DEATH ENDS A 39-YEAR CAREER, STARTING WITH CHILD ROLES AT 4. By ROBERT D. McFADDEN. The New York Times, November 30, 1981. In a Hollywood career that began when she was only 4 years old, Natalie Wood made scores of films, was nominated for the Academy Award three times, won numerous lesser acting awards, amassed a fortune and became a household name to moviegoers. Miss Wood, 43 years old at her death yesterday in the Pacific off Catalina Island, never won an Oscar, though she was nominated for her work in ”Rebel Without a Cause” in 1955, ”Splendor in the Grass” in 1961 and ”Love With the Proper Stranger” in 1963. From child star to teen-age ingenue to mature actress, Miss Wood, a short, slender woman with brown hair, radiant dark eyes and a flair for the extravagant, grew up in, and with, the Hollywood of celluloid images: mansions and yachts, midnight swims and motorcycle rides, celebrity parties and night life.