Natalie Wood

Wood in 1963

Birth Name: Natalie Zacharenko

Date of Birth: July 20, 1938

Place of Birth: San Francisco, California, United States

Date of Death: November 29, 1981

Place of Death: near Santa Catalina Island, California, U.S.

Ethnicity: Russian, Ukrainian

Natalie Wood was an American actress. She received Academy Award nominations for her performances in Splendor in the Grass and Love with the Proper Stranger. She drowned near Santa Catalina Island, California, on November 29, 1981.

Natalie was of Russian and Ukrainian descent. Natalie’s father, Nikolai Stephanovich Zakharenko, was born in Vladivostok, Russia. Natalie’s mother, Maria Stepanovna (Zudilova/Zoodiloff), was born in Barnaul, Siberia, Russia, or in Tomsk, Russia. Her sister is actress and producer Lana Wood. Natalie was married to actor Robert Wagner, until her death. She was previously married to British producer Richard Gregson. Natalie had two children, actress Natasha Gregson Wagner, with Richard, and Courtney Brooke Wagner, with Robert.

Natalie’s paternal grandfather was named Stephan Zakharenko.

Natalie’s paternal grandmother was named Eudoxie Sauchenko.

Natalie’s maternal grandfather was named Stepan Ilich Zudilov/Zoodilov (the son of Ilya Semenovich Zudilov and Elisabeth).

Natalie’s maternal grandmother was named Maria Andreevna Kuleva (the daughter of Andrey Alekseevich Kulev).

Sources: Genealogy of Natalie Wood –


Curious about ethnicity

19 Responses

  1. jonasbttencourt says:

    She looks so perfect in this picture, there are not many women(actually, people in general) with that natural class and beauty these days. People back then were just…more confident, and therefore, charming.

  2. anna19 says:

    is it actually possible that she has some serbian background, too? her father’s name was Nikolai Stepanovich Zakharenko and “Stepanovich” is actually a common last name in Serbia, I guess. Furthermore her maternal grandparent’s name was Stepan Ilich Zudilov “ilich” is also common in serbia. does anyone know anything?
    but on the other hand it could also be ukranian/russian, since this area is slavic and therefore last names can be very similiar there… but I still wonder

  3. Tyler says:

    It’s creepy how she drowned.

  4. ann says:

    Stepan Ilich’s father was Ilya Semenovich Zudilov.
    Maria Andreevna’s father was Andrey Alekseevich Kulev.

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