A Tad Bit Obsessed

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I heard the news today. Oh boy.

No, I am not singing a Beatles song. I really did hear the news today, and I really did utter an “Oh boy”.

After hearing the news, I took to the internet to find articles about what I had heard. My heart was sinking. Still, I mustered through the morning, which included seeing my son take part in his class play. On my way to my boss’ house, I heard the sad news again, and I began to talk to myself. I knew a post was pending.

I set up my laptops for work and checked my email. Immediately, I noticed the subject of one certain email from a longtime friend.

“Did you see they are re-opening the Natalie Wood case?”

Sigh. My friend of over 30yrs knows me so well.

I am a person with a few obsessions. Most of you know my obsession with Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, specifically Phish Food. And, some of you may recall my obsession with Cher. Well, I am here to tell you about my other obsession: Natalie Wood.

Please try to refrain from making sense of my obsessions, as there is no rhyme or reason, I assure you. Surely, if you have read any of my posts, you know I am a very odd individual.

For those that do not know the story, Natalie Wood died in November 1981. Though I was only 12yrs old when she died, she made and left an impression on me.

I have not seen every movie staring Natalie Wood, nor do I intend to see every movie. Still, many of my all-time favorite movies are my favorites because of Natalie Wood. For instance, the original ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ starring Natalie Wood, as ‘Susan Walker’, and ‘West Side Story’, staring Natalie Wood as ‘Maria’. (Rent is another one of my all-time favorite musicals, and I can easily see Natalie playing the role of Mimi Marquez.)

Just before she died, Natalie was filming the movie ‘Brainstorm’. In addition, she was seen in television commercials for Raintree lotion. Whenever the commercial aired, I stopped whatever I was doing to watch. I haven’t a clue what drew me to Natalie, but I was captivated. I found her life story fascinating, and I adored Robert Wagner. (Hart to Hart was a great crime/drama show from 1979 – 1984.)

Okay, now you are starting to realize just how odd I am, right? No worries. Some people are slow learners.

In the beginning of 1981, TV Guide printed an article about Natalie Wood. I remember the photo in the magazine as if I had it in my hand right now. Natalie was pictured sitting on a stone wall in front of a river, and she was wearing a brown fur coat. Before my parents tossed the TV guide in the trash, I tore the picture out of the magazine and taped it to the wall in my bedroom.

Still not convinced I’m weird? I had that picture safely packed in a box of treasures up until a year or two ago. I think I found the strength to toss it, though I’m not certain. I will check later. Seriously.

Photo courtesy cbsnews(dot)comBetween the Raintree commercial, the pending release of the movie ‘Brainstorm’, and the article in TV Guide, Natalie was on my mind. I was 12yrs old, and I was – as my friend noted in the email today – ‘a tad bit’ obsessed. I felt connected to Natalie in some weird way. I thought she was one of the coolest actresses. I was reaching the peak of my “Natalie Wood Obsession”.

Then, later that year, Natalie Wood died, while on a boat in Catalina with her husband Robert and her “Brainstorm” co-star, Christoper ‘Needs more Cowbell” Walken. When the news broke, I was crushed. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Having read about and heard her talk about her fear of water, I thought it was horrible that Natalie drowned.

I admit the fact that authorities are re-opening the case surrounding the death of Natalie brings all these memories back to the surface. I suspect I’ll queue up a few Natalie Wood movies via Netflix, and I’ll wallow in my sorrow of the loss of a talented actress taken too soon.

My heart goes out to her family, as her death makes headlines all over again. No one wants to relive the death of a loved one, and no new details will change the end result – she died. You can’t change dead. There was no crime. Why torment the family after 30 years?

My condolences to the Wagner/Woods family on the loss of Natalie, 30yrs ago. She is still missed.

In other news, Natalie Wood shared a bed with Dyan Cannon in the movie “Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice”. Dyan Cannon shared a bed (by marriage) to Cary Grant. While some play the game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, it only takes three degrees to tie one great – Natalie Wood – with another great – Cary Grant. (Yes, Cary Grant is another obsession, as is Kevin Bacon.)

Photos courtesy cbsnews(dot)com.

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26 thoughts on “A Tad Bit Obsessed

  1. She was talented and beautiful, poised and elegant – everything a movie star should be. I gasped when I heard the news this morning … and it seems so unecessary to re-open the case and stir it all up again.

