Publicity photo of Wood in television series Peyton Place, 1966.
|Born||Svetlana Nikolaevna Zakharenko
March 1, 1946
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Jack Wrather, Jr.
(m. 1962, annulled)
(m. 1967; divorced)
(m. 1973– d. 1975)
|Family||Natalie Wood (sister)
Natasha Gregson Wagner (niece)
Lana Wood (born Svetlana Nikolaevna Zakharenko Russian: Светла́на Николаевна Захаренко; March 1, 1946) is an American actress and producer born to Russian émigré parents, Nikolai and Maria Zakharenko. She is best known for her role as Plenty O'Toole in the 1971 James Bond film, Diamonds Are Forever. Her elder sister was film star Natalie Wood.
Wood was born Svetlana Nikolaevna Zakharenko to Russian parents, but they grew up far from their homeland: her father lived in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, while her mother grew up in a Chinese province. After her parents were married, they settled in Santa Monica, California, where Lana was born. By this time her parents had legally changed their surname to Gurdin. Her elder sister, Natalie Wood, was named after director Sam Wood when Natalie first launched her child acting career. When Lana made her film debut in The Searchers (1956), their mother was asked under what last name Lana should be credited, and Maria agreed it would be best if she could be credited as "Wood," like Natalie. She and Natalie have an older half sister, Olga Viriapaeff, from their mother's prior marriage to an Armenian.
In her early career, Wood usually played bit parts in films Natalie appeared in. Starting in the 1960s, her own career took off. After appearing in the short-lived drama series The Long, Hot Summer, she landed in the role of Sandy Webber in the soap series Peyton Place. She played the role from 1966 to 1967.
In 1970, Wood was approached to pose for Playboy by Hugh Hefner and agreed. The Playboy pictures appeared in the April 1971 issue, along with Wood's poetry. The publicity was a major reason for her being cast as a Bond girl, Plenty O'Toole, in the 1971 James Bond film, Diamonds Are Forever. In a scene with Sean Connery, she appeared wearing only a flimsy pair of see-through panties. Despite having only three minutes of screen time, it remains her best-known role to date.
Wood has more than 20 other films and over 300 television shows to her credit, including The Fugitive, Bonanza, Mission: Impossible, Police Story, Starsky and Hutch, Nero Wolfe, Fantasy Island, and Capitol. After appearing in the horror film Demon Rage (1982), she retired from acting, concentrating on her career as a producer, but has since returned to acting in a number of low-budget films since 2008. Lana is a character in the 2009 Steve Alten book Meg: Hell's Aquarium. Wood wrote a best-selling memoir, Natalie, A Memoir by Her Sister, in 1984. The book was also an autobiography. Among the tidbits she revealed in the book was an off-the-set affair with Sean Connery during the filming of Diamonds Are Forever.
Wood has been married four times:
- Jack Wrather, Jr. - (1962) (annulled when she was 16 years old)
- Karl Brent - (1965-1966) (divorced)
- Steve Oliver - (1967) (divorced)
- Richard Smedley - (1973-1975) (divorced)
Wood has one child, Evan (born August 11, 1974), a daughter with Richard Smedley. She has one granddaughter, Daphne, and two grandsons, Nicholas and Max.
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")
- For Singles Only – (1968), Helen Todd
- Scream Free! – (1969), Karen
- 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
- 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
- Wood, Lana (1984). Natalie Wood: A Memoir by Her Sister. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. ISBN 0-399-12903-0.
- Finstad, Suzanne (2002). Natasha: The Biography of Natalie Wood. New York: Three Rivers Press. ISBN 978-0609809570.
- 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.
- Sunday Times Magazine, 31 May 2009
- Canby, Vincent (December 18, 1971). "Diamonds Are Forever (1971) A Benign Bond: 007 Stars in 'Diamonds Are Forever'". The New York Times.
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