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Rare Photos Of Natalie Wood Relaxing Poolside At First Home, Cooking With Dennis Hopper (PHOTOS)

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Natalie Wood is that name I usually bring up when one tries to talk about the enduring appeal of blonde actresses over brunettes. (Her, along with Jane Russell, Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Loren.) She was the little girl in "Miracle on 34th Street," but no one then, I think, really would have guessed just how stunning she'd grow up to be. But she always retained a big-eyed innocence, which made her dramatic roles even more heartbreaking -- not to even mention her life and death.

Natalie Wood would have been 75 today. Today, we pay tribute to the star with a look into her home life -- her early home life. Life.com unearthed these gems, which show her relaxing poolside at her first home and entertaining a few guests (including an impossibly young Dennis Hopper) in style. I highly recommend a trip over to Life.com to see their other images of Natalie Wood, along with other nostalgic features. (This will indeed derail your afternoon in the best possible way.)

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

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Natalie Wood, Dennis Hopper and Nick Adams make dinner in 1956.

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Dennis Hopper (lying on sofa) and Nick Adams listen intently as Natalie Wood reads aloud from Thomas Wolfe's "The Hills Beyond" in 1956.

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Natalie Wood (with Nick Adams and a partly hidden Dennis Hopper above), 1956.

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