Natalie Wood's unfortunate death (murder?) is back in the news; My late acquaintance Robert Osborne (Turner Classic Movies) told me about his first meeting with Natalie.

Robert Osborne, who recently passed away, was the star of the TURNER CLASSIC MOVIES channel and knew just about EVERYBODY from classic Hollywood. He started in Hollywood as an actor but after his friend Lucille Ball advised him to be a writer, he changed course. He got a job at the Hollywood Reporter and one day was assigned to interview the young star Natalie Wood, who was one of the hottest box office stars in Hollywood.

Robert said when he showed up at her Beverly Hills home, he was visibly nervous and had made note cards with questions numbered which he kept dropping on the floor. He was perspiring and when he sat down with Natalie she could tell right away. "Is this your first interview?"  He said that it was and she said "Let me see your note cards."  She shuffled thru the questions, marked things, re-numbered the sequence, replaced some questions with others and then said "Let's go out to the pool and relax"...she made them drinks and they sat down and she said "OK now interview me!"  Robert said that the newly edited interview went smashingly and he thanked her profusely.

He said he was always afraid that she might tell someone (or maybe his boss!) but apparently she never did. For years, Robert said that whenever he would see Natalie at Hollywood parties and premieres, she would always greet him warmly, kiss him on the cheek and smile with a sparkle in her eye. It was their secret.

He was visibly shaken at her death and attended the funeral. He had no comment or speculation on her death except to say how sad he was when he got the news.
Pics: Natalie Wood
Robert Osborne with me Jim Dykes and "Aunt" Grace Jacobs at a Broadway event.
Robert with me Jim Dykes at Charles Busch's Christmas party 3 years ago.


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