TVNewser FishbowlDC AgencySpy TVSpy LostRemote PRNewser SocialTimes AllFacebook GalleyCat UnBeige MediaJobsDaily

Posts Tagged ‘Natalie Wood’

Natalie Wood Author Reacts to Death Certificate Change

What does the person most responsible for the re-opening of the Natalie Wood drowning investigation think about the latest development – the August 7 amendment of cause on the actress’s death certificate? Tonight, Goodbye Natalie, Goodbye Splendour co-author Marti Rulli has finally shared her thoughts:

Natalie’s death is no longer considered an accident: it is considered undetermined how she acquired her bruises. The 1981 initial investigation into Natalie Wood’s death was incompetent…

This development is huge for Natalie Wood’s legacy. She did not “get drunk and fall off a boat,” as a couple of books would have us believe. No one ever thought Natalie’s case would be reopened. It was. And, it will remain open until other conclusions can be determined. If that can’t be done, at least we now know, although no suspects have been named, that Natalie’s death is a suspicious one.

Read more

LASD Updates LA Times on Natalie Wood Investigation

It appears as if the truth may never be fully known regarding what exactly led Natalie Wood to fatally wind up in the waters off Two Harbors on the night of November 28, 1981.

Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department chief of detectives William McSweeney tells LA Times reporter Richard Winton that several weeks of interviews and other footwork have turned up nothing new and that only a few minor aspects of the investigation remain active. However, he stresses that a case such as this, even if it is to be deemed once again cold, could always be re-opened once more if warranted. Then follows the key sentence of Winton’s dispatch:

But McSweeney said he’s doubtful that more investigating will change the overall conclusion that her death was an accident.

Read more

Author Chastises Access Hollywood for Natalie Wood Item

The first dispatch of the new year relating to the re-opening of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department investigation into the 1981 drowning death of actress Natalie Wood has turned out to be a sloppy piece of Web reporting.

AccessHollywood.com published a report late this afternoon headlined “Natalie Wood Investigation a Cold Case.” But the permalink for this item now points to an update in which the outlet seemingly clarifies that by “cold case,” the LASD did not mean the re-opened investigation had been tabled.

Author Marti Rulli, whose excellent tome Goodbye Natalie Goodbye Splendour was the trigger for some critical sworn statements submitted to the LASD, had angry words tonight for Access Hollywood. Blogs Rulli:

I received many notices tonight of an article published by Access Hollywood claiming that the Natalie Wood case was transferred to a cold case file, further stating the reopening of the case in November 2011 had been nothing more than a publicity stunt to promote my book Goodbye Natalie Goodbye Splendour.

Read more

Robert Wagner Set for Florida ‘Conversation’

When Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood honeymooned in 1957, they traveled by train to the Atlantic Ocean community of Stuart, Florida, where they planned to go fishing. But as the actor recalls in his 2009 autobiography Pieces of My Heart, it was a bust.

“Stuart was terrible, totally unromantic,” he writes. “We were there only a couple of nights; then we got on a train and went to New York, to the Sherry-Netherland.”

Next week, Wagner will be back in Stuart for “A Conversation with Robert Wagner,” a special December 13-15 retrospective series organized by Lyric Theatre executive director John Loesser. To promote his first public appearance since the Wood drowning investigation was re-opened, the actor chatted via email with the Treasure Coast Palm newspaper.

Read more

National Enquirer Publishes Explosive New Natalie Wood Claim

It apparently took five bylined reporters to wrangle a worrisome new circumstantial allegation about the weekend of Natalie Wood‘s drowning death off Catalina Island.

The tabloid spoke to 52-year-old interior designer Robin Butillo, who back in 1981 was roommates with someone she describes as a “close friend” of actor Christopher Walken. Hours after news broke of Wood’s drowning death, she says her roommate fielded a telephone call from the actor:

“In the phone call, it was clear that Chris was devastated by the tragedy. He was upset and confessed that a ‘sex secret’ had occurred, leading up to Natalie’s death.” Butillo added: “While it’s clear Chris had no involvement in Natalie’s actual death, he clearly felt the need to unload his sorrow on his friend.”

Read more

Splendour Captain Recalls Early National Enquirer Tactics

A big complaint of Marti Rulli, co-author of the 2009 book Goodbye Natalie, Goodbye Splendour is that many journalists writing about the re-opening of the investigation into the drowning death of actress Natalie Wood have failed to actually read the book. She’s absolutely right on that point.

FishbowlLA has read the book. It is very cleverly structured, extremely well-written and though faithful to a single point of view (that of co-author and former ship captain Dennis Davern), full of details and context that would likely amaze many reporters. For example, how many of these journalists know about Wagner allegedly keeping Davern under the equivalent of house arrest for months on end after the November 29, 1981 incident, forcing the dutiful employee to stay at the Wagner residence and abide by a 10 p.m. curfew?

