Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer in West Side Story

Dutch postcard Publicity still for West Side Story (Robert Wise, 1961).


At 16, American actress Natalie Wood (1938-1981) became a star, when she co-starred with James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause (1955). In 1961, she played Maria in West Side Story and was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in Splendor in the Grass. Wood drowned during a boating trip with husband Robert Wagner and Brainstorm (1983) co-star Christopher Walken. The circumstances of her death remain controversial.