Natalie Wood Always Wore a Bracelet to Conceal a Childhood Injury

Natalie Wood came to fame early

A 1961 portrait of American actor Natalie Wood of 'West Side Story'
Natalie Wood of ‘West Side Story’ | Ernst Haas/Getty Images

Natalie Wood was the daughter of Russian immigrants. According to Biography, when she was born in San Francisco in 1938, her birth name was Natalia Nikolaevna Zakharenko. 

Natalie Wood’s life appeared to be a classic Hollywood fairy tale until her shocking death. However, behind the scenes, she struggled to keep up appearances as she experienced abuse. When she was only 10, she was injured in an on-set accident that was never properly treated. In an effort to conceal her injury, she took to wearing wide bracelets for the rest of her life. 

By the time she was 16, Wood was a star. She appeared in the iconic film Rebel Without a Cause, playing the girlfriend of James Dean’s character. She went on to star in many famous movies, including West Side Story, Gypsy, and a televised version of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.