Natalie Wood's sister claims she kept silent about abuse to further her career

Cheryl Kahla
Jul 30, 2018
01:00 P.M.
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Acclaimed actress Natalie Wood passed away 37 years ago. Her death has remained a mystery and her sister recently revealed new information about Wood's childhood.


A podcast dedicated to investigating her death, Fatal Voyage: The Mysterious Death of Natalie Wood, interviewed her younger sister, Lana Wood, in the second episode of the series.

Lana recalls that she was eight years old when the then 16-year-old Natalie went to an interview in Chateau Marmont Hotel. The meeting lasted a few hours and Lana fell asleep in the back seat of their car.

On the trip back home, Natalie and her mother talked "heatedly in undertones," and it had later come to light that Natalie was brutally raped for hours on end.

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Source: Getty Images

Source: Getty Images

Their mother never reported the incident for fear that it might ruin Natalie's film career. She added: "It's not something that my mum would pursue" because "you don't want the studio knowing that this occurred."


Lana told Dylan Howard from Fatal Voyage that Natalie only alluded to the rape years later. She had blamed their mother, Maria Stepanovna Zakharenko, for her obsession with fame.

Natalie won the Most Talented Young Actress of 1946 award for her role in Tomorrow Is Forever, and a Golden Globe Award for Rebel Without A Cause in 1957.

Source: Getty Images

Source: Getty Images


She was nominated for two Academy Awards - for the 1961 film Splendor In The Grass, and again in 1963 for Gypsy.

Sixteen years later, she won in another Golden Globe Award for Best Actress: Television Series Drama for From Here To Eternity.

Natalie exchanged vows twice with actor Robert Wagner, first in the late fifties when she was 19 years old, and again in the early seventies.

Source: Getty Images

Source: Getty Images


They remained married until her death in 1981 when she went overboard on her husband's yacht on a weekend boat trip to Santa Catalina Island. Her body was found floating facedown in the Pacific ocean.

Natalie's death is still being investigated nearly 40 years later, and is listed as 'drowning and other undetermined factors.' Wagner was named as a person of interest earlier this year.

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