    Well done!
    MJ

    • I agree with you, MJ. I do not understand the need to reopen the case. My heart goes out to her family. Seems if the family was concerned, they could have pursued a deeper investigation. Makes me sad. Thank you for reading.

    • The timing is bittersweet, too. Having died 30yrs ago this month… with Miracle on 34th Street going to be on ‘repeat’ mode with Christmas around the corner. Is this a publicity stunt? I mean, having this case reopened literally 30yrs later to the date (practically) – what’s the point? Thanks for reading, Chris. It is good to see you.

  2. Lenore, to be honest I do not know much about her. But after reading this post of yours, any one can feel that, she must have been special.
    In this two parts i want to mentioned, where you are excellent.
    1. “No one wants to relive the death of a loved one, and no new details will change the end result.”
    No better way to describe those feelings of loosing loved ones.
    2, “if you have read any of my posts, you know I am a very odd individual.” and other one is-
    “No worries. Some people are slow learners.”
    These two statements are enough for a reader to feel connected to your post.

    I do believe that, your writing has something unique, which can make someone think (react) just the way you wanted him/her to do.I am just waiting to read something from you based on fiction. You can do wonder in that genre, with your style of writing. So please, give it a try.

    • Oops… Lenore, I just saw i did a mistake while writing, in the first part of that comment. Please read it as- ; “In this post, two parts I want to mention, where you are excellent” ; instead of “In this two parts i want to mentioned, where you are excellent.” 🙂

    • Oh. Fiction scares me. Seems like a great deal of work. I’ve tried – but the casual conversation flows better for me. Still, I hear your kind words, and I appreciate the encouragement. I may give it a try.

      Thanks for spending some time here, Arindam. I’m not surprised you are not familiar with Natalie Wood – she is of an older generation. (smile) Thank you for your feedback. I do appreciate it.

    • Patti, I think the family would have pursued a deeper investigation if they felt foul play was involved. Are they trying to find Robert Wagner guilty of murder? Do they think he pushed her overboard in a fit of rage? Was Mr. Cowbell aware of what was going on? See – those questions seem silly to me. I really believe it was an accident.

    • I’m skeptical, Darla. As I told Chris – Natalie died 30yrs ago almost to the date. Seems coincidental to reopen the case on the anniversary of her birth. I don’t know. We’ll see. In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy some Natalie Wood movies. 🙂

    • Well, I’m not proud to know this, but I do know folks can get pretty drunk on boats. And, I know the fresh salty air tends to enhance the drunkenness. During the summer here, the news frequently includes drownings on various lakes. More often than not, the cause of death is drowning due to excess alcohol. It can happen. Plus, she hated the water – feared it. If she was drunk and fell in, I’m guessing she completely panicked. Horrifying. They really need not revisit this case.

  3. I think it is ludicrous that the case is bein re-opened. Perhaps the Captain who insists that Robert Wagner had something to do with it has a case of the guilts. I read elsewhere that he was having a affair with his current wife and yada,yada, yada.

    It is sad but I think re-opening the case will prove nothing. But she was one of the best.

    • I remember when Robert started dating Jill St. John. I didn’t like Jill coming into the picture so quickly. I felt like a protective sister – or stalker, whichever. (smile) But, Jill and Natalie were friends. I think Robert was honest while married to Natalie. No matter, I suppose.

      Ludicrous. That is the perfect word, Karyn. It is ludicrous. And, if K8 is right … this could be the Captain trying to promote a book. Awful.

  4. I was a little older than you at the time and although I have forgotten all of the reasons why it seemed so, I remember a lot of talk about a cover up. If she didn’t die accidentally, who killed her and why? Maybe it is a little like Marilyn Monroe in that we just don’t want to think a charmed life can end so violently.

    • Hello, Renee. Welcome to the neighborhood. I appreciate you visiting.
      I agree with you – we hate to think bad things happen to those we feel are living the charmed life. Marilyn Monroe, Lady Diana, etc. I just cannot fathom Robert killing her. And, I don’t understand why Christoper Walken did not step forward if he had any idea something was ‘not right’. Tragic. And, the fact that the family has to relive it all over again. Tragic.

    • Come on, SIG – you could give a little more cowbell, can’t ya?! Can you imagine Christopher Walken 30 yrs ago? I mean, he has done so much – but he’s known by a different generation as the Saturday Night Live cowbell guy. Seems inconceivable he’d be with Natalie and Robert. Anywho… sad stuff.

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