Tomorrow marks what would have been actress Natalie Wood’s 75th birthday. Beloved and celebrated for her roles in films such as Miracle on 34th Street, Splendor in the Grass, West Side Story, and Rebel Without a Cause, her life was cut tragically short at age 43 during a boating incident that remains a mystery to this day.
Natalie’s long-time friend, writer-director-producer Tom Mankiewicz, wrote a touching tribute in his autobiography My Life as a Mankiewicz: An Insider’s Journey Through Hollywood. Remembered by Mankiewicz as “fiercely loyal to her friends,” his memoir tells stories from happier times, like parties on New Year’s Eve, her love of Mel Brooks’ 2000 Year Old Man, and finding her lost dog, Cricket, in Bel Air.
Life Magazine has released a series of never-before-published photos of the star, a few of which you can see below. You can also read an excerpt on Natalie Wood from My Life as a Mankiewicz after the jump.