Welcome To My Book Blog

A place to update and discuss facts surrounding the controversial, tragic death of legendary Hollywood film actress, wife and mother, Natalie Wood who drowned mysteriously Nov. 29, 1981 off Catalina Island. Thank you for visiting.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Catalina Island

Doug's Harbor Reef Restaurant, as it was called in 1981...at Two Harbors at the Isthmus of Catalina Island. Doug's is the restaurant where Natalie ate her last meal. Splendour was moored not far from the restaurant.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Happy Birthday, Natalie

Today, July 20th, 2009, would have been Natalie Wood's 71st birthday. I've often wondered what her filmography credits would look like by this time in her life, and I envision that she still would have been a stunningly beautiful woman in her early 70's. Eyes like hers wouldn’t have diminished with age. Her eyes went through you, as if she saw into every being who ever watched her. Natalie left such a lasting impression on me when I first recognized her as my favorite actress when I was the mere age of 10. I saw her in Gypsy, quite a racy movie for a 10 year old to see at that time, but I saw it, and I was mesmerized by Natalie’s part as Gypsy Rose Lee.
I didn't pay much attention to her first marriage to Robert Wagner, as I was a mere 5 years old at that time, but I was quite aware of her second marriage to RJ because soon after they reconciled, my dear friend, Dennis Davern, started working for the Wagner family, and I was thrilled that I had that kind of connection to THEE Natalie Wood…only ONE DEGREE apart from her! I had her boat phone number and her house phone number (which I never called, but sure was tempted to many times), all because my friend Dennis was that close to them, and I was so proud of Dennis for having landed such an important job as the Splendour boat captain.
I could never have dreamed, as an adoring child fan of Natalie’s that I would become a liaison of sorts between Natalie's life and death, a channel for HER voice. Of all the destinies one can imagine, this position would have been the least expected or dreamed of for me, and despite all of the trials and tribulations connected to the "position" I acquired, I have never had one regret and never will for having spent many years, myself, "working" for Natalie...to offer her what her legend deserves.
I am proud to have had this opportunity and privilege to share what I've personally learned about Natalie, to recall my pleasure in naming her as my favorite actress for decades, and to share what I know about her that goes far beyond her filmography credits. I would trade all of it in a heartbeat, however, for only one thing: that Natalie had lived to this day so that this blog and my work would never have transpired. I wish she had lived to this day, to have had the opportunity to enjoy her daughters, to have expanded her revered career, to have loved and received pleasure just a little longer in this world. I might have dialed her number today and said, "I've never met you, but happy birthday, Natalie." Instead, I must say it to the memory of her. And, I can honestly say that I HAVE "met" her....I've met her virtually every single day since her November 1981 tragic death, through Dennis Davern in a personal way, and through all that has since been written and filmed about the esteemed Natalie Wood, and through reviewing all of the fine work she left behind her.
I thank Dennis for the personal insights into Natalie, and I thank all who keep the memory of the legendary Natalie Wood alive and thriving. She was such a vibrant, happy woman, and such a profound, professional actress. Happy birthday, Natalie. I hope I have served you well.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Natalie Wood loved her Canon Drive home

Top: Natalie's 8-burner gas range in her kitchen on Canon Drive that Nanny Willie Mae cooked most of the Wagner family meals on. Below: Dennis is photographed with Natalie's daughter Natasha, about 9 years old at the time of this photo. Dennis was a regular visitor at RJ's and Natalie's home, and after Natalie's death he was a resident at the Canon Drive home. Dennis was very close to the entire Wagner family.

Dennis in Wheelhouse Aboard Splendour

Catalina Island in background.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Some extra photos

(Below) Sean Connery and his wife Micheline (her back) aboard Splendour when Natalie filmed Meteor with Sean. (Left): Natalie chats with friend and Micheline on the bridge.

There were more photos of RJ in Dennis's Splendour years collection than of Natalie, so I had many RJ photos left over. Here are two photos of RJ with some friends. Dennis can't recall who these people with RJ are. The Wagners didn't always invite just celebrities for pleasure cruises. They shared their yacht with many friends. Natalie liked inviting the owners of her favorite restaurant aboard. Although Dennis was the official skipper of the Splendour, note the title on RJ's jacket. (Captain). Dennis, when aboard Splendour, usually called RJ "Chief" or "Boss" ... RJ was an experienced and adept yachter. Here, he stands with his friends as far forward as you can possibly get upon the Splendour.