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.
Between 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.