We all pretty much know a lot about Natalie Wood, so, as they say, she hardly needs any introduction. So let’s get to the q&a right away. This is, after all, a fast quiz.
1) At the time of her death, how old was the actress? a) 54; b) 43; c) 38; or d) 45?
ANSWER: b) 43. It’s eye-opening in retrospect to consider how young Wood was.
2) What is the name of the yacht she was on that fateful night? a) Rebel Without A Cause; b) RobNat; c) Splendour; or d) The Miracle.
Answer: c) Spendour. We leave the irony to you.
3) Husband Robert Wagner is still somehow a suspect in the case? a) True; or b) False.
Answer: b) False. The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department has all along asserted that Wagner is not considered a suspect.
4) The investigation into the cause of Wood’s death was re-opened because: a) The captain of the yacht brought to light new details; b) Actor Christopher Walken provided new information; or c) New physical evidence was uncovered by authorities?
Answer: c) New physical evidence was uncovered. Authorities revealed that Wood’s death certificate has been amended to attribute her death to “drowning and undetermined factors,” notably bruises on her upper body that might have occurred before Wood entered the water.
5) It’s been said that Natalie Wood was uncomfortable at sea because she was such a lousy swimmer. Is that: a) True; or b) False?
Answer: a) True. She couldn’t swim. She had trouble managing a swimming scene in Brainstorm, and the sequence ultimately had to be cut.
6) The drowning case was reopened in 2011 because new physical evidence on Wood’s body was discovered by the Los Angeles coroner. a) True; or b) False.
Answer: b) False. The captain of the Splendour was said to have provided new information. The “physical evidence” part came later.
7) The cause of Wood’s death is now attributed to “drowning and undetermined factors.” a) True; or b) False.
Answer: a) True (see above).
8) Walken is being more outspoken these days about what happened to Natalie. a) True; b) False.
Answer: b) False. Although repeatedly asked about Natalie’s death, Walken refuses to discuss the subject.
9) Walken’s role in the case is being questioned? a) True; or b) False.
Answer: b) False. As mentioned, Robert Wagner is not a suspect in any way and neither is Walken.
10) Has Walken ever expressed his impressions of the circumstances surrounding Wood’s death? a) Yes; b) No; c) Yes, but only partially.
Answer: c) Apparently. The Hollywood trade press reported that the actor gave an interview to Playboy in 1997 in which he stated that “what happened that night only she knows, because she was alone. She had gone to bed before us, and her room was at the back (of the yacht).” The actor suggested that Wood hit her head while trying to stabilize a noisy dinghy before falling into the water and floating away.