Lana Wood (born Svetlana Gurdin; March 1, 1946) is an American actress and film producer. She is best known for her role as Plenty O'Toole in the James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever (1971). Her elder sister was film star Natalie Wood.
March 1, 1946
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
|Children||1 (with Smedley)|
|Family||Natalie Wood (sister)|
Natasha Gregson Wagner (niece)
Courtney Brooke Wagner (niece)
Wood was born Svetlana Gurdin to Russian immigrant parents, Nikolai Stephanovich Zakharenko (1912–1980) and Maria Stepanovna Zakharenko (née Zudilova, 1912–1996). They had each left Russia as child refugees with their parents following the Russian Civil War, and they grew up far from their homeland. Her father's family left Vladivostok after her grandfather, a chocolate-factory worker who joined the anti-Bolshevik civilian forces, was killed in a street fight in 1918; they settled in Vancouver, British Columbia, with their relatives, then moved to San Francisco. Lana's maternal grandfather owned soap and candle factories in Barnaul; he also left Russia with his family in 1918 after his eldest son was killed by the Red Army, and settled in a Russian community in Harbin, China. Maria married there, and in 1928 had a daughter, Olga Tatulova, with her first husband, who died in May 2015.
When Nikolai and Maria married, she brought her daughter Olga to the household. The couple had two daughters together; the first was Natalia, known as "Natasha", the Russian diminutive. The family settled in Santa Monica, California, near Hollywood, and changed their surname to Gurdin. Svetlana, known as "Lana", was born there.
When Lana made her film debut in The Searchers (1956), her mother was asked under what last name Lana should be credited. Maria agreed to use "Wood" for Lana, building on Natalie's recognized work.
In her early career, Wood usually played in films in which Natalie appeared. Starting in the 1960s, her own career took off. After appearing on the short-lived drama series The Long, Hot Summer, she landed the role of Sandy Webber on the soap series Peyton Place. She played the role from 1966–67. In 1970, Wood was approached by Hugh Hefner and asked to pose for Playboy to which she agreed. The Playboy pictures appeared in the April 1971 issue, along with Wood's poetry. She was cast as a Bond girl, Plenty O'Toole, in the James Bond film, Diamonds Are Forever (1971).
Wood has more than 20 other films and over 300 television series to her credit, including The Fugitive, Bonanza, Mission: Impossible, Police Story, Starsky & Hutch, Nero Wolfe, Fantasy Island, and Capitol. After appearing in the horror film Satan's Mistress (1982), she retired from acting, concentrating on her career as a producer, but she has since returned to acting in a number of low-budget films since 2008. Lana is a character in the Steve Alten book Meg: Hell's Aquarium (2009). Wood wrote a memoir, Natalie, A Memoir by Her Sister (1984).
Wood has been married six times:
- Jack Wrather Jr. – (1962-1963; annulled when she was 16 years old)
- Karl Brent – (1964-1965; divorced)
- Stephen Oliver – (1966-1966; annulled)
- Dr. Stanley William Vogel (1968-1968; divorced)
- Richard Smedley – (1972-1976; divorced) one child, Evan Taylor Smedley Maldonado (August 11, 1974 – July 18, 2017), by whom she has three grandchildren.
- Allan G. Balter (1979-1980; divorced)
TV and filmography
- The Searchers – (1956), Debbie Edwards (younger)
- Have Gun – Will Travel – (1958), Becky Coldwell ("The Teacher")
- The Real McCoys – (1958), Marilyn Harwick ("The New Neighbors")
- Five Finger Exercise – (1962), Mary
- The Fool Killer – (1965), Alice
- The Girls on the Beach – (1965), Bonnie
- The Long, Hot Summer – (TV) (1965–1966), Eula Harker
- Peyton Place – (TV) (1966–1967), Sandy Webber – unknown episodes
- The Wild Wild West – (TV series) (1967), Vixen O'Shaughnessy ("The Night of the Firebrand")
- Bonanza - (TV series) (1967), Dana Dawson ("The Gentle Ones")
- For Singles Only – (1968), Helen Todd
- Scream Free! – (1969), Karen
- Laugh In (1969)
- The Wild Wild West – (TV series) (1969), Averi Trent ("The Night of the Plague")
- Black Water Gold – (TV) (1970), Eagan Ryan
- The Over-the-Hill Gang Rides Again – (TV) (1970), Katie Flavin
- O'Hara, U.S. Treasury – (TV) (1971), Fran Harper
- Diamonds Are Forever – (1971), Plenty O'Toole
- Justin Morgan Had a Horse – (1972), Kathleen
- A Place Called Today – (1972), Carolyn Schneider
- Police Story - (1973), June
- QB VII – (TV miniseries) (1974), Sue Scanlon
- Who is the Black Dahlia? – (TV) (1975), Boarder
- Nightmare in Badham County – (TV) (1976), Smitty
- Corey: For the People – (TV) (1977), Janet Hanley
- Speedtrap – (1977) New Blossom
- Grayeagle – (1977) Beth Colter
- A Question of Guilt – (TV) (1978), Elizabeth Carson
- Captain America – (TV) (1979), Yolanda
- Captain America II: Death Too Soon – (TV) (1979), Yolanda
- Born to Be Sold – (1981) (TV) (assistant to executive producer)
- Satan's Mistress – (1982), Lisa
- Murder Me, Murder You – (TV) (1983) – associate producer
- Capitol – (TV series) (1983), Fran Burke – unknown episodes
- The Mystery of Natalie Wood – (TV) (2004) – co-producer
- Wild Michigan – (2008), Opal
- The Book of Ruth: Journey of Faith – (2009), Tani
- Last Wish – (short) (2010), Helen
- When Happy Met Froggie – (documentary) (2011), herself
- Deadly Possessions – (2016), herself
- Subconscious Reality – (2016), Implicit
- Profile, sun-sentinel.com, July 20, 1985.
- Birth name per californiabirthindex.org; accessed June 24, 2015.
- Paul, Louis (2008). "Lana Wood". Tales From the Cult Film Trenches; Interviews with 36 Actors from Horror, Science Fiction and Exploitation Cinema. Detroit: Wayne State University Press. pp. 300–306. ISBN 978-0-7864-2994-3.
- "Lana Wood". The New York Times.
- Natalie Wood's Russian roots excerpets from Natalie Wood: A Life by Gavin Lambert, 2004
- "EXCLUSIVE: Natalie Wood's Sister Blames Captain Dennis Davern For Her Death". rumorfix.com. rumorfix.com. November 2011. Retrieved July 27, 2015.
- "Olga Viripaeff's Obituary on San Francisco Chronicle". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved January 24, 2016.
- Lana Wood, Natalie: A Memoir About Natalie Wood by Her Sister, p. 8
- "Late Star's Niece Dies After Massive Heart Attack". RadarOnLine.
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