More Than Love: An Intimate Portrait of My Mother, Natalie Wood
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More Than Love: An Intimate Portrait of My Mother, Natalie Wood
The heartbreaking, never-before-told story of Hollywood icon Natalie Wood’s glamorous life, sudden death, and lasting legacy, written by her daughter, Natasha Gregson Wagner.
More Than Love is a memoir of loss, grief, and coming-of-age by a daughter of Hollywood royalty. Natasha Gregson Wagner’s mother, Natalie Wood, was a child actress who became a legendary movie star, the dark-haired beauty of Splendor in the Grass, Rebel Without a Cause, and West Side Story. She and Natasha’s stepfather, the actor Robert Wagner, were a Hollywood it-couple twice over, first in the 1950s, and then again when they remarried in the 70s.
But Natalie’s sudden death by drowning off Catalina Island at the age of forty-three devastated her family, made her stepfather a person of interest, and turned a vibrant wife, mother, and actress into a tragic figure. The events of that weekend have long been a mystery, and despite the rumors, scandalous media coverage, and accusations of wrongdoing, there has never been an account of how the tragedy was experienced by her daughter. For the first time Natasha addresses the questions surrounding that night to clear her beloved stepfather’s name.
More Than Love begins on the morning after her mother’s death in November 1981 when eleven-year-old Natasha hears the news on the radio that her mother’s body has been found off the coast of Catalina after her parents had spent the weekend on the family boat, The Splendour.
From this profound and shattering loss, Natasha shares her memories of her earliest bonds with her mother; her warm, loving, and slightly chaotic childhood as the daughter of two stars; the lost and confused years of her adolescence; and her halting attempts to move forward as a young woman.
Beautifully told, More Than Love is an emotionally powerful tale of a daughter coming to terms with her grief, as well as a riveting portrait of a famous mother and a vanished Hollywood.
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The heartbreaking, never-before-told story of Hollywood icon Natalie Wood’s glamorous life, sudden death, and lasting legacy, written by her daughter, Natasha Gregson Wagner. More Than Love is a memoir of loss, grief, and coming-of-age by a daughter of Hollywood royalty. Natasha Gregson Wagner’s mother, Natalie Wood, was a child actress who became a legendary movie star, the dark-haired beauty of Splendor in the Grass, Rebel Without a Cause, and West Side Story. She and Natasha’s stepfather, the actor Robert Wagner, were a Hollywood it-couple twice over, first in the 1950s, and then again when they remarried in the 70s. But Natalie’s sudden death by drowning off Catalina Island at the age of forty-three devastated her family, made her stepfather a person of interest, and turned a vibrant wife, mother, and actress into a tragic figure. The events of that weekend have long been a mystery, and despite the rumors, scandalous media coverage, and accusations of wrongdoing, there has never been an account of how the tragedy was experienced by her daughter. For the first time Natasha addresses the questions surrounding that night to clear her beloved stepfather’s name. More Than Love begins on the morning after her mother’s death in November 1981 when eleven-year-old Natasha hears the news on the radio that her mother’s body has been found off the coast of Catalina after her parents had spent the weekend on the family boat, The Splendour. From this profound and shattering loss, Natasha shares her memories of her earliest bonds with her mother; her warm, loving, and slightly chaotic childhood as the daughter of two stars; the lost and confused years of her adolescence; and her halting attempts to move forward as a young woman. Beautifully told, More Than Love is an emotionally powerful tale of a daughter coming to terms with her grief, as well as a riveting portrait of a famous mother and a vanished Hollywood.
