One of Natalie Wood's closest friends and former assistant, playwright Mart Crowley, sat down with ET to recall how the actress' friends and family reacted immediately following Wood's tragic passing.
Natalie Wood drowned
on Saturday, November 28, 1981, and the following morning Crowley was given the bad news. Soon thereafter, Crowley met up with Natalie's widower Robert Wagner and Christopher Walken
, who was present on the boat with the couple.
"They were both desolate and devastated, and they were both staring at the ground," Crowley said, describing Wagner and Walken's demeanor.
Wood's death came so suddenly that Crowley says her children didn't believe that she was dead until they saw the body. As Wagner was in shock, Crowley was the one bestowed with the duty of taking the couple's three daughters, Courtney, Natasha and Katie, to view their mother's corpse.
"They were escorted to see her privately and they each had their notes and they put their notes into her hand," said Crowley. "Then Natasha, my goddaughter, asked to have a few minutes with her and we all left the room."
Click the video to hear Crowley's description of Wood's bruised body before he called in a makeup artist to make it less frightening for the children.
Crowley is perhaps best known for writing the groundbreaking Broadway play The Boys in the Band, which was later made into a feature film. A documentary called Making the Boys is released on DVD today.