Born in San Francisco to Russian immigrant parents, Wood began her career in film as a child and became a successful Hollywood star as a young adult, receiving three Academy Award nominations before she turned 25 years of age. She began acting in films at the age of four and, at age eight, was given a co-starring role in Miracle on 34th Street (1947). As a teenager, she earned a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Rebel Without a Cause (1955). She starred in the musical films West Side Story (1961) and Gypsy (1962), and received nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performances in Splendor in the Grass (1961) and Love with the Proper Stranger (1963). Her career continued with films such as Sex and the Single Girl (1964), Inside Daisy Clover (1964), and Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969).