However, for the purposes of this item, the detail we want to share is a recollection from Davern about the ways in which the National Enquirer tried to get him to spill his story in the fall of 1983. After a snoop posing as a potential buyer of Splendour failed to get Davern to let him photograph the inside of the boat, this wining-and-dining individual—Peter Williams—brought along one evening a leggy, female accomplice. Per the book:

She, too, wanted “business-related” photographs of Splendour’s interior. Dennis refused, but Elizabeth invited him back to her apartment for dinner. “We were on the sofa in her apartment,” Dennis recounted, “and she put her hand inside my shirt… She started to take off her clothes, so I took off mine. We went at it…”

Read more

EXCLUSIVE: Director Who Worked with Wagner, Walken Finalizing Release Deal

Last week, we told you about Life’s a Beach, the only film to have co-starred Robert Wagner and Christopher Walken. Today, we were able to connect with the movie’s writer-director Tony Vitale, who explains that big things are about to happen with his never-released, beach resort-set R-rated comedy.

“The Canadian rights were recently sold first, but after further review of the film, someone wants to buy worldwide rights,” Vitale tells FishbowlLA via telephone from Los Angeles, where he has been based for the past 15 years. “So it’s a matter of us reacquiring the Canadian rights and then doing this new deal. I’m hoping it will be done by the end of the year.”

In the film, Walken plays Roy Callahan, the father of a bride (Rebecca, Christine Lakin) who stands up husband-to-be Darren (Darren Geare) at the altar. Distraught, the passed-over groom heads down to a Club Med type resort with a friend to try and recover. Among the more prominent guests at the resort are a married swinger couple, Tom and Felicia Wald (Wagner, Morgan Fairchild).

Wagner and Walken have no scenes together in the film, although they each worked on the project for about two weeks. That is not entirely by accident. “We were sensitive to that [their real-life connection] going in,” Vitale explains. “In the movie, Fairchild’s character eventually seduces Darren; she and Wagner have both been married multiple times. There’s also a big twist involving Wagner’s character.”

Read more

The Comedy That Co-Starred Robert Wagner and Christopher Walken

The paths of Robert Wagner and Christopher Walken famously crossed in 1981 and have collided once again this fall, thanks to the re-opening of the police investigation into the drowning death of Natalie Wood. But did you know that the two also worked together in 2001?

NYU grad Tony Vitale‘s comedy Life’s a Beach (also known as Club Jungle Juice) is the only time Walken and Wagner signed on for the same film project. Among the movie’s producers are Paul Kessler and Diana Derycz-Kessler, the husband-and-wife couple that today own and manage the LA Film School. The comedy is set in a Club Med type resort and was shot on the island of Provinciales in Turks and Caicos.

A (very) belated October 2010 premiere is listed for the film, which seems to have never been released because of bankruptcy-related complications. While cynics will no doubt make untoward jokes about the original title and poster art (pictured), FishbowlLA prefers to focus on this IMDb discussion board comment:

I was the captain of the sailboat and never saw the movie… I would like to know how to get it as well

Read more

Natalie Wood Drowning ‘Ear Witness’ Was Threatened Three Days Later

Whenever a sensational story such as the re-opening of the police investigation into the 1981 drowning death of actress Natalie Wood breaks, it’s often possible thanks to the Internet to click right through to the heart of the matter. In this case, that would be the PDF of new statements submitted recently to the LA County Sheriff’s office by author Marti Rulli, boat captain Dennis Davern, the actress’ sister Lana and Catalina Island “ear witness” Marilyn Wayne.

Many of the stories hitting the wire this morning from Radar Online, the Daily Mail and other outlets are parsing info from this document. But not getting a lot of media attention, yet, is the fact that Wayne had a further connection to Robert Wagner beyond being moored just 50 feet away from the Splendour that terrible night and knowing him from various Southern California marinas. She was also working at the time as a stockbroker at an LA firm servicing Wagner; in her statement, she details a frightening subsequent office incident:

I had a “client box’” designed for clients to drop off their messages through a slot in the front. The boxes were opened in the back, labeled by broker name on each end. Three days after Natalie died, I found a scribbled message on a torn piece of paper in my box that read, “If you value your life, keep quiet about what you know.”

Read more

Author Campaigns to Have Natalie Wood Death Investigation Re-Opened

As the 30th anniversary of Natalie Wood‘s tragic drowning death looms, Canyon News columnist Tommy Garrett has news of renewed efforts to get to the bottom of what happened off the coast of California on November 29, 1981.

Author Marti Rulli and the actress’ sister Lana are pushing to have the closed investigation re-opened. Over the weekend, their signed statements, along with those of four others, were sent to LA County Sheriff Lee Baca. Also included was a copy of an online petition asking for the death investigation to be re-opened. Writes Garrett:

The package includes [Captain] Dennis Davern‘s full witness account; a statement from Marilyn Wayne, who heard Natalie’s cries for help but was never interviewed by authorities; one from Roger Smith, the Coast Guard captain who recovered Natalie’s body and believes she lived hours through the night in the cold ocean; and one from a licensed, certified psychologist.

Read more

<< PREVIOUS PAGENEXT PAGE >>