As a child actor who smoothly transitioned to adult stardom, Natalie Wood made an unforgettable impact on the world with her sensitive performances and her spectacular beauty. In a span of less than twenty years, her talent graced a dozen classics, including Miracle on 34th Street, The Searchers, Rebel Without a Cause, Splendor in the Grass, West Side Story, and Gypsy, earning her three Oscar nominations and two Golden Globes. Few actresses in Hollywood history have carved out careers as diverse and rich as Natalie Wood's, and few have touched as many hearts in a tragically short lifetime. Natalie Wood: Reflections on a Legendary Life boldly redefines Natalie not by her tragic death, but by her extraordinary life. This is the first family-authorized photographic study of Natalie Wood, and the first book to examine her glamorous film career as well as her private off-screen life as a wife and mother. Highlights include a special section on the making of West Side Story, a foreword by her husband Robert Wagner, a family album with never-before-seen snapshots captioned by daughter Courtney Wagner, an unpublished article written by Natalie in her own words, and an afterword by friend and costar Robert Redford. Natalie Wood: Reflections on a Legendary Life will change the way the world remembers a Hollywood legend.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The definitive biography of a vulnerable and talented actress, now with explosive new chapters and insider details of her tragic death, the cover-ups, and the reopened investigation. An ID Book Club Selection • “Impressive, disturbing, and revelatory.”—Variety Natalie Wood has been hailed alongside Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor as one of the top three female movie stars in film history. We watched her mature on the movie screen before our eyes in classics such as Miracle on 34th Street, Rebel Without a Cause, Splendor in the Grass, and West Side Story. But the story of what she endured, of what her life was like when the doors of the soundstages closed, had long been obscured. Based on years of astonishing research, Natalie Wood (previously published as Natasha) raises the curtain on Wood’s turbulent life. Award-winning author Suzanne Finstad conducted nearly four hundred interviews with Natalie Wood’s family, close friends, legendary costars, lovers, film crews, and virtually everyone connected to her death. Through these firsthand accounts, Finstad reconstructs a life of emotional abuse and exploitation, of unimaginable fame, great loneliness, and loss. She reveals painful truths in Wood’s complex relationships with James Dean, Frank Sinatra, Warren Beatty, and, of course, Robert Wagner. Thirty years after Natalie Wood’s death, the L.A. Sheriff’s Department reopened the investigation into her drowning using Finstad’s groundbreaking research and chilling, hour-by-hour timeline of that tumultuous weekend as evidence. Within a year, the L.A. Coroner changed Natalie Wood’s death certificate from “Accidental Drowning” to “Drowning and Other Undetermined Factors.” In 2018, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department officially named Wagner a “Person of Interest” in Wood’s death. In this updated edition, Finstad will share her explosive findings from the last two decades. With her unprecedented access to the LASD’s “Murder Book,” ignored by the original investigators, and new witnesses who have never spoken publicly, Finstad uncovers what really happened to Natalie Wood on that fateful boating trip in 1981 with Wagner and Christopher Walken. She expands on intimate details from Wood’s unpublished memoir, which affirms her fear of drowning and the betrayal by Wagner that shattered their first marriage. Finstad tells this heartbreaking story with sensitivity and grace, revealing a complex and conflicting mix of fragility and strength in a woman who was swept along by forces few could have resisted.
Brainstorm is an amazing five-year probe into the mysterious death of beloved movie star Natalie Wood by a real-life criminal law authority who determinedly pursued the truth in the face of Los Angeles County officials hell-bent on keeping it buried forever. “After four decades, there is still more to learn about Natalie Wood’s tragic drowning. Brainstorm is one man’s passionate quest to unearth the truth.” —Beth Karas, Host of Oxygen’s Snapped: Notorious, former prosecutor, and investigative journalist “If you have any interest in deciding for yourself whether someone got away with the murder of Natalie Wood, this book is for you.” —Marilyn Wayne, eyewitness Brainstorm: An Investigation of the Mysterious Death of Film Star Natalie Wood is the first-person account of Sam Perroni’s probing investigation of the actress’s death. Through lawsuits, freedom of information requests, and persistent digging, Perroni obtained unseen and confidential files, documents, photographs, and information from long-lost witnesses revealing the true circumstances surrounding Natalie Wood’s drowning.
