suspense/Thriller.
Where is that Barry Crowther? Come back Barry, come back!
And after all this time police have decided to reopen the investigation with new evidence that suggests Natalie’s own husband Robert Wagner might be involved in this case. Nooo, say it isn’t so. He and Natalie were in the tenth year of their second marriage together. Why in the world would he want her to die?
Well that would end this story with a serious twist!
Though circumstances surrounding Natalie Wood’s death have been one of Hollywood’s many enduring mysteries, let us focus on the positive things about Natalie’s life—her timeless beauty and many talents that will forever endure on the silver screen.
Thanks to the human heart by which we live,
Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears,
To me the meanest flower that blows can give
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.
*The poem by William Wordsworth that inspired the film for which this post was named.
So what do you think? Have you ever watched a Natalie Wood’s film? If so, which one would you choose as your favorite? Do you enjoy watching some of the classics? And how many of you think that she was murdered or perhaps think that things are better off left unsaid?
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Thank you for your many thoughts and kind comments everyone!
A big shout out to Kristen Lamb and all my new WANA classmates and friends. And a big thanks to all others that may grace my presence by visiting this post. Take care and make it a great day!