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.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


The Real Tragedy of Natalie Wood - The Daily Beast



  1. This article is more of the same, IMO. The only person that I pay attention to at this point is Marti. She gets it! The people who write these articles along with the those who claim to be experts, don't get it.

  2. That article is full of nonsense.

    It makes several references to Natalie not getting movie roles due to her age. What a load of BS. Natalie was a year younger than Jane Fonda, who was at the zenith of her career and arguably the biggest female movie star of the late 70s/early 80s.

    Natalie had made film after film from age 5 to 28. For personal reasons, she essentially gave up her career at an age when most actresses haven't even established themselves. She had been under the radar for over a decade when she tried to revive her career during the last couple years of her life, and that is the reason for her career struggles.

  3. I am RWM who posted the lengthy comment under the Newsweek article.

    I'm so glad swfy and others have noted that Natalie was not the studio system antique that the media is trying to concoct these days. She did, in fact, orchestrate her leave from the movie industry in the early seventies to raise her family. And she did not see her stardom sadly dwindle away like some demented silent screen star. Shame on the Newsweek article's author for spreading such misinformation, and shame on others like Michael Black who claim that 'Brainstorm' was her first big movie in a long time. None of it is true.

    Also offensive is the recent gossip (taken as fact) that she was a drunk who had routine alcohol-fueled, 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf'-style fights with Wagner. It makes for good copy but nothing that I have ever read has suggested their marriage was chronically explosive and dysfunctional. I believe that Wagner was (and maybe still is) a control freak with a drinking problem but, I'm sorry, the picture being painted of Natalie as a volatile, aging and desperate alcoholic is simply not true.

    Watch any televised interview (readily available on Youtube) with her during this time period and you see a vital, successful and glamorous woman in the prime of life. You see a woman who comes alive when the mere mention of family, children and child-rearing comes up. Sadly overlooked is the fact that she cherished being a mother to her two young daughters, no matter what was going on with her movie career.

    These journalists and quoted 'associates' of Natalie's are engaging in revisionist history, and it is unfair because she's not around to defend herself against these opportunists and their misguided attempts at a juicy story.

  4. It seemed to me a lot of the article was similar to the slanted information in Lambert's book. I was talking with Dennis tonight and he read the article. He told me (again) about what a vibrant, happy woman and mother Natalie was. Yes, she read lots of scripts looking for a good role, but only because she was confident in her ability to still perform well. She never lost confidence in her talent, or in herself.

  5. There are different sides to people beyond what is revealed in interviews. The Newsweek article did use sources that are respectable-Suzanne Finstad and Mart Crowley. Crowley was a mutual friend of both the Wagners so I don't discount his recollection of alcohol fueled, heated arguments that he witnessed. Finstad wrote up till now the best character study of Wood.

    Did Wood fear the aging process its effect on job opportunities? Most likely. It happens, unfortunatley, to every actress. If it weren't for her creative input her role in BRAINSTORM would have even been slighter. The producers likely hired her because of the lack of marquee name recognition of Walken and Fletcher.

    The problem with the article is the absence of objectivity in the subject at hand, the appearance of a committed crime. Instead of analyzing the content of GNGS, the author focused on career trends and let Joan Rivers have the final word! If this is indicative of new magazine industry, no wonder their future existence is in question.

    Michael B

  6. Michael,

    I agree, the Finstad information used in the article appears valid, but if I also didn't know firsthand some of the tactics used for "Natasha" I might be more willing to accept Crowley's words. He was close to the couple, and I'm sure he witnessed occasional, common marital arguments, but for me, his information seems slanted toward making it appear RJ and Natalie always fought, but with no dire consequence, akin to the "waiting for Beatty with a gun" tale intended to give the impression that bad thoughts exist but would never be carried through. It rather reminds me of why OJ Simpson refused to take a polygraph, claiming he had had dreams about killing Nicole, therefore could not trust reality vs sleep life.

    Dennis never saw RJ and Natalie arguing. He spent a lot of time in their company and witnessed occasional spats, but never the type of arguing others are claiming. Dennis also saw a much more confident woman than the media is giving Natalie credit for. He also says she was always sensible and very nice. He said sometimes she'd be talking with him, and laughing, and he would simply be in awe of how nice (and how 'everyday') this top professional woman with the gorgeous brown eyes could be. It was RJ who liked to be flattered, while Natalie did the flattering (all around).

    Of course any woman reaching 40 realizes possible consequences of aging, no matter her profession, and of course, Natalie was no different, despite her established career. She voiced concerns to Dennis the night they spent in the hotel together about the part she was playing, but she was also very angry that night with her husband. Dennis was as shocked as Natalie was by RJ's behavior that fateful weekend. Because he had never seen them in such turmoil, it was even more shocking to him to witness this other side of the couple, and he virtually shut down from the results come Sunday morning, Nov. 29, 1981.

    Natalie had voiced concerns about RJ's drinking to her hairdresser, Ginger. Natalie probably vented to Mart Crowley as well. Ginger sees it for what it is, and Mart seems to use it to protect his friend, the living one: RJ.

    I also agree, despite Fletcher and Walken had won Oscars, that Natalie's name was the marquee draw for Brainstorm. Her name was and still is huge. And, now, younger people will know why they hadn't heard as much about her as they should have throughout the years.

    For everyone commenting on this article here, thank you for being so perceptive. I appreciate it more than you know.