Was there a fight on board the Splendour the night Natalie Wood drowned?
Clashing versions of what happened on the yacht shared by Wood, her actor-husband Robert Wagner and their friend, actor Christopher Walken, have contributed to the mystery of how the actress died on a Thanksgiving weekend 30 years ago, and who may have been responsible.
As investigators reopened the case after receiving new information, Dennis Davern, who was a captain of the yacht, appeared on national TV on Friday to restate his contention that a fight broke out between Wagner and Wood.
Was that fight "what ultimately led to her death?" Davern was asked by "Today" show host David Gregory.
"Yes," Davern replied.
"Like I said, that's going to be up to the investigators to decide," Davern responded after a long pause.
Davern said he originally lied to investigators about events on the yacht when he was interviewed after Wood's death. He accused Wagner of neglecting to do everything he could have done after her disappearance from the Splendour, and with intentionally keeping the investigation into her death low-profile.
Like Davern, Wagner contends a fight broke out.
In his best-selling 2008 memoir "Pieces of My Heart," he wrote that an argument over the acting profession led to Wood retreating to her cabin, while the dispute raged on between Wagner and Walken. Later Walken went to bed, according to Wagner, who, after staying up with Davern for a while, went looking for his wife and couldn't find her on board. He then noticed that the dinghy was gone.
But in a 1982 interview on "Good Morning America," Walken insisted he did not quarrel with Wagner.
"No, that's not true," Walken said when asked if a fight was the reason Wood left the yacht. "They were very good to me, that family, and that's not true.
"We were having a Thanksgiving weekend, a good time," he said.
- Christopher Walken
- Natalie Wood
- Robert Wagner