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REPORT: Assault suggested in Natalie Wood reopened death investigation

Natalie Woods

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American actress Natalie Wood (1938-1981), her children Natasha (C), Courtney (R), and her husband U.S. actor Robert Wagner arrive at London airport 04 July 1976.

Natalie Wood

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Wood, the daughter of Russian Immigrants, was born Natasha Gurdin on July 20, 1938 in San Francisco, California. She got her first role at the age of four in a movie called 'Happy Land' (1943). She is most famously known for her role in "West Side Story," a film that won multiple Oscars.

Exterior Views Of Natalie Woods' Former Boat "Splendour"

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Natalie Woods' former boat, The Splendour is seen docked at Keawalo Basin boat harbor on November 19, 2011 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

American actress Natalie Wood poses in a

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American actress Natalie Wood poses in a Yves Saint Laurent costume, 19 September 1964 in Paris. Wood, the daughter of Russian Immigrants, was born Natasha Gurdin on July 20, 1938 in San Francisco, California. She got her first role at the age of four in a movie called "Happy Land" (1943). She continued playing roles of young girls until the age of 17, where she landed the role of "Judy" in the film "Rebel Without a Cause" (1955). Natalie Wood married Robert Wagner 28 December 1957, divorced in 1962 and later remarried in 1972. She was nominated for two Academy Awards for her roles in "Splendor in the Grass" and "Love With a Proper Stranger". She acted in "West Side Story", a movie which won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Direction, Best Supporting Actors, Best Supporting Actress. Natalie Wood had made 56 films for Tv and the silver screen. She died drowning 29 November 1981.

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Natalie Wood and James Dean with director Nicholas Ray on set of Rebel Without a Cause.

American actors Warren Beatty and Natalie Wood

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American actors Warren Beatty and Natalie Wood chat together at the Cannes Festival in May 1962.

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Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Lieutenant John Corina speaks at a news conference on the reopening of the investigation into Natalie Wood's death, Nov. 18, 2011.


A Los Angeles County Cor­on­er’s document was released Monday related to the unkillable death investigation of actress Nat­alie Wood.

The new coroner's supplement ques­tions ori­gin­al forensic find­ings in the drowning case, and suggests the 43-year-old actress — found floating face down in the ocean off Catalina Island on Nov. 29, 1981 — could have been assaulted before entering the water.

DOCUMENT: Read the full report below

Wood's body was discovered at the time several hundred yards from the yacht "Splendour" where she had been spending Thanksgiving holiday with her husband, actor Robert Wagner, and actor Christopher Walken.

The newly released report notes injuries on the actress' arm, wrist and neck, initially attributed to Wood attempting to climb into an inflatable dinghy, could have occurred before she entered the water.

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Natalie Wood's death certificate changed by authorities

Natalie Woods

Staff/AFP/Getty Images

American actress Natalie Wood (1938-1981), her children Natasha (C), Courtney (R), and her husband U.S. actor Robert Wagner arrive at London airport 04 July 1976. Natalie Wood's career began at age 4, when director Irving Pichel gave her a small role in "Happy Land" (1943). By 1946, age 8, she was making $1000/week. In 1950 she was the queen of fan magazines and the second biggest actress next to Elizabeth Taylor. Natalie has made 56 films fo TV and Cinema, among them "West Side Story" (1961) in which she played Maria. She married 3 times, twice to US actor Robert Wagner.

Exterior Views Of Natalie Woods' Former Boat "Splendour"

Kent Nishimura/Getty Images

Natalie Wood's former boat, The Splendour is seen docked at Keawalo Basin boat harbor on November 19, 2011 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Natalie Wood

Marxchivist (cc by-nc-nd)

Wood, the daughter of Russian Immigrants, was born Natasha Gurdin on July 20, 1938 in San Francisco, California. She got her first role at the age of four in a movie called 'Happy Land' (1943). She is most famously known for her role in "West Side Story," a film that won multiple Oscars.

American actors Warren Beatty and Natalie Wood

AFP/AFP/Getty Images

American actors Warren Beatty and Natalie Wood chat together at the Cannes Festival in May 1962.

American actress Natalie Wood poses in a

AFP/Getty Images

American actress Natalie Wood poses in a Yves Saint Laurent costume, 19 September 1964 in Paris. Wood, the daughter of Russian Immigrants, was born Natasha Gurdin on July 20, 1938 in San Francisco, California. She got her first role at the age of four in a movie called "Happy Land" (1943). She continued playing roles of young girls until the age of 17, where she landed the role of "Judy" in the film "Rebel Without a Cause" (1955). Natalie Wood married Robert Wagner 28 December 1957, divorced in 1962 and later remarried in 1972. She was nominated for two Academy Awards for her roles in "Splendor in the Grass" and "Love With a Proper Stranger". She acted in "West Side Story", a movie which won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Direction, Best Supporting Actors, Best Supporting Actress. Natalie Wood had made 56 films for Tv and the silver screen. She died drowning 29 November 1981.


The nature of Natalie Wood's demise, reclassified from "accidental" to "undetermined" in July, has been officially amended on the actress' death certificate, according to a revised document entered earlier this month.

Changes to the death certificate reflect 30-year-old questions surrounding Wood's drowning off Catalina Island in November 1981. 

How Wood got into the water, is one of the lingering questions. According to the amended document, that answer was never clearly established.

Sheriff's investigators  renewed the investigation last year, shortly before the 30th anniversary of the three-time Oscar nominee's death.

The case remains open, says LASD, noting that the coroner's office made the decision to amend the death certificate. Detectives placed a security hold on the document, and instructed coroner's officials to not discuss the case. 

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Courtney Wagner, daughter of Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood, busted on drug charges in Malibu

Natalie Woods

Staff/AFP/Getty Images

Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood arrive with her child Natasha (center) and their daughter Courtney (right) at London airport on July 4, 1976.

Once again a child of movie stars has found trouble in Malibu.

Courtney Wagner, daughter of silver screen legends Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood, was arrested earlier this month in her Malibu home on charges of possessing cocaine and heroin, TMZ reports.

Deputies were called to the house on April 22 after screaming and a gunshot were reported. What exactly happened remains unclear, but Wagner, 38, and a man named Matthew Cox, 24, were there when authorities arrived at the house on the 24400 block of Piuma Road in unincorporated Malibu, according to the LA Times.

Wagner was arrested on drug possession charges and is out on bail. The man, Cox, was arrested on charges of “negligent discharge of a firearm,” TMZ says.

Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood met as stars in the 1950s. Wood is famous for such films as "Rebel Without a Cause" and "West Side Story," while Wagner is known for TV series like "Hart to Hart." In 1981, when Courtney was 7, Natalie Wood drowned in an apparent accident off Catalina Island -- though that case has recently been reexamined. Robert Wagner continued a successful career and is perhaps best known to younger audiences as “Number 2” in the “Austin Powers” movies.

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