Natalie Wood’s mysterious 1981 death is back in the news. Nearly 40 years after the Miracle on 34th Street and West Side Story actress was found drowned off the coast of Catalina Island during a yachting trip with her then-husband, Robert Wagner, Wagner has been named a “person of interest” in the reopened case, according to a report by CBS News’ 48 Hours.
While Wagner has dealt with suspicion about his alleged involvement in his wife’s death for years, the news that he is being named in the case has many people wondering how Natalie Wood’s daughter, Natasha Gregson Wagner, is handling the news. Natasha Gregson Wagner is the daughter of Natalie Wood and screenwriter Richard Gregson, the man Wood was married to between her two marriages to Wagner. After Natalie’s death, Robert Wagner raised Natasha along with his other daughters, Katie Wagner (his daughter with his second wife, Marion Marshall) and Courtney (his daughter with Wood).Natasha Gregson was so close to Robert Wagner that she adopted his surname.
In an interview with People, Natasha Gregson Wagner credited her two “dads” for jointly raising her after the death of her mom, Natalie Wood.
“I think my Dad and Daddy Gregson, they were trying to pick up the pieces for us and stumble forward and find out what our life looked like after that,” Natasha told People in 2016.
“I was so lucky I had two dads who were deeply committed to raising me and helping me through. I’m certain because my mom died, my relationship with my stepdad is way deeper than it would have been had she lived, because he had to be my mom and dad.”
Robert Wagner also talked to People about his close bond with Natasha, and the decision to raise her alongside his other daughters after Natalie’s death.
“My bond with Natasha is very, very intense,” Wagner told People. “We’ve hung on to each other through the years and she means the world to me.”
Wagner explained that he and Gregson decided that it was best that he continued to care for Natasha because Natasha had always been part of the family with his other children.
“Richard, her birth father, and I sat down and came to the conclusion that we felt it was best that Natasha stay with her sisters and be raised in the environment that she’d been raised in up to that point — to the point of Natalie leaving us,” Wagner explained.
Natasha Gregson Wagner was only 11 years old when her mother died. She followed in her famous mom and stepdad’s footsteps and decided to become an actress. Natasha Gregson Wagner has appeared on TV shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The 4400, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, ER, and Date My Dad. In 2016, Natasha and her dad Robert Wagner even taught an acting workshop together.
Natasha Gregson Wagner’s close bond with her stepdad Robert Wagner is apparent. Even Natasha’s husband, actor Barry Watson, loves “RJ,” the family’s nickname for Robert. Last year, Robert Wagner even guest starred on Barry Watson’s UP TV sitcom, Date My Dad.
“How wonderful he is,” Watson told People. “Everybody loves RJ!”
Watson also revealed that when he first started dating Natasha Gregson Wagner she told him he had some qualities similar to her “Daddy Wagner.”