‘Enduring’ Mystery

November 18, 2011

As events go, 1981 had its share of weird and nefarious shit — Ronald Reagan was inaugurated president in January, was shot and wounded in March and recovered enough by July to nominate Sandra Day O’Connor as the first female Supreme Court justice; Pope John Paul II is shot in May; Charles and Diana marry in July; MTV launches in August; and so forth.

And my most-favorite actress, Natalie Wood, died on my birthday in a boating accident off Catalina Island, California.
Two decades later to the day, my most-favorite Beatle, George Harrison, would die on my birthday — odd that.

On Thursday, the LA Sheriff’s Department announced the re-opening of the investigation into Wood’s death: Homicide investigators are taking a new look at one of Hollywood’s most enduring mysteries after they were contacted by people who claimed they had “additional information” about the drowning, the sheriff’s department said in a statement.
A puzzle to be sure, but not that so ‘enduring.’

(Illustration found here).

Wood was a multi-talented actress who was going through a dry period at the time of her death.
She was then working on a two-bit science-fiction movie, “Brainstorm,” and had been involved in a string of bad TV movies and theater junk — her last really good flick was more than a decade in the past, “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice,” (Elliott Gould and Dyan Cannon were nominated for supporting Oscars).

Wood was married to a jerk (I think), Robert Wagner — always felt she could have done a lot better — and she and Wagner always sailed their boat, Splendour, all over south California waters.
On this particular trip, Wood’s co-star in Brainstorm, Christopher Walken, was invited along.
Reportedly, Wood and Wagner got into a big argument, and later Wood wound up dead.

This whole affair seemed to have been settled decades ago, but Wood’s sister, Lana Wood, said that although she believes no foul play was involved, there might be something else: “I just want the truth to come out, the real story,” she said last year.

No matter, the results of the newest investigation could be interesting.
A press conference on the matter is set for today.

Wood was also in just one movie with my favorite actor, Steve McQueen (no, he didn’t die on my birthday, though, he was short a couple of weeks in 1980), in 1963’s, “Love with the Proper Stranger,” which Wood was nominated for an Oscar.
The artwork above was from that film.

Meanwhile, back to the more-horrid events of 2011…

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