Actor Robert Wagner is now a 'person of interest' in the mysterious drowning death of Oscar-nominated actress Natalie Wood in 1981

GettyRobert Wagner and Natalie Wood
  • According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, actor Robert Wagner is now a person of interest in the mysterious death of his wife, Natalie Wood, in 1981.
  • Wagner was never a suspect during the initial investigation: her death was ruled an accident.
  • The case was reopened in 2011, and investigators conducted interviews for a “48 Hours” special on the case, airing on CBS Saturday night.

In November 1981, Academy Award nominated actress Natalie Wood was found dead on a yacht trip off the coast of Catalina Island, California. Wood was found one morning floating in the water, wearing a red down jacket and a flannel nightgown.

Wood was with her husband, actor Robert Wagner, Captain Dennis Davern, and actor Christopher Walken. After two weeks of investigation, her death was ruled an accident.

In an upcoming interview with CBS’ “48 Hours,” the LA County Sheriff’s Department said that Wagner, who is now 87, is a person of interest because he was the last person to see Wood.

Wagner is known for his role as Number Two in the “Austin Powers” movies as well as the 1968-1970 television series “It Takes Thief.” In his 2008 memoir, “Pieces of My Heart,” Wagner wrote that he had a fight with Wood before she disappeared. Initially, Wagner was not a suspect. Davern later admitted that he lied to police about their fight.

In 2011, Wood’s case was reopened. In 2012, the Los Angeles Coroner’s Office amended Wood’s death certificate, changing her cause of death from accidental drowning to “drowning and other determined factors.”

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in an upcoming interview with CBS’ “48 Hours” that after continuing the investigation over the years, Wagner, now 87, has become of interest.

The circumstances surrounding Wood’s death have always been mysterious. It’s one of those cases that has spawned a lot of conspiracy theories, especially recently due to the true-crime boom inspired by the podcast “Serial” and the Netflix series “Making a Murderer.”

“Natalie Wood: Death in Dark Water” airs Saturday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.

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