Never forget

Natalie Wood’s daughter posts tribute to family friends lost to AIDS

The life of Hollywood legend Natalie Wood is soon to be celebrated in a documentary that will receive its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival next year: Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind.

Ahead of the documentary’s release, Wood’s daughter, Natasha Gregson Wagner, has shared memories of her mom to the official @nataliewood Instagram. One recent posting, made just after World AIDS Day, remembered family friends lost to HIV.

“This is my mom @NatalieWood with one of her best friends Howard Jeffrey on the left. Howard planned my mom’s funeral and was an anchor in the storm of her death for my dad and my sisters and me.

“On the right, was her publicist and another dear friend George Kirvay. George revamped my mom’s look in the early 1980’s. He championed and protected her and held my dad and my sisters and me up when she died.

“Both of these men died of AIDS. We miss their grace every day.”

Jeffrey was an assistant choreographer to Jerome Robbins on the movie West Side Story. That’s when he first became friends with Wood.

Wagner’s posting is a reminder of the toll that HIV took on the Hollywood community in the 1980s. Although Rock Hudson was the most high-profile Hollywood name to succumb to the disease, many more working behind the scenes in the movie industry were impacted.

Related: Gay Hollywood icon Rock Hudson’s biopic will be directed by another gay Hollywood icon

Natalie Wood was famed for her roles in Rebel Without A Cause and the aforementioned West Side Story. She drowned in mysterious circumstances, aged just 43, off Catalina Island, in 1981.

She had daughter Natasha with her second husband, Richard Gregson, and another daughter, Courtney Brooke Wagner, with Robert Wagner – whom she married, divorced and remarried. She was also stepmom to Wagner’s oldest child, Katie.

The posting was reshared by @theaidsmemorial Instagram account. Its curator, Stuart, told Queerty: “I always loved Natalie Wood but love her even more after reading about her beautiful relationship with both of these brilliantly accomplished gay men! So sad that they all passed due to such tragic circumstances.

“It again shows how AIDS has ravaged our society, cutting short the lives and potential of so many within our community.”

Following its Sundance premiere, Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind will air May 2020 on HBO.

Related: Rachel Weisz to play Elizabeth Taylor in a new biopic about her HIV work