Natalie Wood had her breakout role in 1947's "Miracle on 34th Street" when she was eight years old. As a child star, she appeared in twenty films. Orson Welles, one of her first co-stars, described her as "so good, she was terrifying."
As a teenager, Wood appeared in the ABC sitcom "The Pride of the Family" in 1953–54.
Wood was only 16 when she co-starred with James Dean in Nicholas Ray's groundbreaking 1955 drama "Rebel Without a Cause." The role earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
In 1957, she married fellow actor Robert Wagner. They starred together in the 1960 melodrama "All the Fine Young Cannibals," which bombed at the box office (though it would inspire the name of the popular '80s pop-rock band).
Director Elia Kazan took a chance on Wood (seen as "washed up" at the age of 22) when he cast her opposite Warren Beatty in "Splendor in the Grass," a film that revitalized her career.
Wood does vocal exercises during the filming of the 1961 smash "West Side Story," in which she played Maria, a modern-day Juliet. The singing was later dubbed by Marni Nixon.
Wood in a dance studio, rehearsing for "West Side Story."
After earning praise and a Golden Globe nomination for "Gypsy" in 1962, Wood went on to star in 1963's "Love with the Proper Stranger" and 1964's "Sex and the Single Girl."
Having divorced Robert Wagner in 1962, she married British film producer Richard Gregson in 1969.
During a period of emotional and psychological turmoil in the mid-'60s, Wood began seeing an analyst. She turned down the role of Bonnie in 1967's "Bonnie and Clyde" because she did not want to be apart from her therapist.
Gregson and Wood had a daughter, Natasha, in 1970, but divorced in 1972. That year, Wood and Wagner remarried. Their only daughter, Courtney, was born in 1974.
After becoming a mother, Wood semi-retired from acting. She turned down the role of Daisy in the 1974 adaptation of "The Great Gatsby." In 1979, she starred in a TV remake of "From Here to Eternity" (pictured).
A still from the 1979 sci-fi disaster film "Meteor."
Wood's daughters visit their mother on the set of 1980's "The Last Married Couple in America."
Wood died in 1981, at the age of 43, while on a weekend boat trip. The cause of death was initially listed as accidental drowning. In 2012, her death certificate was amended to "drowning and other undetermined factors."
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