The shocking true crime story of a beloved Hollywood star gone too soon—told by the captain of the boat on which Natalie Wood spent her last night. Goodbye Natalie, Goodbye Splendour is the long‐awaited, detailed account of events that led to the mysterious death of Hollywood legend Natalie Wood off the coast of Catalina Island on November 28, 1981. It is a story told by a haunted witness to that fateful evening: Dennis Davern, the young captain of Splendour, the yacht belonging to Wood and husband Robert Wagner. Davern initially backed up Wagner’s version of that evening’s events through a signed statement prepared by attorneys. But Davern’s guilt over failing Natalie tormented him. Davern reached out to his old friend Marti Rulli, and little by little, at his own emotional pace, he revealed the details of his years in Wood’s employ, of the fateful weekend that Natalie died, and of the events following her death that prevented him from telling the whole story—until now.
A validating new approach to the long-term grieving process that explains why we feel “stuck,” why that’s normal, and how shifting our perception of grief can help us grow—from the New York Times bestselling author of Motherless Daughters “This is perhaps one of the most important books about grief ever written. It finally dispels the myth that we are all supposed to get over the death of a loved one.”—Claire Bidwell Smith, author of Anxiety: The Missing Stage of Grief Aren’t you over it yet? Anyone who has experienced a major loss in their past knows this question. We’ve spent years fielding versions of it, both explicit and implied, from family, colleagues, acquaintances, and friends. We recognize the subtle cues—the slight eyebrow lift, the soft, startled “Oh! That long ago?”—from those who wonder how an event so far in the past can still occupy so much precious mental and emotional real estate. Because of the common but false assumption that grief should be time-limited, too many of us believe we’re grieving “wrong” when sadness suddenly resurges sometimes months or even years after a loss. The AfterGrief explains that the death of a loved one isn’t something most of us get over, get past, put down, or move beyond. Grief is not an emotion to pass through on the way to “feeling better.” Instead, grief is in constant motion; it is tidal, easily and often reactivated by memories and sensory events, and is re-triggered as we experience life transitions, anniversaries, and other losses. Whether we want it to or not, grief gets folded into our developing identities, where it informs our thoughts, hopes, expectations, behaviors, and fears, and we inevitably carry it forward into everything that follows. Drawing on her own encounters with the ripple effects of early loss, as well as on interviews with dozens of researchers, therapists, and regular people who’ve been bereaved, New York Times bestselling author Hope Edelman offers profound advice for reassessing loss and adjusting the stories we tell ourselves about its impact on our identities. With guidance for reframing a story of loss, finding equilibrium within it, and even experiencing renewed growth and purpose in its wake, she demonstrates that though grief is a lifelong process, it doesn’t have to be a lifelong struggle.
Film and television actor and New York Times bestselling author Robert Wagner’s memoir of the great women movie stars he has known. In a career that has spanned more than sixty years Robert Wagner has witnessed the twilight of the Golden Age of Hollywood and the rise of television, becoming a beloved star in both media. During that time he became acquainted, both professionally and socially, with the remarkable women who were the greatest screen personalities of their day. I Loved Her in the Movies is his intimate and revealing account of the charisma of these women on film, why they became stars, and how their specific emotional and dramatic chemistries affected the choices they made as actresses as well as the choices they made as women. Among Wagner’s subjects are Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Marilyn Monroe, Gloria Swanson, Norma Shearer, Loretta Young, Joan Blondell, Irene Dunne, Rosalind Russell, Dorothy Lamour, Debra Paget, Jean Peters, Linda Darnell, Betty Hutton, Raquel Welch, Glenn Close, and the two actresses whom he ultimately married, Natalie Wood and Jill St. John. In addition to offering perceptive commentary on these women, Wagner also examines topics such as the strange alchemy of the camera—how it can transform the attractive into the stunning, and vice versa—and how the introduction of color brought a new erotic charge to movies, one that enabled these actresses to become aggressively sexual beings in a way that that black and white films had only hinted at. Like Wagner’s two previous bestsellers, I Loved Her in the Movies is a privileged look behind the scenes at some of the most well-known women in show business as well as an insightful look at the sexual and romantic attraction that created their magic.
