Natalie Wood (born Natalia Zacharenko; born uly 20, 1938 November 29, 1981) was an American actress.
Following her film debut at the age of four, Wood became a successful child actor in such films as the Christmas classic Miracle on 34th Street (1947). A well received performance opposite James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause (1955), brought her a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role and a Golden Globe Award for Most Promising New Star, and helped her to make the transition from a child performer. She portrayed Maria, the lead female character in the successful film musical West Side Story (1961), and appeared as Gypsy Rose Lee in Gypsy (1962). By age 25, she was a three-time Oscar nominee, after receiving nominations for Best Actress for her performances in Splendor in the Grass (1961) and Love With the Proper Stranger (1963). She was and still is the youngest actress to receive three Academy Award nominations.
Her career continued successfully into the late 1960s with roles in films such as Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969); after this she worked less frequently so she could settle down and start a family of her own. She went on to appear in several television productions, including a remake of the film From Here to Eternity (1979) for which she won a Golden Globe Award.
Her personal life included two marriages to the actor Robert Wagner, and two daughters. Her final film was the science fiction drama Brainstorm (1983) with Christopher Walken. She did not live to see it released. Wood was with Walken and Wagner when she drowned near Santa Catalina Island, California in 1981. After her death, Time magazine noted that although critical praise for Wood had been sparse throughout her career, "she always had work".
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