On May 5, the documentary Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind premieres at 9 p.m. ET on HBO. The documentary focuses on the life of the late actress Natalie Wood through previously unseen interviews, diaries, home videos and more.
According to HBO: “Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind explores actor Natalie Wood’s life and career through the unique perspective of her daughter, Natasha Gregson Wagner, and others who knew her best.”
Wood’s daughter, Natasha Gregson Wagner, is one of the producers of Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind. Natasha’s father is the late Richard Gregson, Wood’s ex-husband. Gregson worked in many different roles within the film industry, and he was also the author of a book.
Here’s what you need to know about Richard Gregson:
1. Gregson Married Wood in 1969 & They Separated Around a Year Later
Before Gregson and Wood got married, they were dating on and off for three years, according to The Guardian. Wood was living in Los Angeles, and Gregson was living in London.
As per Natasha: The Biography of Natalie Wood by Suzanne Finstad (h/t to Biography.com), Gregson and Wood married on May 30, 1969, but they split up a year later after Wood overheard a sexual conversation between Gregson and his secretary.
The two finalized their divorce on April 12, 1972. They had one child together, film actress Natasha Gregson Wagner.
2. Gregson Was Born in May 1930 & He Died in August 2019
Gregson was born in Poona, India, on May 5, 1930, to Captain Donald Gregson of the 3rd Indian Calvary and Violet Hanson, daughter of Sir Reginald Hanson. He was the youngest of four children.
He died on August 21, 2019, in Wales, U.K., from Parkinson’s disease. On the day Gregson died, his daughter Natasha Gregson Wagner posted a picture of her and her father on Wood’s verified Instagram account. The picture can be seen above, and the caption reads:
Richard “Daddy” Gregson joined the angels this morning after a brave battle with Parkinson’s Disease at his home in Whales surrounded by family. He was 89. This picture was taken there at Whitebrook Farm early Feb. 2019 during the shoot for Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind coming soon to HBO. So much love goes out to The Gregson Family in England.
3. He Was a Talent Agent, Writer & Producer & He Was Known for Movies Such as ‘The Angry Silence’
Gregson worked in many different roles within the entertainment industry, including as an agent, writer and producer. He wrote the 1960 film The Angry Silence, in which he was nominated for an Oscar. He also wrote the 1979 movie Jennifer: A Woman’s Story.
Gregson created the 1970’s television series The Foundation, and he’s also credited as the writer for seven of the episodes, as per IMDB. He worked as a producer for a few projects, including 1969’s Downhill Racer and the Broadway musical Cyrano.
He was also an agent for some of the biggest stars of his generation, including Robert Redford, John Schlesinger and Alan Bates.
4. Gregson Was Married 3 Times & He Had Five Children
Gregson was married three times, according to his official IMDB biography. He married Sally Gregson, and together they had three children, Sarah Gregson in 1958, Charlotte Gregson in 1960 and Hugo Gregson in 1962. The two divorced in 1967.
As mentioned earlier in the article, Gregson married Wood in 1969 and they divorced in 1972. They had one child together, Natasha Gregson Wagner, who is an actress known for roles such as Sheila in Lost Highway and Cassandra in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
In 1980, He married his third wife, Julia Gregson, and they had Richard’s fifth child, Poppy Gregson, in 1984. The two were married up until his death in August 2019.
5. He Is the Author of the Book ‘Behind the Screen Door: Tales from the Hollywood Hills’
After having an extensive career in the entertainment industry, Gregson wrote his memoir titled: Behind the Screen Door Tales from the Hollywood Hills.
According to his book’s excerpt, Gregson’s “memoir is a brilliantly witty tale of life as a top Hollywood agent and an account of just how deals were cut and movies made in his time.” In the book, Gregson wrote about his relationship with Wood, including emotional reasons “that had made our lives together difficult,” The Guardian transcribed.