Natalie Wood, age 18, sits poolside at her brand-new Laurel Canyon home in 1956.
By this time, the actress had transitioned to more challenging fare — like 1955’s Rebel Without a Cause, a movie that greatly affected her approach to acting and earned Wood her first Oscar nomination. Here, photographer Crane aimed to capture Wood’s new maturity by riffing on one of the few Martha Holmes frames from 1945 that ended up in LIFE’s pages. From a reporter’s notes: “In the old shot movie moppet was reclining on the lawn in a pair of shorts, feeding a kitten milk out of a tin plate… . The movie moppet is now a movie star, now reclines on a chaise lounge on a patio alongside her swimming pool, wearing a polka dot bikini.’”
See more photos of Natalie wood here.

Natalie Wood, age 18, sits poolside at her brand-new Laurel Canyon home in 1956.

By this time, the actress had transitioned to more challenging fare — like 1955’s Rebel Without a Cause, a movie that greatly affected her approach to acting and earned Wood her first Oscar nomination. Here, photographer Crane aimed to capture Wood’s new maturity by riffing on one of the few Martha Holmes frames from 1945 that ended up in LIFE’s pages. From a reporter’s notes: “In the old shot movie moppet was reclining on the lawn in a pair of shorts, feeding a kitten milk out of a tin plate… . The movie moppet is now a movie star, now reclines on a chaise lounge on a patio alongside her swimming pool, wearing a polka dot bikini.’”

See more photos of Natalie wood here.

Notes

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