Monday, June 14, 2010
Natalie Wood: Part 3 of 3.
After performing in, the movie flop, Fine Young Cannibals. Wood's career was saved by her wonderful performance in one of my favorite movies, Splendor in the Grass (1961)with Warren Beatty. The story is about a teen-aged girl living in a small town in Kansas in 1928, who tries follows her mother's wishes to resist the advances of her boyfriend, Bud Stamper. Bud follows the advice of his father, who suggests that he find another kind of girl.
Bud's parents are heartbroken, with his older sister Ginny, who is promiscuous, smokes and drinks. Pressuring Bud to attend Yale University.
Bud does find a girl and when Deanie finds out, she is driven out of her mind and institutionalized. Bud's family loses its fortune in the Great Depression, which is the down fall of the family. Natalie's performance in this film earned her, Best Actress Nominations at the Academy Awards, Golden Globes and BAFTA Awards.
Next, Natalie performed in the musical, West Side Story(1961) which was a major box office success. The singing parts were dubbed in by Marni Nixon. Natalie did sing when she performed in the film, Gypsy(1962). She co-starred in the film, The Great Race (1965), with Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, and Peter Falk. Natalie, then received her third Academy Award nomination and another Golden Globe award in the film, Love with the Proper Stranger(1964), opposite Steve McQueen.
Natalie, found her acting was criticized at times. In 1966 she won the Harvard Lampoon Worst Actress of the Year Award. She was the first performer in the awards history to accept it in person. Other notable films she performed in were, Inside Daisy Clover (1965) and This Property Is Condemned (1966), both of which co-starred Robert Redford which brought her the Golden Globe nominations for Best Actress. In both films, which were set during the Great Depression, Wood played teens with big dreams. After a much needed rest from acting, Wood played a swinger in Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969). The film was one of the top ten box office hits of the year. After becoming pregnant with her first child, in 1970, she went into semi-retirement and only acted in four more theatrical films. She performed as herself in The Candidate (1972), reuniting her for a third time with Robert Redford.
She also reunited on the screen with Robert Wagner in The Affair (1973), a television adaptation of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1976) and made cameo appearances on his shows Switch in 1978 as "Bubble Bath Girl" and Hart to Hart in 1979 as "Movie Star". During the last two years of her life, Wood began to work more frequently as her daughters reached school age.