Russian American actress, (1938-1981) most famous for appearing in Rebel Without a Cause and West Side Story, marrying Robert Wagner twice, and sadly, for drowning in mysterious circumstances aged 43.
First appeared on screen aged four and had a career spanning five decades from Miracle On 34th Street in 1947, to the posthumously released scifi Brainstorm in 1983.
She was nominated for three Academy Awards by the age of 25; to this day, she's the youngest actress with three nominations.
- Miracle On Thirty Fourth Street (1947)
- Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
- The Searchers (1956)
- West Side Story (1961)
- Splendor In The Grass (1961)
- Gypsy (1962)
- The Great Race (1965)
- Bob And Carol And Ted And Alice (1969)
- Brainstorm (1983)
Tropes associated with her include:
- Adorkable: Trying to disguise her voice in this appearance on What's My Line?
- The Cast Showoff: Could speak Russian, as utilised in The Great Race.
- Dawson Casting: Averted in Rebel. She was a teenager at the time. Played straight in Splendor in the Grass.
- Important Haircut: To the character in Splendor.
- Non-Singing Voice: Her singing was dubbed by Marni Nixon in West Side Story, and by Jackie Ward in The Great Race and Inside Daisy Clover. In Gypsy, however, she did her own singing.
- One Head Taller: Was 5'0 and usually dwarfed by the leading man.
- Photographic Memory: She could easily memorize and deliver her lines, earning her the nickname, "One Take Natalie." Sometimes, she also had to help co-stars with their lines.
- Stage Names: She was born as Natalia Nikolaevna Zakharenko. Her name was later changed to Gurdin, and when she started to appear in movies, Wood.
- Star-Making Role: In Rebel Without a Cause. And the death of James Dean shortly after left her as the sole focus of much of the contemporary fandom.
- What Might Have Been: Opted to stay away from large film roles during the 1970s to raise a family. Brainstorm was supposed to be a 'comeback' role. Also the stress of finishing the film after her death pushed director Douglas Trumbull away from moviemaking.