Celebrity

Natalie Wood's Daughter Opens Up About Her Late Mother And The Emotional Impact Of Her Death

It's been over three decades since the iconic Natalie Wood mysteriously vanished from a yacht that was making its way to Santa Catalina Island.

At the time of her disappearance, Natalie was with her husband Robert Wagner, and co-star Christopher Walken. Both men were suspects in the case, but investigators later ruled her death as accidental drowning, after her body washed up a day later.

The Mary Sue

Due to the bizarre nature of the case, people were not convinced that the 43-year-old star's death was an accident. The cold case was reopened in 2011, and the coroner's ruling was changed to "drowning and other undetermined factors."

Earlier this year, Robert once again became a person of interest in the case. After all, he was the last person to see her alive and they had a row that fateful night.

“I haven’t seen him tell the details that match all the other witnesses in this case,” Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Lieutenant John Corina told 48 Hours. “I think he’s constantly changed his story a little bit. And his version of events just don’t add up.”

The Sun

While the public has been focused on getting answers about Natalie's suspicious death, they may have forgotten that she left behind two children, daughters Natasha Gregson Wagner and Courtney Brooke Wagner, and her death took a toll on them more than anyone else.

Like Robert, Natasha and Courtney don't talk about their mother's death a whole lot, but Natasha did give a rare interview with the New York Times in 2016 and it has recently resurfaced.

Natasha, whose father is Richard Gregson, the film producer Natalie married briefly, opened up about her mother's untimely death during the emotional sit down.

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Natasha was only 11 when Natalie sailed off and never returned home, and it emotionally ruined her. It's tough enough to lose a parent at a young age, but when the circumstances of their death is unclear, it makes it even harder.

Add that to the media hoopla around the case, and Natasha found herself attending therapy. She said to the Times that she was “in therapy from, like, the minute [Natalie] died until I was 30."

Natasha took up acting and has appeared in dozens of TV shows and films, including Buffy the Vampire slayer, The Outpost, Stranger Than Fiction, 4400, and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Although she followed in her mother's footsteps, the actress said that she has "spent a lot of time trying to figure out how I am different from her and how I am similar, to help me have my own individuality," she admitted to the Times.

Natasha is finally in a "healthier place" now, and she's been more open to talking about Natalie with her husband, Barry Watson, and their daughter, Clover.

"Barry seems really excited to hear the stories about my mom, and I hear him say to Clover, ‘Oh yeah, there is a picture of Grandma Natalie!’" Natasha explained.

Daily Mail

While the newspaper described Natalie as a woman who penned "love letters in loopy script to her daughters that quoted from The Little Prince, knew how to burn the end of a wine-bottle cork to create makeshift eye shadow, sometimes yelled, was always bossy [and] never cooked (or at least not well)," Natasha talks about a different side of her mother.

She described her as "enigmatic and gorgeous and full of charisma and power." She also had a great sense of humor.

“She was hilarious,” Natasha told the paper. “She was always so funny. She would walk into our house and everything would be better. If she walked into a room and it was sepia, it suddenly became bright colors."

“My mom and my dad were always laughing at each other’s jokes," she continued. "Her laugh was this deep ‘HAHAHA!’ She would always say to my dad [Robert]: ‘Oh R J, just stop it! I can’t! Just stop it!’"

townandcountrymag.com

Although that's a memory of her mom she holds near and dear, there is something else about Natalie that Natasha will never be able to shake off: her smell.

“I knew when she was home because I would smell her perfume,” Natasha recalled. “She would waft through the house.”

Natalie's favorite perfume was Jungle Gardenia, and she wore it "all her life." To honor her late mother, Natasha launched a gardenia-scented fragrance named after her mother.

As for the day Natalie went missing, Natasha doesn't talk about it much, but she mentioned in a separate interview that she "wanted her to stay home."

"I had a funny feeling. I don't know if it was just being a child who didn't want her mom to leave or what it was, but I didn’t want her to go."

Here's hoping the case will be resolved soon so Natasha, her sister, and the rest of Natalie's family can get the closure they need.

Awa has been writing for Shared for 3 years. She is a serial snacker who unapologetically loves celebrity gossip. Drop her a line at awa@shared.com.