With wry wit and touching humor, Louie Anderson, New York Times bestselling author and Emmy Award–winning comedian currently starring in Zach Galifianakis’s Baskets, shares his journey of turning life’s challenges into joy, as well as plenty of wisdom he’s still discovering from his late mother. “I started out writing these letters to my mom, but a few friends said I should write a book. I said ‘okay’ because next to ‘we’ll see,’ ‘okay’ is as non-committal as you can get. But somehow, I stuck with it. I hope you like it. I hope that after you read it, you’ll write or call your own mom—and dad, sister, brother, cousin, nephew. Or have lunch with them. Or breakfast. It doesn’t have to be lunch. But do it now. Don’t wait like I did.” —Louie Louie Anderson has channeled his beloved mom, Ora Zella Anderson, in his stand-up routine for decades, but she died before seeing him reach his greatest heights, culminating in his breakout TV role as Christine Baskets, the mesmerizing character she inspired. Hey Mom is Louie’s way of catching her up on the triumphs, disappointments, and continuing challenges in life. Full of heartache, but also great hope, and of course—given Louie’s inimitable comedic voice—laugh-out-loud stories and his trademark observations on life’s many absurdities, Hey Mom shows a poignant side of Louie you may not know, and proves that he is one of the most nuanced and wide-ranging comics working today.
In this memoir, Lana Wood investigates the mysterious drowning of her sister, the actress Natalie Wood, and clears up the myths and misconceptions behind one of the most notorious celebrity deaths of our time. On the night of November 29, 1981, Natalie Wood disappeared from her yacht, the Splendour, while visiting Catalina Island with her husband, Robert “R.J.” Wagner and their friend, Christopher Walken. The beloved movie star’s tragic drowning shook America, inspiring troves of magazine covers and media pieces. What was originally believed to be an open-and-shut case of accidental drowning has been called into question over the years, and in 2011 the investigation was reopened. In 2018, at the urging of the public, it was reclassified as “suspicious.” Ever since, the question has remained: What really happened to Natalie Wood? Lana Wood, Natalie’s younger sister, long suspected nefarious circumstances surrounding her sister’s death. Her closest confidante from childhood, Lana stood witness to Natalie’s life: the successes, the heartache, and her deepest pain. But there was tremendous fear about investigating the case. Uncertain of what her own search would unravel, and frightened of the possibilities, Lana stayed silent for years, until she no longer could. She realized she was ignoring what was in front of her, and that the best way to honor her sister's legacy would be uncovering the secrets behind the very end of Natalie’s life. By elucidating previously unknown complications of Natalie’s life, and offering new evidence from key parties involved in the investigation—including the boat’s captain and other witnesses—Little Sister recounts Lana’s search for the truth and brings to light explosive details that have been suppressed for decades. Ranging from the bonds that hold family together, to inconsistencies in interviews with detectives to complications with evidence, this story of sisterhood and mystery presents a fresh perspective on a night that has long been fodder for Hollywood lore.
"A blissful treasure trove of gossipy insider details that Dolls fans will swiftly devour." --Kirkus Reviews The unbelievable-but-true, inside story of Jacqueline Susann's pop culture icon Valley of the Dolls--the landmark novel and publishing phenomenon, the infamous smash hit film ("the best worst movie ever made"), and Dolls's thriving legacy today Since its publication in 1966, Jacqueline Susann's Valley of the Dolls has reigned as one of the most influential and beloved pieces of commercial fiction. Selling over thirty-one million copies worldwide, it revolutionized overnight the way books got sold, thanks to the tireless and canny self-promoting Susann. It also generated endless speculation about the author's real-life models for its larger-than-life characters. Turned in 1967 into an international box-office sensation and morphing into a much-beloved cult film, its influence endures today in everything from films and TV shows to fashion and cosmetics tributes and tie-ins. Susann's compulsive readable exposé of three female friends finding success in New York City and Hollywood was a scandalous eye-opener for its candid treatment of sex, naked ambition, ageism, and pill-popping, and the big screen version was one of the most-seen and talked-about movies of the time. Dolls! Dolls! Dolls! digs deep into the creation of that hugely successful film--a journey nearly as cut-throat, sexually-charged, tragic, and revelatory as Susann's novel itself--and uncovers how the movie has become a cherished, widely imitated camp classic, thanks to its over-the-top performances, endlessly quotable absurd dialogue, outré costumes and hairdos, despite the high aspirations, money, and talent lavished on it. Screenwriter-journalist-film historian Stephen Rebello has conducted archival research and new interviews to draw back the velvet curtain on the behind-the-scenes intrigue, feuds and machinations that marked the film's production. In doing so, he unveils a rich, detailed history of fast-changing, late 1960s Hollywood, on screen and off.
