She was 43 - a painful time for many actresses when the opportunities start drying up - or, at the least, are not starring roles. From Nancy Collins in Newsweek:
Her once-dazzling movie career had all but evaporated. Having happily pulled back almost a decade earlier to be a full-time mother to Courtney and Natasha, her daughters with Wagner and former husband, Richard Gregson, Wood had slipped under the box-office radar. "It wasn't the period of Splendor in the Grass, West Side Story, Gypsy--one great film after another. They weren't beating down her door," says her close pal, film critic Rex Reed.
It was painfully evident to Wood that her studio-trained, perfectly coiffed persona was being eclipsed by younger, more natural-looking types like Diane Keaton and Meryl Streep. "When Natalie heard in July, the month she turned 43, that Meryl got Sophie's Choice, a role she coveted, she was devastated," says a confidant of Wood's. The week before she died, Wood had a "terrible fight" with her New York publicist Katie Berlin, who'd snagged her a feature in Harper's Bazaar's "Over-Forty" issue. "I thought she'd be thrilled," says Berlin. "But she was furious and screamed at me, 'How dare you let them know I'm over 40?' After that, she wouldn't talk to me."