From the outside looking in, actress Natalie Wood’s life seemed almost too good to be true. She was beautiful, talented, and successful and married to Hollywood’s most famous, handsome man. They raised two lovely children together, and her ageless grace and elegance were easily recognizable. She was born on July 20, 1938, in San Francisco and began acting when she was only four. By the time she was eight, she was cast in the successful film called Miracle on 34th Street. Wood was only 17 when she earned her first Academy Award nomination for her work in Rebel Without a Cause in 1955. She was young. Wood was beautiful. Inside, however, her life was nothing like it was outside. She was hurt by many, but ultimately it is Natalie Wood’s husband, Robert Wagner, who is accused of hurting her the most.
Did Natalie Wood Die in an Accidental Drowning?
Actress Natalie Wood died under suspicious circumstances in 1981. She went missing one late November evening, allegedly falling off the yacht owned by her husband, Robert Wagner, while on a cruise around Catalina Island with her husband and actor Christopher Walken. Her body was found six hours after she was reported missing, but many witnesses state that her husband refused to report her missing and/or allow the boat captain to look for her body with spotlights for nearly two and a half hours after they realized she was gone. Her death was ruled a drowning accident, but the case was reopened more than two decades later, and her husband is a person of interest in her death and disappearance.
Many people have come forward – read the book “Natalie Wood: The Complete Biography” written by Suzanne Finstad to read the details – to discuss what appears to be a massive murder coverup from 1981. It seems that evidence was ignored, overlooked, and witnesses were not carefully interviewed. To many, it appears that Natalie Wood was murdered. But by whom? Did her husband, Robert Wagner, push her overboard? Witnesses heard the two in an argument in which Wagner allegedly told her to get off his boat that night. Was it actor Christopher Walken? Did he push her? He’s never been named a suspect, but we have so many questions.
Was Robert Wagner Gay?
Speculation is nothing more than unsubstantiated rumor. However, we also know that Old Hollywood was fraught with closeted gay men whose managers and film industry executives encouraged – highly encouraged – to remain closeted. Jane Fonda herself admitted she (and many other single actresses in Hollywood) spent a lot of time ‘bearding’ for gay men. Bearding, essentially, is the act of dating a gay man so that he can keep his true identity to himself. Many gay men in Old Hollywood were set up with single women – and they all knew – to give the world what they wanted while also living their secret life at home without anyone being any wiser.
It’s been rumored that many of Old Hollywood’s biggest actors were closeted homosexuals, including actor Cary Grant – who married women many times and never came out. Is there a chance Robert Wagner is one of them? According to witnesses, Natalie Wood’s husband, Robert Wagner, cheated on her with a man during their first marriage (they have married two times a decade apart). Witnesses state she caught him in bed with a man, walked out, and then allowed Hollywood to crucify her as an adulteress (allegedly with Warren Beatty) so that she could protect the sexuality of her ex-husband. Despite remarrying him a decade later and having her second child (her first was with her second husband) with him, is there any chance one of them was involved with Christopher Walken while they perhaps covered up for one another?
What Else Happened To Natalie Wood?
According to the biography about the late actress’s life, she went through a lot more than finding her husband in bed with another man and still taking the fall to protect him. Allegedly, she was involved in a sexual relationship with a 40-something director named Nicholas Ray when she was 16 – all to get the part of Judy in A Rebel Without a Cause (the movie that changed her career and her life). According to George Jacobs, the man who valeted for Frank Sinatra for more than 20 years, Sinatra had a thing for Natalie Wood when she was only nine. He would have been in his 30s at the time, but he did nothing about it until she was 15. That’s when her mother began bringing Wood to Sinatra’s home to visit.
Jacobs recounts the incident in his memoir by describing Natalie Wood’s mother as pushing her underage daughter on Sinatra to help her gain fame. He didn’t need any encouragement to go along with it. It’s also been reported by Wood’s confidants that their good friend was brutally raped and attacked in a Chateau Marmont Hotel room when she was only 16. She was asked to visit the room of a very famous, powerful actor for a reading. Instead of reading, he raped her so badly that she was physically injured and then threatened her. While no one ever named any names, the rumor is that actor Kirk Douglas did this to Wood. It is just a rumor, though, as no one has ever substantiated the claim.
The Tragic Story of Natalie Wood
Born Natasha and forced into the entertainment industry by her overly eager mother, Natalie Wood’s life was nothing like the perfect life many imagine. Her life was filled with tragedy and upset, and the truth will never be known. There are three sides to every story, and this is a story with more questions than answers. Did Natalie Wood’s husband kill her? Did her mother really allow men more than twice her age to have sexual relations with her teenage daughter for fame and money?
Was Natalie Wood covering up for her husband when she was accused of cheating on him with Warren Beatty? Is Robert Wagner gay? Was Christopher Walken Wagner’s lover or Wood’s lover on that yacht trip? Was he just a friend? Will we ever know? Probably not, unfortunately. Everything is speculation and rumor, and no one will ever know the truth about what really happened to Natalie Wood. The case has gone cold, and her widowed husband has been cleared of any wrongdoing.
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