Natalie Wood's estate estimated in the millions

LOS ANGELES -- In a 15-page will signed last year, actress Natalie Wood left most of her property in trust to her actor-husband Robert Wagner and their daughters.

The 43-year-old actress drowned last Sunday off Santa Catalina Island while attempting to board a dinghy from the family yacht, Splendour.


The will, dated April 17, 1980, was filed for probate in Superior Court Thursday, one day after Miss Wood was buried at Westwood Memorial Park Cemetery.

Miss Wood's property, including family homes and the yacht, was estimated in the documents only as 'in excess of $10,000.' The value of the estate, estimated in the millions, was not disclosed.

The property is to be divided into two trusts in roughly equal proportions that minimize estate taxes. One trust is for Wagner, named as executor and trustee, and the other is for the children.


Miss Wood bequeathed her Bonard oil painting 'The Three Stages of Motherhood' and a painting of like value to be chosen by Wagner to her daughters, Natasha Gregson, 11, and Courtney Brooke Wagner, 7.

Other art, automobiles, household furniture and jewelry were left to Wagner, who, according to the will, knew of her wishes about giving a few jewelry items to unspecified individuals.

She left her furs and clothing to her sister, actress Lana Wood of nearby Sherman Oaks, and $15,000 to her other sister, Olga Viripaeff of San Francisco.

Miss Wood also ordered that $7,500 to $12,000 be paid annually to her mother, Maria Gurdin of Los Angeles, from income earned by her children's trust.

The actress specified that her stepdaughter, Katharine Wagner, 17, receive 10 percent or $50,000, whichever is less, of the children's trust. The remainder is to be divided equally between Natasha, her daughter from another marriage, and Courtney.

Miss Wood also named Wagner guardian of Natasha, noting that he had assured her he would consult the child's father, Richard Gregson, concerning her welfare. The will noted that Natasha and Courtney had been reared together, and their mother wished them to continue to live in the same household.


While attorney Paul Ziffrin was filing the will, the coroner's office said Thursday that it had not confirmed reports that a guest on a yacht anchored near the Splendour heard screams at about the time of Miss Wood's death.

Assistant Coroner Richard Wilson said it 'would only help substantiate our findings.'

Marilyn Wayne told the Los Angeles Times that last Saturday night 'my friend woke me up on our boat around 11:45 p.m. and said, 'Do you hear a woman calling for help?' I listened through the porthole and I could hear someone saying, 'Help me, somebody help me.''

Miss Wayne said she heard an answering voice call several times, 'We're coming to get you.'

The coroner said last Monday that Miss Wood died early Sunday after she apparently slipped and drowned accidentally while trying to climb into the dinghy.

Wilson also disclosed Thursday that toxicological tests on tissue samples taken from the actress indicated she had 'insignificant amounts' of the pain killer Darvon, an antimotion drug and caffeine in her system when she died.

'That means she took a headache pill, a seasickness pill and had a cup of coffee,' he said. 'It's nothing.'

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