This biography of Natalie Wood (born Natasha Zakharenko), beautiful star of "West Side Story" and "Rebel Without a Cause", goes from a childhood dominated by her frustrated, alcoholic mother, through her love affairs and marriage (twice) to Robert Wagner, to an addiction to sleeping pills and her premature death by drowning at the age of 43. The author spent three years in researching Wood's life story, to reveal it tinged from the start with tragedy and drama. Wood grew up fast - a lonely misfit, uncertain of her identity. She was raped by a leading Hollywood star at the age of 16 - an attack that her mother forbade her to report. Her leading men frequently became her lovers, including Elvis Presley, James Dean and Warren Beatty. Her fear of being alone and years of exploitation and abuse led eventually to the sleeping pill addiction and a number of suicide attempts. This book - written with the help of over 400 interviews with friends, family, lovers, co-stars and the police officials who investigated her death - also looks at unpublished evidence surrounding her controversial death, and considers her lifelong terror of water. Ironically, it was her ability to project the pain and vulnerability of her life that made Natasha Wood such an exceptional actress.