|This article does not cite any references or sources. (January 2007)|
|First appearance||Love Thy Neighbor|
|Last appearance||Black Letter Day|
|Portrayed by||Ann Wedgeworth|
|Spouse(s)||Three Husbands (Divorced)|
Lana Shields is a bosomy, amorous, and three times divorced older woman who had an unrequited crush on Jack Tripper. She is constantly flirting with Jack and tries to seduce him every time she's around him while Jack, on the other hand, tries his best to avoid Lana at all costs, especially around the new landlord Ralph Furley, who, like Mr. Roper before him, is deceived into believing that Jack is gay in order for Jack to continue living with Janet and Chrissy. Unlike Jack, though, Furley is attracted to Lana and regularly tries to "put the moves on her", but she dislikes him (he never comes to realize this).
Lana's first appearance is in the episode "Love Thy Neighbor" (season 4, episode 2), in which Jack takes a job as an escort, which is how he first meets Lana, in order to make some quick cash. But he soon learns that Lana wants to do much more with him than just have a casual dinner out on the town.
In the very next episode "The New Landlord" (which introduces Mr. Furley) the roommates accidentally sell all of Furley's furniture to a junk dealer, not realizing it belongs to their new landlord (who has not met anyone in the building yet). Furley is angry and gives them an eviction notice, but upon meeting Lana, he immediately falls "in love". Furley and the roommates made a deal: Furley gets a date with Lana, and they won't have to move.
Even though she doesn't like Furley, Lana does seduce him on several occasions to get what she wants. For example, in one episode she convinces Furley to accept Jack, Janet, Chrissy's rent money a few days late. In season four's eighth episode, "A-Camping We Will Go", Lana tricks Furley into going on a camping trip so she can be near Jack, who was talked into going by his best friend Larry Dallas, for an entire weekend. It is in this episode that Lana finds Jack in the woods nude with leaves draped around him after Larry steals his clothes while Jack was swimming to relax. Upon finding a horrified Jack, Lana lustfully asks "Hey, Tarzan, can I swing on your tree?". Though, Jack looked more like Adam (the first man) because of being totally nude.
However, not long after this now legendary episode, Lana disappears from the show. Her final appearance is in the episode "A Black Letter Day" (season 4, episode 13). In this episode, Lana reads a newspaper advice column about a man living with two female roommates and the man is having an affair with one of them and she assumes the column is about Jack, Janet and Chrissy. She mentions this to Chrissy and Janet, and they each think the other is having an affair with Jack. In one of the episode's last scenes, Lana is sitting at the bar of the local hangout The Regal Beagle along with fellow neighbor Larry crying over the article. When Jack enters the bar to join them, Lana angrily pours a drink over his head and storms out. Lana is neither seen or mentioned again afterwards.
According to the book Come and Knock on Our Door: A Hers and Hers and His Guide to Three's Company, the addition of Lana to the cast caused tension between John Ritter and the show's writers. Ritter believed it would be out of character for the sex-crazed Jack to inexplicably turn down the advances of a sexually voracious, attractive older woman. The writers reasoned that because Lana was older than Jack, he would be turned off. Ritter didn't believe that the middle-aged Lana, only meant to be in her forties (whereas Jack was in his late twenties/early thirties), would repel Jack.
Ann Wedgeworth, in the same book, claimed that she was asked to be released from her contract because of Lana's dwindling role in the show.