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More Than Love

An Intimate Portrait of My Mother, Natalie Wood

The heartbreaking, never-before-told story of Hollywood icon Natalie Wood’s glamorous life, sudden death, and lasting legacy, written by her daughter, Natasha Gregson Wagner.

More Than Love is a memoir of loss, grief, and coming-of-age by a daughter of Hollywood royalty. Natasha Gregson Wagner’s mother, Natalie Wood, was a child actress who became a legendary movie star, the dark-haired beauty of Splendor in the Grass, Rebel Without a Cause, and West Side Story. She and Natasha’s stepfather, the actor Robert Wagner, were a Hollywood it-couple twice over, first in the 1950s, and then again when they remarried in the 70s.

But Natalie’s sudden death by drowning off Catalina Island at the age of forty-three devastated her family, made her stepfather a person of interest, and turned a vibrant wife, mother, and actress into a tragic figure. The events of that weekend have long been a mystery, and despite the rumors, scandalous media coverage, and accusations of wrongdoing, there has never been an account of how the tragedy was experienced by her daughter. For the first time Natasha addresses the questions surrounding that night to clear her beloved stepfather’s name.

More Than Love begins on the morning after her mother’s death in November 1981 when eleven-year-old Natasha hears the news on the radio that her mother’s body has been found off the coast of Catalina after her parents had spent the weekend on the family boat, The Splendour.

From this profound and shattering loss, Natasha shares her memories of her earliest bonds with her mother; her warm, loving, and slightly chaotic childhood as the daughter of two stars; the lost and confused years of her adolescence; and her halting attempts to move forward as a young woman.

Beautifully told, More Than Love is an emotionally powerful tale of a daughter coming to terms with her grief, as well as a riveting portrait of a famous mother and a vanished Hollywood.

Photograph by Brigitte Jouxtel

Natasha Gregson Wagner has acted in such films as Another Day in Paradise, High Fidelity, Two Girls and a Guy, and David Lynch’s Lost Highway, and in the television shows Ally McBeal, House MD, and Chicago Hope. In 2016, she coauthored a coffee table book titled Natalie Wood: Reflections of a Legendary Life. She is one of the producers of the HBO documentary of her mother’s life: Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind. Wagner lives in Los Angeles with her family.

Photograph by Brigitte Jouxtel

Natasha Gregson Wagner has acted in such films as Another Day in Paradise, High Fidelity, Two Girls and a Guy, and David Lynch’s Lost Highway, and in the television shows Ally McBeal, House MD, and Chicago Hope. In 2016, she coauthored a coffee table book titled Natalie Wood: Reflections of a Legendary Life. She is one of the producers of the HBO documentary of her mother’s life: Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind. Wagner lives in Los Angeles with her family.

"Natasha Gregson Wagner, daughter of Natalie Wood and British producer Richard Gregson, bravely narrates a work that is, at once, a personal memoir and an abbreviated biography of her actress mother and actor stepfather, Robert 'RJ' Wagner. Wagner was 11 when Wood's body was recovered from the waters off Catalina Island. Her narration, as well as her story, are highly personal. . . . while avoiding much of the lurid gossip surrounding her mother's drowning, Wagner's staunch support of her stepfather is evident."

 

– AudioFile Magazine