It has been almost 39 years since actress Natalie Wood met her death after drowning off the coast of Catalina Island in California. The West Side Story actress was just 43 years old when she passed away, and the mysterious circumstances surrounding her death have been the subject of much speculation over the years.
Natalie was aboard Splendour, the yacht owned by her husband, actor Robert Wagner. The two were known among their friends and the public for having a somewhat tumultuous relationship.
Also on the boat on that fateful November day in 1981 was Christopher Walken, who was co-starring with Natalie in Brainstorm. There were rumors that the two were having an affair, and that Robert was extremely jealous. Many have wondered over the years whether Natalie was pushed off the boat, as bruises were found on her body that were inconsistent with drowning.
Natalie's life and legacy will be the subject of the HBO documentary, Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind. The documentary was created by Natalie's daughter, Natasha Gregson Wagner, who has never suspected that her stepfather was responsible for Natalie's death.
Where is Robert Wagner now? Since his marriage to Natalie, Robert has gotten remarried, and his children have stood by him in the face of the speculation that he killed the actress.
Where is Robert Wagner now?
The actor is now 90 years old, and he's speaking out about Natalie's death and his version of events in the HBO documentary.
He first wed Natalie in 1957 when she was 19 years old and he was 27. They divorced less than five years later.
He subsequently married actress Marion Marshall in 1963, and they went on to have daughter Katie Wagner together. They split by 1971. After his divorce from Marion, Robert and Natalie rekindled their romance, and they remarried in 1972.
Robert and Natalie had a daughter together named Courtney, who was born in 1974. Natalie had daughter Natasha with ex-husband Richard Gregson in 1970, but her parents split before she was one year old. She later changed her name to Natasha Gregson Wagner after developing a close bond with her stepfather, and he got full custody of her after Natalie's death.
He started dating actress Jill St. John in 1982, and the two raised Natasha and Courtney together. They wed in 1990, and the two are still together.
Robert continued acting after Natalie's death, most notably with his character reprisal in Curse of the Pink Panther in 1983, his starring role in the TV series Hart to Hart, and as Number 2 in the Austin Powers trilogy. But, his last film credit was in 2017 with What Happened to Monday.
His last TV role before his appearance in the documentary was in a 2014 episode of Hot in Cleveland.
From his three children, Robert is also a doting grandfather of two, and he also has an active Instagram page.
Robert Wagner's kids support him regarding the speculation of Natalie Wood's death.
Though there is some compelling speculation about the night of Natalie's death that could potentially implicate Robert, his kids have never doubted his innocence. In an April of 2020 interview with People, Courtney Wagner said that she was "angry" at the media for speculating against her father.
"It made me feel especially angry for all the terrible things said about my father. I was furious at the accusations being said about him, it felt incredibly disrespectful especially knowing the source of where these accusations came from," she said. "It was so transparent that certain people exploited my family like this and it makes me very protective of my father. I love him so deeply so and it has gone on for so long that I still can't believe they actually write such untrue things."
In a May of 2020 interview with People, Natasha Gregson Wagner explained that her "heart was beating a bit" because she was anxious about speaking with her dad for the documentary. But, she never thought he was involved in any foul play.
"He regrets that she died. To me, what the culprit that night was was the alcohol," she said. "Had that not been a factor, I think maybe things would have turned out a little differently, but I feel closure about that night."
While his children are confident that he was not involved in harming Natalie when she died, the L.A.P.D. announced in 2018 that Robert was a person of interest in Natalie's death. No further updates about the case have been released.
Natalie's sister, Lana Wood, is estranged from her nieces because she believes that Robert was involved in Natalie's death.
Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind premieres on HBO on May 5 at 9 p.m. ET.