Natalie Wood’s body was found floating in the water off of Catalina Island in 1981. An investigation led authorities to conclude that she died after an accidental drowning. However, the case was reopened in 2011, and the investigation has taken an interesting turn: On February 1, 2018, Wood’s then-husband, Robert Wagner, was named as a person of interest.
On Saturday, February 3, Natalie Wood: Death in Dark Water, will air on CBS.
Here is what you need to know:
1. Wagner Has Been Named a Person of Interest in Wood’s Case, Which Was Reopened in 2011
Wagner and Wood first married in 1957, but their marriage fell apart five years later and the two divorced. They rekindled their romance years later, remarrying in July 1972.
In November 1981, Wood and Wagner were on their yacht near Catalina Island, drinking with some friends, including actor Christopher Walken. Something happened that night, however, and Wood ended up drowning. Her body was found in the water the next day.
Wood’s autopsy noted “fresh bruises on her body”; her official cause of death was listed as “accidental drowning.” The case, though suspicious, was closed — until 2011, when it was reopened.
In 2012, theHer cause of death was changed from “accidental drowning” to “drowning and other undetermined factors,” and there has been an ongoing investigation ever since.
On February 1, police named Wagner a “person of interest” in the case.
“As we’ve investigated the case over the last six years, I think [Wagner’s] more of a person of interest now. I mean, we know now that he was the last person to be with Natalie before she disappeared,” Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Lieutenant John Corina said during an interview on CBS’ 48 Hours.
2. Natasha Was Born in 1970 & Is an Actress
Natasha is the daughter of Wood and her second husband, producer Richard Gregson, whom she married in 1969. Natasha followed in her mother’s footsteps and became an actress. She broke into the entertainment business in 1992, dropping out of college to pursue an acting career. She starred in Fathers & Sons with Jeff Goldblum, Dark Horse, and Buffy The Vampire Slayer that year.
After her mom died, Natasha was raised by Robert Wagner and his now-wife, Jill St. John. She opened up about her mom’s tragic death in a 2016 interview with People Magazine.
“I just remember it was the worst thing ever. My whole world just went to black and white and I couldn’t hear anything,” she told the outlet. She went on to talk about having two fathers to support her after she lost her mom.
“I was so lucky I had two dads who were deeply committed to raising me and helping me through. They were trying to pick up the pieces for us and stumble forward and find out what our life looked like after that,” she said. “I’m certain because my mom died, my relationship with my stepdad is way deeper than it would have been had she lived, because he had to be my mom and dad,” she added.
Although Natalie isn’t his daughter by blood, she and Wagner became very close and have remained so to this day.
“We’ve hung on to each other throughout the years and she means the world and all to me,” Wagner told People Magazine.
In 2015, Natasha married 7th Heaven actor Barry Watson. Three years prior to their wedding, the couple welcomed their daughter, Clover Clementyne Watson. Clover’s name was inspired by the 1965 film Inside Daisy Clover, which starred Wood and Robert Redford.
Natasha has also spoken out about the rumors that her dad had something to do with her mom’s passing.
“The details of did she hit her head and fall into the water or did she fall into the water and then hit her head, those little things don’t concern me. The result is the same. She died. And she left when I was 11 and my sister (Courtney) was 7, and we needed her. And even when I hear that stuff that my aunt creates and people call me and say, ‘Oh my God, I am so sorry,’ I say, ‘Don’t be sorry for me.’ It’s literally like saying my dad has two heads or three heads. It’s so preposterous that I can’t even relate to it. It doesn’t even touch me,” she told the New York Times in 2016.
3. Courtney Was Born in 1974 & Is a Jewelry Designer
Courtney Wagner works as a jewelry designer who has a few famous customers — like Ozzy Osbourne and Cameron Diaz, according to Radar Online.
Courtney is an extremely private person and does not utilize social media. In a 2015 radio interview with her gal pal, Wendy Feldman, Courtney opened up about her mother’s death and mentioned how she’s glad that social media wasn’t a thing at the time of her mom’s passing.
“I’m so glad that wasn’t around when we went through that as a family. After it happened, we moved out of the country for a while,” Courtney said.
She went on to talk about her dad being questioned by paparazzi and how she asked him why he never answered questions about her mother.
“When I was recently out to dinner at Mr. Chow with my dad, he was not answering questions [from photographers]. And I was sort of put off, wondering why he wasn’t answering these simple questions. And then he explained to me that all they want is a soundbite. They just want some words that they can then concoct… you know, I got it,” she said.
4. Wagner Has Another Daughter Named Katie From His Marriage to Marion Marshall
Wagner’s first born biological daughter is Katie Wagner. She was born in Los Angeles on May 11, 1964, one year after Wagner married her mom, Marion Marshall. She was named after Katharine Hepburn, according to her IMDb bio.
Katie has followed in her father’s footsteps and has also pursued a career in the entertainment business.
She appeared alongside her dad on the TV show, Born Famous in 1987, which gave Katie her first real taste of show business.
“Her first gig was interviewing Dan Aykroyd and his wife, Donna Dixon, for the ABC special, ‘M & W”.’ That interview led Katie to a two-and-half-year run on Movietime network (Now E!) She also had minor roles in two movies, and dated rocker Dweezil Zappa. She also worked as an MTV VJ and hosted the Great Britian show, Hollywood Report,” according to IMDb.
She last appeared in Sunset Strip, a documentary about the famous street in Los Angeles, which came out in 2012.
Katie married Leif Lewis in 2007. The couple has one son together named Riley.
5. Wagner Is Currently Married to Jill St. John, Who Helped Raise His Girls After Their Mother Died
Wagner started dating his now-wife, Jill St. John in 1982, less than one year after Wood’s death. St. John and Wagner were together for eight years before tying the knot on May 26, 1990.
Although Wagner and St. John didn’t have any children together, St. John was a stepmother to his three girls. After Wood’s death, St. John helped Wagner raised his daughters.
St. John appeared alongside Wagner and two of his daughters, Courtney and Katie, when he was honored with his very own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, in 2012.
You can see a photo from the event below.