LOS ANGELES — Some of the bruises found on Natalie Wood’s body may have occurred before the actress drowned in the waters off Southern California more than 30 years ago, according to a newly released coroner’s report on one of Hollywood’s most mysterious deaths.
The case took another twist Monday when officials released a 10-page addendum to Wood’s 1981 autopsy that cites unexplained bruises and scratches on Wood’s face and arms as significant factors that led to officials changing her death certificate last year from a drowning to “drowning and other undetermined factors.”
Bruises on Wood’s arms, a scratch on her neck and superficial abrasions to the actress’ face may have occurred before Wood ended up in the waters off Catalina Island in November 1981, but coroner’s officials wrote they could not definitely determine when the injuries occurred.
Wood, 43, was on a yacht with her actor-husband Robert Wagner, co-star Christopher Walken and the boat captain on Thanksgiving weekend in 1981 before somehow ending up in the water.
The initial autopsy report said it was likely the bruises happened when Wood drowned. “Most of the bruises on the body are superficial and probably sustained at the time of drowning,” it stated.
Wood, famed for roles in such films as “West Side Story” and “Rebel Without a Cause,” was nominated for three Academy Awards during her lifetime. Her death stunned the world and has remained one of Hollywood’s most enduring mysteries.
Conflicting versions of what happened on the yacht have contributed to the mystery of how the actress died. Wood, Wagner and Walken had all been drinking heavily before the actress disappeared.
The renewed inquiry came after the boat’s captain, Dennis Davern, told “48 Hours” and the “Today” show that he heard Wagner and Wood arguing the night of her disappearance and believed Wagner was to blame for her death.
Wagner wrote in a 2008 memoir that he and Walken argued that night. He wrote that Walken went to bed and he stayed up for a while, but when he went to bed, he noticed that his wife and a dinghy that had been attached to the yacht were missing.
“Nobody knows,” he wrote. “There are only two possibilities; either she was trying to get away from the argument, or she was trying to tie the dinghy. But the bottom line is that nobody knows exactly what happened.”
Jodie Foster cheered and jeered for ‘coming out’ speech at Globes
NEW YORK — Was it a proud revelation, or an impassioned case for privacy? Too little and too late, or just enough?
Jodie Foster’s rambling, fascinating and intensely personal remarks at the Golden Globes were a big moment for the gay community, and many advocates – though not all – were cheering her on Monday for finally referring publicly to her sexual orientation, albeit in her own particular way.
“No doubt, she was partly speaking in code, and she may never have wrapped her words around the fact that she is a lesbian,” said Fred Sainz of the Human Rights Campaign. “She is to be congratulated, no matter how awkward or inarticulate it may have seemed to some.”
The moment that Foster, a 50-year-old Oscar winner for “The Silence of the Lambs” and “The Accused,” took the stage to accept the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award, it was clear she wasn’t going to give a run-of-the-mill speech.
“But, you know, I’m just going to put it out there, right? Loud and proud, right? So I’m going to need your support on this,” she said. Then, after a pause: “I am single.”
After joking that celebrities are now expected to reveal they’re gay “with a press conference, a fragrance and a prime-time reality show,” the actress quipped: “I am not Honey Boo Boo Child. No. I’m sorry. That’s just not me.” And then, more defiantly: “If you had been a public figure from the time that you were a toddler, if you’d had to fight for a life that felt real and honest and normal against all odds, then maybe you, too, might value privacy above all else.”
On The Huffington Post’s “Gay Voices” page on Monday, Deb Baer called Foster a “coward” and said she “could have helped millions of people by coming out years ago.”
– From news service reports