Featuring a collection of more than two hundred photographs, this biography reveals the private life and career of the beautiful and talented actress including her films, her two marriages to Robert Wagner, and her tragic death by drowning in 1981
The Hollywood star traces her career and personal life, discussing such topics as her relationships with fellow actors, her marriage to plane crash victim Charles F. Blair, and her work on specific causes.
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER NOW WITH A NEW PREFACE A moving, hopeful, and refreshingly candid memoir by the husband of Pete Buttigieg about growing up gay in his small Midwestern town, his relationship with Pete, and his hope for America’s future. Throughout the past year, teacher Chasten Glezman Buttigieg has emerged on the national stage, having left his classroom in South Bend, Indiana, to travel cross-country in support of his husband, former mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Pete’s groundbreaking presidential campaign. Through Chasten’s joyful, witty social media posts, the public gained a behind-the-scenes look at his life with Pete on the trail—moments that might have ranged from the mundane to the surprising, but that were always heartfelt. Chasten has overcome a multitude of obstacles to get here. In this moving, uplifting memoir, he recounts his journey to finding acceptance as a gay man. He recalls his upbringing in rural Michigan, where he knew he was different, where indeed he felt different from his father and brothers. He recounts his coming out and how he’s healed from revealing his secret to his family, friends, community, and the world. And he tells the story of meeting his boyfriend, whom he would marry and who would eventually become a major Democratic leader. With unflinching honesty, unflappable courage, and great warmth, Chasten Buttigieg relays his experience of growing up in America and embracing his true self, while inspiring others to do the same.
An "innovative" (The New Yorker) retelling of the story of Dracula. Told with the flourish and poise of a talented storyteller, Kostova turns the age-old tale into a compelling "late night page-turner" (San Francisco Chronicle) When a young woman discovers a cache of ancient letters, she is thrown into the turbulent history of her parents' dark pasts. Uncovering a labyrinthine trail of clues, she begins to reconstruct a staggering history of deceit and violence. Debut novelist Elizabeth Kostova creates an adventure of monumental proportions, a relentless tale that blends fact and fantasy, history and the present, with an assurance that is almost unbearably suspenseful and utterly unforgettable.
The “graceful, loving,” (The New York Times Book Review), never-before-told story of Hollywood icon Natalie Wood’s glamorous life, sudden death, and lasting legacy, written by her daughter, Natasha Gregson Wagner. Natasha Gregson Wagner’s mother, Natalie Wood, was a child actress who became a legendary movie star, the dark-haired beauty of Splendor in the Grass and West Side Story. She and Natasha’s stepfather, the actor Robert Wagner, were a Hollywood it-couple twice over, first in the 1950s, and then again when they remarried in the 70s. To Natasha, she was, above all, a doting, loving mom. But Natalie’s sudden death by drowning off Catalina Island at the age of forty-three devastated her family, turned Robert Wagner into a person of interest, and transformed a vibrant wife, mother, and actress into a figure of tragedy. The weekend has long been shrouded in rumors and scandalous tabloid speculation, but until now there has never been an account of how the events and their aftermath were experienced by Natalie’s beloved eldest daughter. Here, for the first time, is a“deeply intimate chronicle of life with her famous mother and how Wood’s death devastated the family” (Los Angeles Times). Cutting through the shadow hanging over her mother’s legacy, More Than Love is a “poignant” (The Washington Post) tale of a daughter coming to terms with her grief, as well as a “revealing new look at Natalie Wood” (Good Morning America).
