Natalie Wood death certificate changed, from 'Accident' to 'Undetermined' - report
The cause of the 1981 death of famed actress Natalie Wood has reportedly been changed on her death certificate from "Accident" to "Undetermined," more than seven months after the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department reopened its investigation into the case, one of Hollywood's biggest mysteries.
According to a recent TMZ report, the Los Angeles County coroner had in June filed documents making the change and had informed several members of Wood's family about it on Friday, saying it was made partially because "some of the bruises on Wood's body were inconsistent with death by drowning."
"It remains an open and ongoing investigation. There are no further details," a sheriff's department spokesman said in response to the report, in a statement obtained by OnTheRedCarpet.com.
Wood, who played Maria in the musical film "West Side Story," died at age 43 on Nov. 29, 1981 during a yacht trip near Catalina Island in California with Robert Wagner, her then-husband, and Christopher Walken, who co-starred with her in the sci-fi thriller "Brainstorm." At the time, her death was ruled an accidental drowning.
A Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department detective told reporters on in November 2011 that new information had surfaced and that investigators would re-examine the case, adding that Wagner, 82, was not a suspect. (See video of the press conference.) The department said in January of this year that no new evidence was found and that Wood's death still appeared to be accidental.
In late 2011, several witnesses have spoken the press about Wood's death, including a woman who said she was on a nearby boat and heard a female voice telling for help and the lifeguard captain who found the actress' lifeless body in the water.
Wood was born as Natalia Zakharenko in California. She started out as a successful child actress in films such as "Miracle on 34th Street." She later went to star in several films including the 1955 film "Rebel Without a Cause" opposite James Dean and the movie adaptation of "Gypsy."
Wood earned two Oscar nominations for "Splendor in the Grass" in 1961, the same year "West Side Story" was released, and "Love with the Proper Stranger" in 1963.
Wagner, known to younger audiences as the villain "Number Two" in the "Austin Powers" films, married Wood in 1957. They divorced about four years later, then remarried in 1972 and had one child, Courtney. Wood also had another daughter, Natasha, from her marriage to British producers Richard Gregson. Wagner married for the fourth time in 1990.