From the Archives: Child actress Natalie Wood in court for contract approval


In 1945, Natalie Wood signed with RKO Radio Pictures, and the 6-year-old landed a major part in “Tomorrow is Forever.”

After another film, Wood was signed by 20th Century Fox. Following the June 4, 1947, release of “Miracle on 34th Street,” Wood’s contract was updated.

A story in the July 18, 1947, Los Angeles Times reported:

Pig-tailed Natalie Wood, 8, with big brown eyes and a bigger contract, smiled up at Superior Judge Frank G. Swain.


His honor smiled down at the little girl.

“Do you work at 20th Century Fox Studio?” he asked.

“Yes,” she testified.

Judge Swain approved her $1,000-a-week contract, that will go step by step and option by option, year by year for seven years to $3,300 weekly. And he made an order under which her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas Gurdin, must invest 30% of her gross income in government bonds.

Natalie’s career began when she was watching director Irving Pichel at work on location near her home in Santa Rosa when she was 4. He was so impressed with her brightness and natural ability that he promised to keep in touch — and give her “a break.”

Miss Wood brought her knitting to court so she would not waste time while waiting for her hearing. She’s making herself a blue sweater.


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