On Nov. 29, 1981, Robert Wagner came home and told his 11-year-old daughter Natasha, and her younger sister Courtney, that their mom Natalie Wood was never coming home again.
Wood, 43, had died in a drowning accident in the waters off of Catalina Island in the early morning hours.
Her daughter, Natasha Gregson Wagner, now 49, recounts the moment in detail in her new memoir More Than Love excerpted exclusively in this week’s PEOPLE.
“After Daddy confirmed that my mother was gone, the sensation I most vividly remember is pure terror,” Natasha writes. “Did the one thing I’ve been most scared of my whole life actually just happen?”
Her death shattered the family.
For more on Natalie Wood and her daughter Natasha Gregson Wagner pick up a copy of this week’s PEOPLE.
“My mom was so huge in her...