Thirty-seven years after actress Natalie Wood mysteriously drowned, Los Angeles Sheriff investigators are calling her widower a “person of interest” in the case, according to a new report.
Initially classified as an accident, the case was reopened in 2011 when the captain of the boat changed his story during a Today show interview and alleged Robert Wagner, Wood’s husband at the time and himself a well-known actor, was responsible for the actress’ death. The case has been open since then, but reports have been few and far between.
Speaking to The Daily Beast, though, one of the investigators hinted interest in Wagner’s role is increasing.
“As we’ve investigated the case over the last six years, I think he’s more of a person of interest now,” said Lt. John Corina. “I mean, we know now that he was the last person to be with Natalie before she disappeared.”
Woods burst onto the Hollywood scene in 1947’s Miracle on 34th Street and successfully transitioned from child actor to major star in films like 1955’s Rebel Without a Cause and 1961’s West Side Story (which boasted a domestic gross of $43.7 million—the equivalent of $364 million today), and Splendor in the Grass.
At the time of her death, she was working on the science fiction film Brainstorm with Christopher Walken, who was also on the boat when Wood died. Woods had completed most of her major scenes in the film and, after a delay, MGM released it in 1983. It was a commercial failure, making just $10 million at the box office, a little over half of its production cost.
The case of Wood’s death has fascinated Hollywood for nearly four decades, spurring several books and even a television movie, 2004’s The Mystery of Natalie Wood.
Wagner, best known for his role in the TV series Hart to Hart, has denied having anything to do with Wood’s death.