Natalie Wood (born Natalia Nikolaevna Zakharenko; July 20, 1938 – November 29, 1981) was an American actress. She began her career in film as a child and became a successful Hollywood star as a young adult, receiving three Academy Award nominations before she turned 25 years old. Her most significant roles included Miracle on 34th Street, Splendor in the Grass, Rebel Without a Cause, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, The Searchers, and West Side Story.
Wood began acting in films at the age of four and, at age eight, was given a co-starring role with Maureen O'Hara in the 1947 classic Christmas film Miracle on 34th Street. As a teenager, her performance in Rebel Without a Cause (1955) earned her a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She starred in the musical films West Side Story (1961) and Gypsy (1962), and received Academy Award for Best Actress nominations for her performances in Splendor in the Grass (1961) and Love with the Proper Stranger (1963). Her career continued with films such as Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969).
After this, she took a break from acting and had two children with different husbands, appearing in only three theatrical films during the 1970s. She was married to actor Robert Wagner, to producer Richard Gregson, and then back to Wagner. She had one daughter with Gregson, actress Natasha Gregson Wagner. Wood gave birth to Courtney Wagner during her second marriage to Wagner.
Wood starred in several television productions, including a remake of the film From Here to Eternity (1979), which earned her a Golden Globe Award. During her career, her films represented a "coming of age" for both her and Hollywood films in general.
Wood drowned on November 29, 1981, at the age of 43; the events surrounding her death have been controversial due to conflicting witness statements, prompting the LASD to declare the cause of her death as "drowning and other undetermined factors."