5 Hollywood deaths — other than Natalie Wood — still shrouded in mystery

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Robert Wagner A "Person of Interest" In Death Of Actress Natalie Woods

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Thirty-six years after Natalie Wood drowned off the coast of Catalina Island in California, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has reopened the investigation into her mysterious death.

With her then-husband, Robert Wagner, now a person of interest, Wood's case remains one of a handful of celebrity deaths still shrouded in question.

Here are five other Hollywood figures who suffered still-mysterious deaths.

Bob Crane ('Hogan's Heroes'), 1978

Bob Crane, star of the TV comedy "Hogan's Heroes," was found beaten to death in his Phoenix-area apartment at age 49, an electrical cord wound around his throat. Police found that Crane had filmed and photographed pornography, and had possibly been bludgeoned with a camera tripod. They suspected his friend, John Carpenter, had killed him but lacked DNA evidence. Crane's oldest son, Robert Crane, wrote a book exploring his father's death.

David Carradine ('Kill Bill'), 2009

Thai police found David Carradine, the actor and martial artist who starred in both "Kill Bill" films, naked and hanging in the closet of his Bangkok hotel room, authorities told the BBC. The 72-year-old was in Thailand to work on his latest film, "Stretch," a manager said. A private autopsy found Carradine died of asphyxiation, ruling out suicide but leaving open the possibility of accidental death, according to the "Hollywood Reporter." His widow settled a wrongful death suit against the company behind the film in 2011, claiming an assistant was supposed to help Carradine navigate the city, but abandoned him the night before police found his body.

Elizabeth Short, the Black Dahlia, 1947

One of the most famous cold cases in U.S. history, 22-year-old Elizabeth Short was found naked in a vacant Los Angeles lot, her body cut in half at the waist, drained of blood and posed. Her face had been cut from ear to ear, and investigators later found evidence that she had been bound. It was the gruesome death of Short, an aspiring actress, that catapulted her into celebrity with an iconic name: Black Dahlia. Her death remains unsolved more than six decades later.

Jack Nance ('Eraserhead'), 1997

The actor, star of cult favorites "Eraserhead" and "Twin Peaks," met up with friends at a coffee shop in South Pasadena, Calif., on the afternoon of Dec. 29, according to People magazine. He had a bruised eye. "I told off some kid," actress Catherine Case later recalled him saying. "I guess I got what I deserved." Case's husband, screenwriter Leo Bulgarini, found Nance dead the next day on the floor of his apartment. Authorities later determined Nance suffered blunt-force trauma to his head and had fought with two men at a doughnut shop the day prior, suffering a blow to the head.

William Desmond Taylor, silent film director, 1922        

William Desmond Taylor had directed dozens of silent films when police found the 49-year-old on the living room floor of his Los Angeles bungalow with a bullet in his back, according to History.com. After his death, a love note to him from Mary Miles Minter, a young star of his silent films, was reportedly found in Taylor's home. Minter later admitted that she and her mother, Charlotte Shelby, had been at Taylor's home on the night of his killing, per History. And the gun used in Taylor's killing matched the one Minter had once tried to shoot herself with before. No prosecutions ever came in the case, which remains unsolved.            

Caitlin McGlade and Andrew A. Smith contributed to this article.

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