Oscar-worthy Movie: Splendor in the Grass (1961)
Wood began working as an actress at the age of 4, and starred in Miracle on 34th Street when she was 8, so it's not surprising that she had 3 Oscar nominations by the time she was 25. What is surprising: Wood never got to give her acceptance speech and take home the gold. This denied the woman who helped define "teenager" with her work in Rebel Without a Cause!
Her coming-of-age moment came with Splendor in the Grass. It was her first mature role. Her character, Deanie, is unable to give her boyfriend (Warren Beatty) a sexual connection, so he turns to a another girl. Unable to handle it, Deanie spirals out of control. Her constant breakdowns, her uncontrollable hysteria—her amazing, powerful performance—should have earned her the golden statue.
Unfortunately, the talented Natalie Wood died tragically when she was only 46. For years, it was one of Hollywood's ugliest secrets. She drowned on a weekend trip with husband Robert Wagner, Christopher Walken, and the ship's captain. Her death was originally ruled as accidental, but the captain revealed in 2011 that he lied, and that Wagner and Wood had a fight before her body was found overboard.