Mystery over Natalie Wood’s death endures 40 years after drowning off Catalina

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This Jan. 17, 1979 file photo shows actress Natalie Wood. Investigators are now calling 87-year-old actor Robert Wagner a "person of interest" in the 1981 death of his wife Natalie Wood. Mystery has swirled around Wood's death. It was declared an accident but police reopened the case in 2011 to see whether Wagner or anyone else played a role. (AP Photo/File)

This Jan. 17, 1979 file photo shows actress Natalie Wood. Investigators are now calling 87-year-old actor Robert Wagner a “person of interest” in the 1981 death of his wife Natalie Wood. Mystery has swirled around Wood’s death. It was declared an accident but police reopened the case in 2011 to see whether Wagner or anyone else played a role. (AP Photo/File)

Forty years ago, actress Natalie Wood drowned off the coast of Catalina Island.

Authorities classified her death as an accident, concluding the 43-year-old star of “West Side Story,” who couldn’t swim, had been drinking the night before she was found floating face-down in the ocean waters.

Her death has been a Hollywood mystery, the topic of tabloid speculation, TV specials and books that explored whether she was the victim of a homicide.

The theory gained dramatic interest a decade ago.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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