Well, Mike, you know that Ms Wood was from San Francisco, a daughter of the Russian community here. Her real name was Natalia Nikolaevna Zacharenko (or as Todd Baesen preferred to say, Наталья Николаевна Захаренко), and as she often said herself, she came from a family of Russian "gypsies," by way of Vladivostok, Harbin, and a number of other places. More to the point, if I were to show you a picture of the man who claims at times to be Todd Baesen, you might swear it was . . . Dennis Davern, the drunken captain of The Splendor who apparently has caused the investigation of the death of Welles' diminutive costar to be reopened. Could that explain why Baesen has not been seen in recent days by Lilianne, the Austro-Hungarian temptress at The Geary Club?
Natalie Wood was by accounts of many, one of whom I knew, a wonderful woman, and certainly a shining star. The whole murky story, explored by Peter Bogdanovich in his film, would indeed seem to be conjured up for an Orson Welles picture. The Lady from San Francisco, perhaps, or THE DEEP.