More Than Love: An Intimate Portrait of My Mother, Natalie Wood by Natasha Gregson Wagner
I have loved Natalie Wood since I was a small child. I saw her on talk shows in the 70’s with Robert Wagner who I also adore, or by herself. She was always funny, intelligent
and adorable. She was my favorite actress as kid (I wanted to be an actress, not many brunettes for a brunette who wanted to be an actress to look up to, she was also extremely talented.) My favorite movies are Cash McCall and Love With a Proper Stranger.
She was also great in comedy and I adored her in Sex and The Single Girl and Bob, Carol, Ted and Alice. In other words I am a fan.
When Natalie was going to be in Anastasia in LA at the Music Center I was so excited, I squealed when
we got the postcard advertising it. (I still have it somewhere.) I lived at home, I was going to college and working but I knew I did not have enough money to go to the play and pay my bills, My Dad promised to get them for the whole family when they came
on the market.
Of course that was not to be. I was so stunned when I heard what happened, and heart broken. It is hard to explain, I never met her, or even got a glimpse of her in person.
When all the speculation
started with her sister Lana I was shocked, it was obvious she didn’t like Robert Wagner in her book, (which I did read) but she never accused him of anything like she did later. When she accuse him, I was very angry. I am a life long murder mystery
fan and what she and the ship’s captain said happened, had way too many holes in it, it made no sense.
I was so excited to read Natasha Gregson Wagner book, I saw the advertisement for it after I saw her HBO special, Natalie Wood,
What Remains Behind. I loved all the stuff about Natalie’s life in the documentary, her career and family life. It was beautiful. At the end, I was nodding my head and agreeing with her and the people she was interviewing, they knew best, everyone else
in blogs and podcasts are just speculating. The biggest thing for me was that Christopher Walken and Robert Wagner didn’t really like each other and were not friends, why would Christopher back him up, if it was a lie, so I knew that all this fodder
was just trumped up stuff, to make money. So sad. And unfair.
So I bought the book, it was very good, it is very hard to write the dark side of your life, the hard stuff for you to grapple with and to do it for the public, wow! I think
Nastasha did a great job and she obviously researched her Mom’s life very thoroughly. She is so lucky to have so much, I treasure the pieces I have my parents, I don’t have as much as she does but the bits and pieces are precious. I felt so bad
as I read how she had desperately wanted to keep her parents home, that she was scared something would happen to them and then when it did, her life just spiraled.
I also noticed as I read all the things that Lana had wrong, dates that
things happened, the bust of James Dean disappearing, (obliviously not true, it was right there in storage,) even what Natalie was wearing on that last Thanksgiving. Also Natasha explaining her attitude to two tiny kids who just lost their Mom, her sister
was cold and cruel. It made me realize her book was not true at all.
I love the happy ending for Natalie’s kids though, they deserve it. And I really hope people stop talking about her passing and focus on what great actress she
was, maybe even have a Natalie Wood Film Festival. That would be so cool.
Thank you Natasha, from one daughter to another.