Natasha: The Biography of Natalie Wood

Front Cover
Crown Publishing Group, Nov 4, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 544 pages
44 Reviews
Natalie Wood was always a star; her mother made sure this was true. A superstitious Russian immigrant who claimed to be royalty, Maria had been told by a gypsy, long before little Natasha Zakharenko's birth, that her second child would be famous throughout the world. When the beautiful child with the hypnotic eyes was first placed in Maria's arms, she knew the prophecy would become true and proceeded to do everything in her power everything to make sure of it.

Natasha is the haunting story of a vulnerable and talented actress whom many of us felt we knew. We watched her mature on the movie screen before our eyes in Miracle on 34th Street, Rebel Without a Cause, West Side Story, Splendor in the Grass, and on and on. She has been hailed along with Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor as one of the top three female movie stars in the history of film, making her a legend in her own lifetime and beyond. But the story of what Natalie endured, of what her life was like when the doors of the soundstages closed, has long been obscured.

Natasha is based on years of exhaustive research into Natalie's turbulent life and mysterious drowning in the dark water that was her greatest fear. Author Suzanne Finstad, a former lawyer, conducted nearly four hundred interviews with Natalie's family, close friends, legendary costars, lovers, film crews, and virtually everyone connected with the investigation of her strange death. Through these firsthand accounts from many who have never spoken publicly before, Finstad has reconstructed a life of emotional abuse and exploitation, of almost unprecedented fame, great loneliness, poignancy, and loss. She sheds an unwavering light on Natalie's complex relationships with James Dean, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Raymond Burr, Warren Beatty, and Robert Wagner and reveals the two lost loves of Natalie's life, whom her controlling mother prevented her from marrying. Finstad tells this beauty's 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. Natasha is impossible to put down it is the definitive biography of Natalie Wood that we've long been waiting for.


From the Hardcover edition.

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Review: Natasha: The Biography of Natalie Wood

User Review  - CS Burrough - Goodreads

Anyone who even only saw 'Gypsy' (1962) would have been taken by this seemingly fresh, stunning talent. But this child veteran screen legend had already long since cemented her place in the Hollywood ... Read full review

Review: Natasha: The Biography of Natalie Wood

User Review  - Charlotte - Goodreads

Clearly written by the Wood camp, this book is a fascinating look at stardom and the dark side of Hollywood. The description of her death in on a boat with Christopher Walken and her husband is interesting and something I didn't know that much about. Read full review

About the author (2009)

Suzanne Finstad, a former lawyer, is the award-winning author of five previous literary works, including the bestseller Sleeping with the Devil. She lives in Los Angeles.


From the Hardcover edition.

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