In this volume of 15 articles, contributors from a wide range of disciplines present their analyses of Disney movies and Disney music, which are mainstays of popular culture. The power of the Disney brand has heightened the need for academics to question whether Disney’s films and music function as a tool of the Western elite that shapes the views of those less empowered. Given its global reach, how the Walt Disney Company handles the role of race, gender, and sexuality in social structural inequality merits serious reflection according to a number of the articles in the volume. On the other hand, other authors argue that Disney productions can help individuals cope with difficult situations or embrace progressive thinking. The different approaches to the assessment of Disney films as cultural artifacts also vary according to the theoretical perspectives guiding the interpretation of both overt and latent symbolic meaning in the movies. The authors of the 15 articles encourage readers to engage with the material, showcasing a variety of views about the good, the bad, and the best way forward.
A revelatory and touching tribute to the lives of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds written by the person who knew them best, Todd Fisher’s poignant memoir is filled with moving stories of growing up among Hollywood royalty and illustrated with never-before-seen photos and memorabilia. In December 2016, the world was shaken by the sudden deaths of Carrie Fisher and her mother Debbie Reynolds, two unspeakable losses that occurred in less than twenty-four hours. The stunned public turned for solace to Debbie’s only remaining child, Todd Fisher, who somehow retained his grace and composure under the glare of the media spotlight as he struggled with his own overwhelming grief. The son of "America’s Sweethearts" Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, Todd grew up amid the glamorous wealth and pretense of Hollywood. Thanks to his funny, loving, no-nonsense mother, Todd remained down to earth, his own man, but always close to his cherished mom, and to his sister through her meteoric rise to stardom and her struggle with demons that never diminished her humor, talent, or spirit. Now, Todd shares his heart and his memories of Debbie and Carrie with deeply personal stories from his earliest years to those last unfathomable days. His book, part memoir, part homage, celebrates their legacies through a more intimate, poignant, and often hilarious portrait of these two remarkable women than has ever been revealed before. With thirty-two pages of never-before-seen photos and memorabilia from his family’s private archives, Todd’s book is a love letter to a sister and a mother, and a gift to countless fans who are mourning the deaths of these two unforgettable stars.
One of the truly great writers of the century reaches beyond the very top of his game in this uncannily timely knockout of a novel. In quality and compelling scope, this is Rushdie's The Godfather meets The Great Gatsby--an unparalleled modern-day American thriller, with wonderful, moving characters and a grippingly entertaining story straight out of today's headlines, set against the panorama of American culture and politics from the inauguration of Obama to post-election Trump. When powerful real-estate tycoon Nero Golden immigrates to the States under mysterious circumstances, he and his three adult children assume new identities, reinventing themselves as emperors living in a lavish house in downtown Manhattan. Arriving shortly after the inauguration of Barack Obama, he and his sons, each extraordinary in his own right, quickly establish themselves at the apex of New York society, even as Nero Golden continues to raise huge buildings carrying his name in gold letters. The story of the powerful Golden family is told from the point of view of their Manhattanite neighbour and confidant, René, an aspiring filmmaker who finds in the Goldens the perfect subject. René chronicles the undoing of the house of Golden: the high life of money, of art and fashion, a sibling quarrel, an unexpected metamorphosis, the arrival of a beautiful former model, betrayal and murder, and far away, in their abandoned homeland, some decent intelligence work that could ruin Nero Golden forever. Invoking literature, pop culture and the cinema, Rushdie spins the story of the American zeitgeist over the last eight years, hitting every beat: the rise of the birther movement, the Tea Party, and identity politics; Gamergate; the backlash against political correctness; the ascendancy of Superman and Batwoman and the superhero movie; and, of course, the insurgence of a ruthlessly ambitious, narcissistic villain with painted skin and coloured hair.
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