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Wood in 1979
Natalia Nikolaevna Zacharenko
July 20, 1938
|Died||November 29, 1981 (aged 43)|
Santa Catalina Island, California, United States
|Cause of death||Drowning and other undetermined factors|
|Resting place||Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery|
|Other names||Natasha Gurdin|
Natalie Wood Wagner
|Education||Van Nuys High School|
Robert Wagner (m. 1957–1962)
Richard Gregson (m. 1969–1972)
Robert Wagner (m. 1972–1981)
|Children||Natasha Gregson Wagner (b. 1970)|
Courtney Wagner (b. 1974)
|Relatives||Lana Wood (sister)|
Natalie Wood's parents were Russian immigrants Nikolai Stepanovich Zakharenko and Maria Stepanovna. Her parents moved to Santa Rosa, California. The family moved to Los Angeles. Wood began a career there. Her younger sister, Svetlana Zacharenko also became an actress using the stage name Lana Wood.
In the 1950s, Wood became a teen idol. When she shot the movie Rebel Without a Cause with James Dean, she was 16 years old. She got an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for the role as Judy in this movie. She got a Golden Globe Award nomination in the category New Star Of The Year – Actress.
Her most successful role was as "Maria" in the movie West Side Story in 1961.
Wood was married to Robert Wagner from 1957 to 1962. She was married to Richard Gregson for a short time. They had a daughter, Natasha Gregson Wagner. In 1972, Wood and Wagner married again.
In 1981, Wood worked on the movie Brainstorm with Christopher Walken. During a boat trip with Walken and her husband Robert Wagner, she drowned near Santa Catalina Island, California. She is buried in Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery.