“That evening has long undergone my thoughts so repeatedly,” Robert Wagner says of Natalie Wood’s demise
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Once she reached her 40s and grew to alter into a mom herself, Natasha Gregson Wagner had a newfound wish to rediscover her mom Natalie Wood — and provide protection to her legacy.
Share of that used to be addressing the mystery of how she ended up within the waters off of Catalina Island within the early morning hours of Nov. 29, 1981, and addressing the painful hypothesis that Wood’s husband, Robert Wagner, the man who raised her and her sisters Katie and Courtney, had did now not attach his wife and bore some roughly accountability.
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It’s a discipline Natasha, 49, examines in her memoir Extra Than Fancy, excerpted within the present disclose of PEOPLE, and the HBO documentary Natalie Wood: What Stays In the back of, airing Might 5.
“For therefore decades we had been told to disregard or now not talk about about it,” says Natasha. (Her organic father used to be Natalie’s 2d husband, Richard Gregson, and he or she calls every males her dad.) “But ample is ample. I know that if my mom had been in any roughly harm, he would enjoy given his lifestyles for her.”
“It’s upright,” Wagner, 90, says in a rare interview. “She acknowledged that because she knows me and he or she knows that I never would enjoy done anything else to harm her mom.”
In the documentary, Natasha asks her father to characterize what took command that evening on their yacht, the Splendour, after he, Wood and actor Christopher Walken returned to the boat following a dinner offshore the attach they’d all been drinking. He recounts the argument he and Walken had over how grand Wood have to work, by which she went below deck to mattress.
When Wagner went to learn about for her, he noticed that every the dinghy and Wood had been long gone. “No one heard anything else,” he tells his daughter.
As they every fight back tears, he recounts the 2d he used to be instructed they’d stumbled on her physique. “That evening has long undergone my thoughts so repeatedly,” he says.
“If he hadn’t been in a position to lunge there, we wouldn’t enjoy made the film,” says Natasha.
She acknowledges she’ll never know with “total easy job” precisely how her mom ended up within the water because she used to be on my own when she died. “It used to be a frightful, frightful accident,” she writes, “and essentially the most productive thing to blame used to be too grand alcohol that evening.”
She hopes with every projects, the purpose of curiosity will now return to her mom’s lifestyles and work.
“Natasha in point of reality wished to point of curiosity, now not how Natalie left us, however how she lived,” says Wagner. “And I verbalize she captured that. It used to be a very lengthy time coming and I’m so joyful with her. Imagine me, it wasn’t easy. It used to be one thing in her coronary heart and soul that she wished to rep.”
“The Natalie Wood legend is the legend of Hollywood and the movies and the golden age of cinema,” says Laurent Bouzereau, who directed the documentary, “however in point of reality, it is the legend of a family.”
Natalie Wood: What Stays In the back of will premiere Tuesday, Might 5 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, completely on HBO.